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Majority of affluent Canadians donated to charity in the last 12 months

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The vast majority (91 per cent) of affluent Canadians have given to charitable causes in the past 12 months, with 74 per cent reporting that they have donated up to CAD10,000.

That’s according to a report from BMO Harris Private Banking released in partnership with GIV3 Foundation, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAPG) and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFG), which examines the charitable giving behaviour, motivations and hesitations of high-net worth Canadians (those with investible assets of at least CAD1 million).
 
The report reveals that in 2013, high net worth Canadians gave an average of CAD5,217 to charitable causes.
 
When asked what motivates them to donate, more than half (55 per cent) of high net worth Canadians said that they are driven to donate to have an impact on their community. Other motivations included:
 
• A desire to give back to their community (50 per cent)
• Feeling passionate about a cause (32 per cent)
• Feeling that they should share their wealth with others (23 per cent)
• To reduce taxes/as a tax reduction strategy (21 per cent)
 
"For most of Canada's affluent, donating isn't about the tax incentives and bottom line, it's about doing the right thing for the right reasons and supporting their communities," says Marvi Ricker, vice president and managing director, philanthropic services, BMO Harris Private Banking. "Philanthropy for them is really about sharing a portion of their good fortune with those who are in need."
 
Along with motivations, the report found that affluent Canadians also have hesitations around charitable giving. Among the concerns cited around giving, 43 per cent of affluent Canadians mentioned a fear that their gift might not be used wisely by the receiving organisation, followed by the fear of receiving an increase in donation requests in the future (26 per cent).
 
"It's only natural that there could be some concerns associated with charitable giving," says Ricker. "Working with a financial professional to create a philanthropic plan that aligns with your values, and identifies legitimate organisations that are making a difference can provide peace of mind and help ensure your dollars are being used effectively."

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