Canadian Environmental Causes Donor Profile

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Donation Drivers

Some of the factors that drive Canadians to donate to charitable organizations include religious obligations, passion, tax credits, and the need to make their societies better.


  • The main factor that drives Canadians to donate to environmental causes is passion.
  • Over 80% of Canadians who donate to non-profit organizations do so because they personally believe in the cause or are passionate about it.
  • Canadians who make environmental donations not only believe in the mission of the organization they donate to, they trust these organizations.
  • A study found that over 60% of Canadians who make financial contributions to causes they are passionate about, have personal, life-changing experiences that sparked this passion.

Causes Close to Heart

  • Roughly 80% of Canadian donors make financial donations to positively contribute to their communities.
  • More than 95% of Canadians gave to charity "as they felt a sense of duty to give back to society and tackle inequality, using their own good fortune to help others."
  • Over 60% of Canadian donors donate to environmental causes because they understand that they are personally affected by the cause the organization supports.
  • Canadians recognize the everlasting impact human activity has on the environment. As a result, they donate to charities that are taking action to help save the planet.
  • Some of the most popular environmental charities that Canadians donate to are Wildlife Conservation Society Canada and Canadian Wildlife Federation. These foundations advocate for and protect wildlife.

Religious Obligations

  • Less than 30% of Canadians who donate to charity do so to fulfill religious beliefs or obligations.
  • Charity or selfless giving is sometimes a key component of most religious belief systems.
  • More than half of religious households in Canada make financial contributions to charity.
  • Most people who donate to environmental causes in Canada are Christians. As described by Canada Helps, "charitable giving is central to Christian spirituality [because] Christians see everything they have, material and spiritual, as unmerited gifts from God."

Tax Credit

  • About 23% of Canadian donors make financial donations for income tax credit purposes.
  • In Canada, people who donate to registered charities can receive a tax credit of about 53% of their donation.
  • Canadians are also able to save on capital gains when they donate securities directly. As a result, they are able to give more to their favorite charities. A significant financial contribution to charities can amount to big savings on their taxes.
  • Recently, the Canadian government increased incentives and deduction limits for gifts to non-profits. From 2012 to 2018, first time donors were offered a super credit which allowed them to get an additional 25% tax credit in addition to the existing federal and provincial credits.
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Technology Role

Through technology, Canadians are able to donate to environmental causes using unconventional methods like fintech apps and social media. This trend is mainly popular among Canadian millennials.

Technological Innovations

  • According to a report by Canada Helps, charitable giving in the country is declining even with increasing evidence of "more need for charitable services."
  • One of the reasons for this is that Canadian millennials are trading influence on social media and volunteering rather than making financial contributions.
  • These millennials are giving and engaging differently. This noticeable shift in the way they are giving is fueled by technological innovations and their lives transitioning online.
  • As described by Canada helps, "social causes and seeing immediate impact is what interests and motivates younger people the most, and not necessarily who is procuring the “charity” — be it a for profit, non-profit or something in between."


  • Although Canadians are making fewer donations to charities - and those who donate to environmental causes are mainly baby boomers - online donations have increased double digits in the past decade, particularly among young adults.
  • It is a known fact that young adults make up a significant share of online users. They are even known as digital natives. As a result, they find it easier to make donations online.
  • Canadian financial technology companies like Mylo Financial Technologies Inc are leveraging this trend by introducing mobile fundraising platforms. In partnership with CanadaHelps, Mylo Financial launched Round Up to Give, an app that allows for easy donation.
  • Round Up to Give connects to bank accounts and allows young adults in Canada to donate to their favorite causes. The app can also round up purchases to the next dollar and donate the spare change to any of the 86,000 registered charities in Canada.

Social Media

  • More than half of the Canadians who donate to environmental causes are on Facebook.
  • To target these individuals, environmental charities like The Bruce Trail Conservancy and Nature Conservancy of Canada are very active on Facebook and urge people to donate via this platform.
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada has over 100,000 followers on the platform and regularly organizes fundraisers through Facebook.
  • In the last three years, over 20% of Canadian millennials have responded to a request to support charity on social media, with 13% of baby boomers doing the same.
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Donors - Demographics

Donors to environmental causes in Canada tend to be married women over 50 years old with a household income of at least $120,000.


  • A study cited by Statistics Canada revealed that more Canadian women donate to environmental causes than men.
  • Canadians aged 55 to 64 account for a significant share of those who donate to environmental causes.
  • Canadians aged 75 and older tend to donate to environmental causes as well, closely followed by those between ages 65 to 74 years.


  • A lot of people who donate to non-profit organizations in Canada reside in Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island (92% and 91% respectively).
  • In a similar vein, residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are the least likely to make donations.
  • Residents of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia make the highest donations to non-profit organizations.


  • Residents of Canada with a household income $120,000 or more account for the majority of donors to non-religious causes - including environmental causes.
  • Those with a household income of $60,000 to $79,999 are a distant second, with Canadians earning $100,000 to $119,999 being third.


  • Canadians with at least one university degree are most likely to donate to environmental causes, closely followed by those with a post secondary certificate.
  • Donors to environmental causes in Canada tend to be employed.


  • A lot of people who donate to environmental causes in Canada are married.
  • A report by Canada Helps mentioned that married people make up over 70% of donors to non-religious organizations in the country.


Using publicly accessible information, we sought a demographic profile of environmental donors in Canada in a number of ways, none of which proved sufficient to gather any recent data on the age, gender, location, income level, educational level, and marital status of these donors.

Our first strategy involved combing through Canadian publications like BradfordToday. While these publications provided trends in charitable giving in Canada such as the amount Canadians donate annually, there was no information on the age, gender, location, income level, educational level, and marital status of donors to environmental causes.

Next, we examined annual reports and press releases by non-profits focused on environmental causes such as Wildlife Preservation Canada. Although Wildlife Preservation Canada offered a recent annual report where it provided data on its donors, only corporate organizations were listed as donors.

We turned to government resources like Environment Canada. Again, only statistics on the amount of money charitable organizations receive annually were provided.

Eventually, we found a report by Statistics Canada which provided 2010 to 2013 data on the age, gender, location, income level, educational level, and marital status of donors to environmental causes. Due to the lack of more recent information, we leveraged this report. Of note, a few of the findings above are related to Canadian donors in general.
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Donors - Psychographics

Donors to environmental causes in Canada spend a lot of their money on healthcare services, travel, home renovations, and recreational vehicles. These individuals value home ownership and adventurous activities. They spend most of their time watching traditional TV.


  • Canadians who donate to environmental causes are often over 50, thus falling under the baby boomer category. This cohort has the "highest concentration of households with annual income over $150,000" which explains why they account for the largest share of donors. Canadian baby boomers are loyal to the brands they know and like.
  • This group has a relatively low debt-to-income level and a high credit delinquency rate.
  • They are deciding to remain in the workforce longer. Over a decade ago, they retired at 65. Nowadays, Canadian baby boomers choose to work past the age of 65.
  • The healthcare spending increases for Canadian baby boomers. They spend most of their money on health products and services like prescription drugs for chronic conditions, hearing aids, and eyewear.
  • This group has a "higher need for financial services, primarily as they relate to planning for retirement."
  • Another thing they spend their money on is travel. Canadian baby boomers with higher incomes spend their money on recreational vehicles as they seek to remain younger.


  • Typically, Canadian baby boomers are autonomous and insistent about personalizing everything - including home renovations and fancier vehicles. They also seek experience by traveling.
  • They are less likely to brag about their fancy cars. They will much rather talk about the restaurants they visited and adventurous things they did.
  • This group seeks experiences that are fun and allow them to learn. Some retire in an unconventional way. They mentor or consult on projects they find interesting rather than fully retiring.
  • In the daytime, most of them do some indoor cleaning or prepare meals. They also engage in leisure activities and socialize in their free time.
  • Over 80% of Canadian baby boomers watch TV or videos in their free time.


  • About 72% of baby boomers in Canada have a smartphone, with almost 55% owning tablets. Up to 53% have computers.
  • Over 85% of Canadian baby boomers have a TV subscription. They are more likely to subscribe to Sportnet Now and CraveTV. Their preferred TV options are CTV, TVO, Global, and TSN.
  • Almost 40% of this cohort watches TV exclusively on a traditional TV set. Only 5% of donors to environmental causes watch TV exclusively online.
  • This group demonstrates the "strongest affinity for traditional TV, traditional radio and traditional news platforms." Almost 50% have a newspaper subscription. They spend over 20 hours weekly watching traditional TV.
  • In reference to social media, they tend to use Facebook over others like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.


We sought the habits, hobbies, media consumption insights, and values of donors to environmental causes in Canadian publications like Bradford Today, government resources like Environment Canada, and intelligence databases like Statistics Canada. When these strategies failed, we extrapolated the psychographic profile using the demographic data we found on this group. We found that baby boomers with a household income of about $120,000 are the main donors to environmental causes in Canada. As a result, we provided the habits, hobbies, media consumption insights, and values of Canadian baby boomers.