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To better understand the challenges faced by Canadian small charities, CanadaHelps surveyed more than 600 small charities across the country in August. Among those surveyed, most fall into the following categories: 28% provide social or community-based services, 17% are focused on arts and culture, 16% are aligned with religion, 12% provide educational services, 10% are immersed in health, and 7% direct their efforts to animals.
Survey Results Highlight the Significant Challenges That Small Charities Face:
- 41% of charities saw an increase in demand at the start of the pandemic but demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels for only 5% of charities. Charities that saw a high demand at the onset of the pandemic has now become the new normal for 14% of respondents, while 23% of charities continue to face rising demand. 32% of charities saw a decrease in demand at the start of the pandemic; while half of these charities have returned to pre-pandemic demand levels, 11% of respondents — many of which offer vital community building services — have not seen demand rebound, and 5% of respondents see demand continue to decline.
- 29% of charities saw an increase in donations at the start of the pandemic but two thirds (20% of total respondents) have returned to pre-pandemic levels. 51% of charities saw a decrease in donations at the start of the pandemic. This drop in donations became the new normal for half of these charities (25% of total respondents) while for one in five of these charities (10% of total respondents) donation dollars continue to decrease.
- 59% of charities note that demand exceeds their capacity, while only 27% have the capacity to meet the demand.
- 83% agree that inflation has increased the costs incurred for service delivery and 65% agree that inflation has decreased the donations received from individual Canadians.
- Just over half (51%) agree that increased demand for services and/or reduced funding is resulting in higher levels of staff burn out; while 55% have seen a decline in volunteers, with the number of volunteers continuing to remain below pre-pandemic levels.
- With reduced funding from donations, 39% of small charities believe the quality of their programs will suffer, 38% will need to make cuts to their programs, 32% will not be able to meet demand, and 17% will need to reduce staffing.
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