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Charitable Foundations Step Up to Help During COVID-19


May 7, 2020 

HAMILTON, ON – Canadian charities will get a financial shot in the arm, thanks to the help of charitable foundations. A large and influential group of charitable foundations has joined the Give5 campaign by pledging to distribute at least 5% of their assets to Canadian charities this year – an increase from the legal minimum of 3.5% of assets many foundations had been giving away. According to a Charity Intelligence estimate, this one move would mean an additional $700 million charities this year.

Think tank Cardus welcomes the move.

“This is exactly the kind of action Cardus called for in our March call to action to rescue the charity sector,” says Brian Dijkema, vice-president of external affairs at Cardus. “We asked foundations to step up, and this initiative shows they have.”

Meanwhile, some in the private sector have also set up charitable donation matching programs in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Governments have been slower to act.

“Canadians have shown that they are willing to give even when times are tough,” says Dijkema. “What’s missing is a way to leverage that desire to give and make the money go even further. A federal government matching incentive could provide the missing piece of the puzzle in a cross-country effort to show that all of Canada cares.”

Canada’s charitable sector is set to see revenue drop anywhere between $9.5 billion and $15.7 billion this year. Charities may also be forced to lay off as many as 194,000 workers.

Cardus issued a call to action in March to ask governments to set up donation-matching programs, foundations to distribute more funding to charities, and individual Canadians who are able to do so to donate to their favourite charities. Read the Cardus call to action online.


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