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Ontario Should Encourage More Charitable Giving


December 9, 2022

HAMILTON, ON – Ontario needs to address the decline in charitable giving, according to think tank Cardus. Even as Ontario’s population grew, the number of charitable donors shrank by more than 100,000 people between 2016 and 2020. And in the midst of the Christmas giving season, almost four in 10 Ontarians say they’re cutting back on charitable donations, according to the Angus Reid Institute. Part of the solution, says Cardus, is to double Ontario’s unusually low charitable tax credit.

Right now, Ontario donors only get a 5.05% tax credit for their first $200 in donations every year and an 11.16% credit for additional donations. That makes Ontario’s credit lower than any province or territory except Nunavut. Andreae Sennyah, director of policy at Cardus, says a more generous tax credit would motivate more Ontarians to give to charity.

“We know that tax credits are strong motivator for charitable donations, especially for folks who are under 40 years old,” says Sennyah. “Yet, Ontario’s charitable tax credits are inexcusably low. So, the province should help encourage more Ontarians to donate to charity by offering a much bigger tax credit for directing their money to organizations they see contributing to the common good.”

To bring itself in line with some of the most generous provinces in Canada, Ontario should raise its charitable tax credits to 10% on the first $200 donated every year and 21% on amounts over $200. This would move Ontario from having one of the least generous charitable tax credits in the country to being in the mid-range of the most generous provinces, like Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba.

More generous tax credits wouldn’t just help increase charitable giving. They’d also be good for Ontario’s economy. According to research from Imagine Canada and the Ontario Non-profit Network, the non-profit sector (including non-profit organizations and charities) contributes $65.4 billion to the Ontario economy. and employs 844,000 people in the province.

To see the Cardus policy brief on Ontario’s charitable tax credit, visit


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