Falling donations require charities, and the government takes decisive action to protect critical services

This column is the views of Marina Glogovac, President and CEO of CanadaHelps, a Canadian non-governmental organization that provides fundraising and donation technology to charities and donors. She has been the head of technology and media for more than 25 years, including positions in Kobo, Lavalife and St. Joseph’s Media.Relevant information CBS opinion column, See FAQ.

At the beginning of the pandemic, some charities quickly adapted to the problem of providing services in a safe manner and initiated activities such as digital donation forms and virtual events to fund their work.The success of these efforts contributed to Increase in online charitable donations It appeared last year, but the overall donation trend tells a different story, and it is a wake-up call.

Although the data on charitable donations from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for 2020 is unavailable for a period of time, CanadaHelps has Expected to drop by 10% overall Bring it down to 2016 levels. This puts vulnerable Canadians who rely on charities at risk.

This sharp drop can be attributed to many factors, from unemployment and economic uncertainty to the cancellation of personal fundraising activities. However, the pandemic has also exacerbated existing trends.This 2021 report Few Canadians said they donated to charities, and among those who donated, Canadians over 55 years old donated twice as much as Canadians between 25 and 54 years old.

If Canadians, governments and charitable organizations do not take action to deal with this trend, our communities will suffer losses in the coming years.

Charity is essential to Canada’s community and quality of life. They are on the front lines, operating food reserves, shelters, counseling services and youth programming. They are doing valuable medical research, creating art, teaching children to read, supporting new immigrants, caring for the elderly, helping families get rid of diseases, helping survivors of abuse to relive, protecting the environment, and so on.

At the same time, many people still view charities as simple intermediaries for transferring gifts from the rich to those in need.However, a 2019 report from Statistics Canada showed that the charity sector Contribute about 8.5% Or Canadian $169 billion gross domestic product (GDP).The department also employment on 10% Full-time employees in the country.

The services provided by charities also reduce the burden on governments at all levels, which are essential for building a fair and inclusive Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, the charity sector contributes approximately 8.5% to Canada’s GDP. (CBC)

The federal government can take many positive steps to help support charities in Canada, and the federal government acts as a regulator through the CRA and a licensor through the General Directorate of Charities.

For example, currently, there is no government in the government that can advocate and strengthen the influence of charities. In contrast, there is a minister in charge of small businesses. Crown Corporation’s Commercial Development Bank of Canada (BDC) supports Canadian businesses through financing, consulting services and capital.

It is time to appoint a charity minister and a department equivalent to the BDC to support the department.

Charities still need to take some steps.

If charitable organizations cannot engage young donors in their work, the reduction in donations for charitable work and the long-term underfunding will continue to increase. Many people have no connection with the charity “brand” owned by their parents, so organizations need to work hard to win their support.

For example, young Canadians expect philanthropy to become digitally complicated. They expect to get the same smooth user experience, convenience, transparency and data insight as elsewhere in today’s digital world. However, many charities are struggling to meet these expectations because most charities are not investing in their digital infrastructure. The challenge of the pandemic makes this investment more important than ever.

Digital transformation goes far beyond the scope of online fundraising. It needs to be integrated into the organization’s strategy and culture, and deeply rooted in all aspects of charity operations, from service delivery to staffing and development.

This allows for rigorous measurement and evaluation to help the organization determine needs, measure its own impact, and identify areas for continuous improvement.

CanadaHelps CEO Marina Glogovac wrote that many Canadian charities lack the necessary resources to update their digital infrastructure. (Lafferty Baker/CBC)

If the department continues to lack the resources needed to modernize, work more efficiently and operate effectively in the digital age, it will not succeed. We must better support them through government support and funds, and at the same time challenge charities themselves and strive to become data-driven digital organizations.

To achieve this major shift, charities need access to high-quality resources and training programs, such as those available to small businesses Digital Avenue, This is a project partially funded by the government.

The federal budget is $1.4 billion Digital Adoption Plan Helping small and medium-sized enterprises to integrate new digital technologies should definitely apply to charities.

The mindsets of donors, funders, governments and charities themselves need to change. Charities are still mainly assessed through over-simplified financial and overhead calculations. Although it takes time and investment to better measure social impact, we must turn to evaluating them based on reported results and the results of strategic plans designed to create systemic change.

Charities are vital to Canada, and their success is our collective success.

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