Another sign of the hard times in Alberta; people are really starting to tighten the purse strings when it comes to charitable donations.
The latest figures from Statistics Canada show total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell almost three per cent in 2016 to $8.9 billion.
The largest decrease was in Alberta: a drop of 10.7 per cent.
The next biggest drop was Prince Edward Island at a little more than five per cent.
Even with the decrease, Alberta still had a higher number of people making donations, about 21 per cent, than the national average, 20.5 per cent, and the second highest median donations at $470 compared with the national median donation of $300.
Donors in Lethbridge had the second highest median charitable donations in the country at $620.
Calgary United Way COO Beth Gignac said the trend of year over year declines continued in 2017.
She explained the economic turbulence means a lot of people are out of the work force, and now rely on agencies they would normally donate to.
“What we’re doing and have been doing over the past year is working with our agency partners to talk about ways in which we can think our way through this problem together,” she said.
That includes working with corporate workplace partners and getting the message across that even a small contribution can have a big impact.
Gignac said the greatest challenge as an organization, given what’s happening, is to still be able to provide sustainable funding to the 104 agencies they support.