Charitable Giving & Voluntarism
Charitable giving and voluntarism are cornerstones of a vibrant community. It’s in all of our best interests to show that we care.
To read about other external factors affecting charitable giving and voluntarism, gaps faced by charities, and additional ideas that have been implemented to encourage philanthropy and involvement, we have provided more details below. To view the full report, please click on the pdf link to the left
There are a number of external factors impacting charitable giving and voluntarism:
Financial insecurity – whether it is due to stock market performance or job insecurity, community leaders point to an increasing lack of confidence in the future that is causing current and potential donors to pull back, out of genuine concern for their own financial well-being.
Increased competition – A growing number of charities, the myriad of fundraising events in the community, the desire to give back to one’s home country, and the ease with which donors can make gifts- in part as a result of new technology, all result in growing competition among local charities for private dollars.n
Community leaders point to several gaps faced by charities and service organizations in Oakville:
- Revenues are stagnating and increasingly outpaced by expenditures – While government grants are limited or receding, and individual giving remains flat, expenditures are on the rise. On average in Canada, total revenues for charities have decreased slightly while expenditures have increased by almost 5%.o
- Small organizations are steadily losing paid staff – Charitiable and nonprofit organizations with between one to four employees have consistently reported losing a steady trickle of paid staff.p For such organizations, the loss of even a small fraction of a full-time equivalent position creates an enormous strain on the ability to serve the public.
Many organizations have implemented creative initiatives aimed at encouraging philanthropy and voluntarism:
- Imagine Canada encourages private businesses in Canada to become a “Caring Company”, by making a commitment to donate 1% of pre-tax profits each year to the community, develop one community project each year that is supported by senior leadership, and publish an annual report on its activities. Over 100 companies in Canada are part of the program. www.imaginecanada.ca
- Give Where you Live – Those who support United Way through corporate drives in Toronto are still able to designate their gift back to Oakville-based agencies by noting their request on their pledge form.
- Corporate giving programs – Many private companies offer programs that match donations made by their employees, enable staff to take paid time off to volunteer, or channel corporate philanthropy to organizations in which an employee volunteers.
- Looking to volunteer locally? Search for opportunities by visiting the Volunteer Halton website www.volunteerhalton.ca or visit http://search.hipinfo.info to access a database of community services available in Halton, if there is a particular organization you want to connect with.
- Do you know someone whose volunteer efforts deserve to be recognized? Nominate them for free, for a Government of Ontario Volunteer Service Award, available to individuals who have given their time to a single organization for five or more years. Visit: http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/citizenship/honours/vsa.shtml#1
Random Act of Kindness Day
On November 4, 2011 the Oakville Community Foundation invites you to participate in Oakville’s first-ever “Random Act of Kindness” day. Spearheaded by the Foundation and delivered In concert with a broad range of groups from our charitable, non-profit, educational, youth, corporate, media and municipal sectors, our goal is to mobilize as many people as possible to do a good deed in our community. To find out more about this annual initiative or to get involved, visit www.theocf.org/RAK