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Donations made by women in Canada have nearly tripled since 2011

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2023 /CNW/ - A new report released from TD Wealth examines the critical and growing role women are playing in Canada's charitable sector. With wives, partners and daughters set to inherit $1 trillion over the next decade, women are a driving force in Canadian philanthropy. The new report, Trust and Transformation: Canadian Women and Philanthropy, delves into women's unique motivations and approaches to giving, and details the evolving differences between generations of female philanthropists.

Donations claimed by women in annual tax filings increased from $1.5 billion in 2011 to $4.3 billion in 2021 and are projected to reach $5.9 billion by 2030, yet the TD study shows that tax incentives are not a key motivator for women when they make philanthropic decisions. Rather, trust emerged as an essential driver in Canadian women's philanthropy, influencing how much, and to whom, they decide to give.

Trust key to female giving

Trust, as a critical decision driver, is reflected in the research and due diligence many women undertake to ensure they are fully satisfied with the strength of any charity, including volunteering, to gain a better understanding of the charity's work, and establishing relationships with key management personnel before providing their financial support. Additionally, women who participated in the research emphasized the importance and trust they place on the views of their friends, family and colleagues when making decisions about donating.

"Before donating, women tend to do more extensive diligence than men. Women seek counsel from family and friends in making charitable giving decisions and they are also influenced by family experiences, social awareness and growth in financial resources. They also volunteer their time as a way to gain a better understanding of the charity's work and establish relationships with key management personnel before providing any financial support," said Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropic Advisory Services at TD Wealth. "Women are a critical force behind the country's charitable sector. Without women, the almost 86,000 Canadian charities would simply not function. Not only do they provide much-needed funding and a cadre of volunteers, but women participating in the sector are increasingly driving systemic change."

Generational differences in philanthropic behaviour

The report also explores the differences in philanthropic priorities between younger and older female donors, finding that younger donors are more focused on the future, working to improve historical and emerging inequities, whereas older donors continue to support charities that their families have traditionally donated to. Younger women were also found to be more willing to self-identify as philanthropists, and the emergence of women in leadership positions and as role models has encouraged young women to step forward as volunteers, fundraisers, and funders.

Additionally, female entrepreneurs have become leaders in the creation of businesses that combine commercial success with the opportunity to create a better society. Coined "social entrepreneurs," more women are integrating philanthropy into their business plans than ever before.

"We are seeing more female social entrepreneurs add philanthropy to their business plans, putting money back into their communities and incorporating purpose as part of their hiring practice. They are propelled to help others through a sense of social responsibility and a belief that everyone who is able should set aside some time, effort, and personal resources to help build a community that is just and equitable," continued Ryan. "Women have a greater capacity to give than ever, and it's important that Canadian charities of all types and sizes demonstrate their relevance and positive impact on those they serve."

Additional findings from the report include:
  • Between 2020 and 2023, 40 per cent of the growth in total wealth controlled by women will be represented by inter-family transfers, such as divorce settlements and inheritances.
  • Giving by women is motivated by several factors, including family experiences, social awareness, the influence of friends and growth in financial resources.
  • Women are more likely to respond to current events and humanitarian crises, such as the negative impact of inflation on housing and food security, and environmental disasters associated with climate change in Canada.
  • Top causes supported by Canadian women include mental health support and research (42 per cent), medical research and treatment (38 per cent), and climate change and environmental efforts (37 per cent).

"As women's influence over wealth in Canada continues to increase, it's important to recognize that just as we plan for our financial future and retirement, having a philanthropic plan is equally important," added Ryan. "Talking with an advisor to discuss your philanthropic goals and strategies is an essential step toward making a meaningful and lasting impact on the causes you care about - whether it's advice on how philanthropy fits into your overall financial strategy or support establishing a structure to leave a legacy, such as private foundations or donor-advised funds. We always do better with a plan, and this holds true for our philanthropic endeavors as well."

About Trust and Transformation: Canadian Women and Philanthropy

The Trust and Transformation: Canadian Women and Philanthropy report is a research paper on Canadian women and philanthropy, commissioned by TD Wealth as part of an initiative to better understand the financial needs, habits and aspirations of Canadian women. This report is based on the findings from a series of interviews conducted by KCI professionals with approximately 60 individuals who identify as women from across Canada.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by assets and serves over 27.5 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; Wealth Management and Insurance, including TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities and TD Cowen. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 16 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.9 trillion in assets on July 31, 2023. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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