The city of Steinbach continues to be a national leader when it comes to generosity.
Statistics Canada has now released data from the 2017 tax year. Numbers show that for the second consecutive year, Steinbach had the highest median donation through the tax file system for Canadian cities with a population of more than 10,000. There are 152 of these cities in Canada. The median amount represents the middle point; so half of the donors gave more than the median and the other half gave less. Steinbach also had the highest percentage of tax filers who claimed a donation.
Taking a closer look at the numbers, there were 14,310 residents of Steinbach who filed a tax return in 2017. Of that amount, 29.2 per cent claimed a charitable donation, which is up from the provincial average of 23.2 per cent and the national average of 20 per cent. The average donation was $4,640, while the median donation was $2,160.
"Steinbach is an interesting case because it does show that it's not all about who is the richest," says Francois Page with Statistics Canada. "There also seems to be something within communities that might be driving donations."
And, you don't have to travel far to realize that same generous spirit being noticed in Steinbach, is reflected in neighbouring communities as well. In fact, Blumenort continues to lead the way with the highest median donations among tax filers in the southeast. In 2017, Blumenort's median donation was $3,830, followed by Steinbach ($2,160), Kleefeld ($2,140), Landmark ($1,980), Grunthal ($1,800), New Bothwell ($1,590), Niverville ($1,140), La Broquerie ($600), Ste. Anne ($600), St. Pierre ($500), St. Malo ($400) and Lorette ($370). The national average was $300.
Page says data from Statistics Canada would suggest the number of tax filers claiming a donation in Canada has been gradually declining since 2011. But, he notes these numbers do not tell the whole story. For example, he says it appears crowd sourcing funding is getting more and more popular. This is where you may be asked to make a donation through social media without getting a tax receipt in return.
"When you look at donations by age, we see through the tax data that it's more the older people that are giving more," notes Page. "But we shouldn't discount the fact that the younger generations might be giving through other means that's not captured in this data."
When you take a look at Steinbach's data, the highest average donations is by the 55 to 64 age group. That differs from the national scene, where the 65 and over age category claims the highest average donations.
"In Steinbach we see that basically anybody in the working age population also have a fair bit of donations," explains Page. "It's not skewed as much towards the older generations."
Meanwhile, for the last 13 years, Manitoba has been the province with the highest proportion of tax filers that declare a charitable donation.