Few Canadians give to the arts

Individuals gave about $101 million to arts and culture organizations in 2007, but these donors represent a very small percentage of Canadians who make charitable donations, according to a new report.

A study by Hill Strategies Research found that of the Canadians who give, only 3.3 per cent give to the arts. The report is based on figures from 2007, when the recession had not yet hurt donation practices.

“Some cultural attendees and participants may not realize that a large portion of the revenues of arts and culture organizations is not covered by admission fees, other earned revenues or government funding,” the report said.

There were an estimated 759,000 cultural donors, but they were relatively generous — with an average donation of $132 each.Canadians over age 45 and with university education are more likely to give than younger Canadians or those with just a high school education.

The report estimates there are roughly 14,000 arts and culture organizations in Canada, but they get less from government than other non-profit groups — about 28 per cent of their revenue, compared with 49 per cent for other non-profits. Arts groups raised an average of half their revenue through ticket sales There is a lot of competition for donations by Canadians, and arts groups were often given low priority in charitable giving, behind religious and health organizations.

Residents of B.C. and Ontario are the most generous with arts groups, followed by the Prairies and Quebec.
Individual Donors to Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2007 is based on Statistics Canada figures and surveys analyzed by Hamilton, Ont.-based Hill Strategies Research.

Donations to non-profits:
Religious organizations          $4.6 billion
Health organizations              $1.5 billion
Social service organizations   $915 million
Law, advocacy and politics   $130 million
Arts and culture                    $101 million
Source: Hill Strategies Research

CBC News – Arts – Few Canadians give to the arts

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