Canada Helps released the “2023 Giving Report” which takes a raw and honest look at the state of the Canadian charitable sector. The report is titled “It's Time for Change: A Year Defined by Inflation Intensifies Long-Standing Threats to the Sector.”

Canada Helps surveyed 3000 charities for a deep-dive into the largest and most urgent struggles of the sector. We thought we should highlight the reported issues here and invite you to join the conversation on how we can bring hope and healing in the midst of these challenges. 

Here are the 10 issues raised in the report: 

  1. Increased Demand Has Created Unprecedented Strain on Charities

“40.3% of charities continue to experience demand above pre-pandemic levels, with over half reporting that demand continues to increase.”

  1. Inflation is Intensifying Demand for Services, Increasing Service Delivery and Staffing Costs

“A staggering 80% report that inflation has impacted their service delivery costs while funding has not increased to match.”

  1. While Demand is Up for Most Charities, Funds Raised Are Down

“45.5% of respondents report that fundraising levels are equal to pre-pandemic levels, while for 31.3%, funding is lower. Just 12.7% of respondents report that their current fundraising results are higher than pre-pandemic levels.”

  1. Gifts from Individuals, Corporations and Government are all Down

“Across all key funding sources, significantly more charities reported declines in donations than those reporting increases.”

  1. Smaller Charities Are At Risk

“In 2020 (the most recent year data is available), small charities with less than $500,000 in annual revenue experienced an 8% decline in margin (the difference between total revenue and expenses) compared to 2019. In contrast, medium and large charities with annual revenue above $500,000 were able to better adapt to year one of the pandemic, experiencing a decline of only 4%.”

  1. Staff Burnout and Salaries Are Top Concerns

“Out of 24 issues, after inflation, staff burnout was ranked the second highest concern for charities today. Looking ahead to 2028, charities rank staff burnout as their third highest concern.”

  1. Charities are Struggling to Rebuild their Volunteer Programs

“On a 0-10 scale, where 10 is very concerned, 41.8% scored “Attracting Volunteers” as an 8 or higher today.” 

  1. The Majority of Charities Who Relied on COVID Relief Funding Are at Risk Without it

“Of survey respondents at charities who received the funding, the large majority, 93%, say the funding was important or somewhat important to their organization. 48.3% categorize the risk posed to their organization from the loss of COVID relief funding from the government as moderate to high risk to their organization’s continuity.”

  1. Charities Have Lost Fundraising Momentum With Younger Supporters

“49.5% of respondents say they’re either dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with the engagement their charity has seen with Canadians aged 18 to 30 years old.” 

  1. Working Structures are in Flux 

“45% of charities have changed their working structure since the pandemic. Of those, before the pandemic 85% of charities were fully in person, 14% hybrid, and 1% fully remote. Today, 39% are fully in person, 49% hybrid, and 12% fully remote.”

While many of these trends are concerning, we hope that publishing them here brings you some kind of solace in that you are not alone. If your charity is struggling to move forward with the pandemic’s long-lasting impact on finance, working structures, staff health and more, according to this data, you’re experiencing a normal impact of COVID-19. 

The Charis Foundation recently shared these 10 trends in a survey we conducted with some of our own charitable partners. There was strong resonance with almost all of the trends.

100% of our charitable partners surveyed said that “increased demand has created unprecedented strain on charities”; “inflation is intensifying demand for services, increasing service delivery and staffing costs” and “staff burnout and salaries are top concerns.” 

70% of our charitable partners surveyed experienced a decrease in funds raised as well as a decrease in momentum with younger supporters. 

It’s clear that our partners are facing many of the same challenges and are re-imagining how to do their work. As a foundation, we are praying and discerning how we can best serve our partners– not just financially but in other areas we like to call “the more.” Perhaps we can foster connections between like minded charities, be in regular prayer for our partners, or increase touch points with senior leaders to monitor risk of burnout and more. 

For charities reading this, perhaps the solutions you are working on to address these challenges could help other charities in your region. Maybe you would benefit from connecting with others for shared-learning and support. The 2023 Giving Report also includes the five most impactful steps charities can take in these uncertain times, which may be helpful for you. 

Does your organization relate to the above issues? Are there other issues you find more pressing? We would love to hear from you at