Charitable Sector Research

Imagine Canada and various other organizations provide analysis, research and data about major issues affecting charities and nonprofits. Below is an outline of key reports to follow to stay on top of the issues.

New! Read the latest data on giving and volunteering (2013) from Statistics Canada.

Talking About Charities (2013), David Lasby and Cathy Barr (Imagine Canada), Published by the Muttart Foundation. 

Latest Research From Imagine Canada

Assets and Giving Trends of Canada’s Grantmaking Foundations (by Philanthropic Foundations Canada & Imagine Canada)  this is the first-ever report about the largest 150 grantmaking foundations and the ten largest community foundations in Canada. These foundations give over $1 billion annually to Canadian charities.

State of the Sector

Charities and nonprofits play a vital role in Canadian society. The following are key reports and initiatives summarize different aspects of the sector. 

Sector Monitor

Sector Monitor (Imagine Canada) 

The Sector Monitor survey program regularly monitors the state of charities across the country and their ability to deliver their missions. The Eighth Sector Monitor report was released in April 2014. Responses to this edition of the Sector Monitor indicate that charity leaders are optimistic about the future.  Find more here.

Talking about Charities 

The Muttart foundation periodically conducts a public opinion poll to survey Canadians about their views about charities and issues affecting charities. See the most recent suite of results from Talking About Charities 2013.

Trends in Individual Donations: 1984-2010  (Imagine Canada, 2011).This Research Bulletin presents an overview of trends in charitable donations from 1984 to 2010, drawing on a number of data sources derived from Canadian personal income tax returns.

Reasearch about Giving

Research about Volunteering by Canadians

The Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating - available from Statistics Canada in Canadian Social Trends . Statistics Canada renews the data every four years (in line with the Census years); the most recent was 2010. Reports from 1997-2007 are available in the library. 

Journals and Additional Research

Imagine Canada's research projects past and present are listed on Sector Source. 

The Philanthropist is a quarterly journal that publishes articles about the sector's important contributions to our communities, our country, and our world. 

The Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research is a free publication "providing a stimulating and vibrant forum for the open dissemination of contemporary high-quality, peer-reviewed research on nonprofits and the social economy."

The Vital Signs reports are an annual check-up conducted by community foundations to measure the vitality of communities across Canada. The reports gather and publish data about significant social and economic trends and assign grades in areas critical to quality of life.

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