November 15th : National Philanthropy Day
To Help Build Solid Communities
Espace idées • November 6th, 2018
ational Philanthropy Day, which began in 1986, is held on November 15 each year and serves to recognize and honour all philanthropists in Canada. It is also an opportunity to highlight the nonprofit sector, an extremely important one for its contribution to communities, but also in terms of the revenue it generates and the impressive number of citizens it involves.
What is philanthropy?
Although this term is increasingly used in Quebec, many people still do not know the meaning. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, "Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It’s a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life". The word "philanthropy" comes from the ancient Greek "philanthrôpia" which means "love of humanity". This sector brings together all nonprofit organizations, as well as the many philanthropists (volunteers and donors) who contribute to improving the lives of people in our community by giving time and money to a cause that is close to their hearts.
More than donations
Philanthropy certainly includes cash donations, but it also encompasses in-kind donations, volunteering, community involvement, social entrepreneurship, responsible consumerism and more.
Without necessarily being aware, philanthropy surrounds us most of the time! Indeed, organizations offer many essential services that impact virtually every aspect of our lives in society: the environment, education, health, sports, arts and culture, human rights, etc.
Millions and billions
In its latest Report on Giving, Canadahelps.org reveals that the contribution of the charitable sector to Canadian GDP is estimated at $151 billion and that 170,000 nonprofit organizations (of which 86,000 are registered charities) employ 1.4 million full-time workers, which represents 10% of the workforce .
Imagine Canada adds that Canadians give more than $14 billion a year to registered charities . Hence the importance of talking about and recognizing philanthropy, especially during a national day dedicated to it!
What about Québec?
In 2018, the average donation in Québec was evaluated at $224 by Episode, a firm that specializes in philanthropy. In addition, their latest survey Étude sur les tendances en philanthropie au Québec en 2020, indicates that 72% of Quebecers support organizations through donations other than cash, such as donations of goods (food, clothing, etc.).
We are all philanthropists in our own way because we are doing small and big things to improve the lives of people in our community. We make annual donations, we give the gift of time and we help the causes that are dear to us. Congratulations to all of us and have a good National Philanthropy Day!