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B.C. given high marks for giving

British Columbians are solidifying their status as some of the most giving people in Canada, according to a report released yesterday.

British Columbians are solidifying their status as some of the most giving people in Canada, according to a report released yesterday.

The Fraser Institute study, which focused on charitable giving in North America, found that B.C. residents make the country’s second-largest individual charitable donations (averaging at $1,820 per donor), surpassed only by Manitobans.

British Columbians were also found to donate the third-highest percentage of their personal incomes to charity, at .85 per cent.

Though the latter number represents an upward trend from recent years, B.C.’s generosity continues to remain somewhat overshadowed by recession realities.

A study by the Vancouver Foundation released earlier this month found many local charities complaining of dwindling revenue at a time of increasing need. Forty-nine per cent of the organizations surveyed claimed to have seen a drop in revenue in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Still, B.C. charities are not rushing to play the victim card.

“I think British Columbians prefer to deal with positives rather than negatives,” said Maj. Brian Venables of the Vancouver Salvation Army.

“If you’re constantly going to the well saying, ‘We need help, we need help,’ I think it’s less productive than if you focus on all the good we’re doing.”

“People like to back a winner,” agreed Catherine Clement of the Vancouver Foundation.

Clement noted it’s important to remember that personal donations represent “only a small piece of the pie” for many charities, with government grants, corporate funding and endowment gifts offering equally significant revenue sources.

 
 
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