OTTAWA - Reported charitable donations surpassed $8.1 billion in 2008, down 5.3 per cent from 2007.

But Statistics Canada says, based on tax returns, the number of donors increased 1.7 per cent to just under 5.8 million. The agency says the median donation was $250 in 2008, meaning half of the donors gave more and half less - unchanged from 2007.

Donors in Nunavut reported a median donation of $500, tops in the nation for the ninth straight year.

Donors in Prince Edward Island had the second highest median at $370, followed by those in Alberta with $360.

Donors in Abbotsford-Mission, B.C., had by far the highest median donation among cities at $600, the sixth straight year they have led the way.

Kelowna, B.C., followed with a median of $380, slightly ahead of Calgary with $360.