Monday, November 24, 2008

Aussies and Canadians really are alike... now I have the data to prove it!

I accept there are some subtle differences.

Canadians obsess about hockey. Australians obsess about football and cricket.

Canadians say 'eh'. Australians say 'no worries'.

We're talking semantics now. And in the eight months I have been living in this beautiful country I have been banging on about (see my recent blog on this) how alike Canadian and Aussie donors are.

And now I have some data to prove it.

On Friday I delivered the first round of the Canadian Benchmarking study that we at Pareto Fundraising have been working on with nine fantastic Canadian charities over the past five months.

And whilst I won't reveal all of the key findings (you'll have to join the cooperative to get the complete lowdown!), there are some fascinating insights that are worth sharing (and that are frighteningly similar to what we have experienced 'down under'), namely:

- The economic downturn is NOT currently impacting negatively on individual giving to date (up to June this year): in fact collectively the group has increased income levels from individuals, BUT organizational giving is down from the same time last year.

- Those charities that have invested in growing their monthly giving file are seeing the payoff from this focus with ongoing and committed support increasing rapidly over the last five years, whereas conversely one-time cash gifts have stagnated in the same period.

- Major gifts (for the purposes of this exercise we are talking over $1k (CAD) have been growing steadily both in terms of number of gifts and their level of total donations. **With a health warning that this was for the first half of the calendar year and this is one area that we may see a downturn in from July onwards.

Overall there are strong similarities between the performance of Australian and Canadian charities in terms of where growth is coming from and which areas are having an impact on the sector.

For more information on just how Canadian charities are stacking up, get in touch with me at or call me on +1 416 786 4059.

And for those going to the AFP Congress in Toronto starting tomorrow, I look forward to seeing you there!


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