A community police officer accepts a donation from a resident at a Charity Checkstop. There are now 86,051 charities in Canada. (Jeff Stokoe/Black Press File)

Why does B.C. have 12,273 charities?

Canada has 86,051 charities while B.C. has one per 407 people

How many charities do you know of, use or donate to? A handful? One or two? You might be surprised to learn there are 86,051 in Canada and 12,273 in B.C.

According to data compiled by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), there is one charity per 407 residents of B.C.

ALSO READ: Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

In a written statement, Dany Morin of the CRA explained what it takes to become a charity.

“Registered charities must have charitable purposes that fall into one or more of the following categories: the relief of poverty; the advancement of education; the advancement of religion; and other purposes beneficial to the community.”

Out of the five sectors that charities are grouped in, 3879 are religious while only 838 are related to health.

There are 2,609 welfare charities, 2,329 education charities and 2,617 that are “benefits to the community,” which include organizations such as libraries and museums.

According to the data, the oldest charities still running are 1,351 registered in 1967 when new rules came in. As of March 23 there have been 34 registered this year.

But if charities traditionally fill in the gaps of state support, does Canada really have over 86,000 cracks in its social system?

ALSO READ: Peninsula grandmothers salute Roaring ’20s fashion

According to the charities themselves, the short answer would appear to be no. Charities are diverse and often seek to enhance society rather than plugging gaps in social care. As well as cancer and education charities there is also a Scottish cultural centre, a Korean Methodist church and a Chihuahua rescue foundation, to name just three.

But why are there so many charities, especially as lots of them have overlapping or even identical goals?

Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation, which invests funds in local charities and community activities explains.

“The reasons are usually something has occurred in a person’s life and they want to support a cause that’s important to them. Sometimes they also do this to fill a niche. I was talking to someone this morning who said she felt there was a need to create an arts program in the schools for students from low income families and she started a charity that became, and still is, quite successful.”

Richardson says she advises clients to research if other similar charities exist and if a donor base is in place before they proceed.

ALSO READ: Deep Cove Mermaid raises eco-issues swimming Mexico, backed by Mexican Navy

Workers in the charity sector explain some charities are set up for tax or operational reasons, such as raising funds in Canada before building schools abroad. Institutions like universities or private schools, often need regular fundraising and so seek charitable status. Another reason is big donors sometimes have a one-at-a-time rule to try allocate funds fairly, which ironically incentivizes charities to resist joining together in fear of their chosen cause losing funding.

The numbers tell us that Victoria and Esquimalt have 855 registered charities, with communities on the Saanich Peninsula tacking on about 100 more. Richardson adds that the CRD has over 1,000 in total. The resourceful citizens of Vancouver swamp these numbers however, with 2,681 official charities registered in the city.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

HarbourCats bats hot in home return

Victoria squad downs Yakima Valley Pippins 17-2

Victoria veteran receives French Legion of Honour, becoming knight of France

Ted Vaughan was a pilot in the 408 “Goose” Squadron in WW2

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read