Senior man in driver's seat of car
rmarmion/123RF

Your senior client might need your help with charitable giving—an important act for many people over the age of 65, finds a survey from Revera, an owner, operator and investor in the senior living sector located in Mississauga, Ont.

An overwhelming majority of Canadian seniors age 65 and older (89%) believe they play a significant role in working toward solutions to issues affecting the world, the survey found.

That’s not just talk, with nine in ten Canadian seniors saying they do something to support the charities or causes important to them. In fact, 82% said they donate money, and more than one-third (37%) volunteer their time, the survey found. Top causes for seniors were the environment, poverty and healthcare.

Financial contributions might be particularly important for seniors who face barriers such as being physically unable to volunteer or having lost a driver’s licence. In roundtable discussions, seniors who faced such barriers said they remained committed to giving back.

Seniors’ financial contributions are significant. StatsCan data show that Canadians age 65 and older accounted for 42% of donations in 2017—a proportion that has been growing—totalling more than $4 million. The average donation was $2,500, which exceeds the national average by 40%.

Despite the significant dollar value of seniors’ charitable givings, the positive results extend beyond the financial. Giving back allows seniors to “maintain a social, collective identity, to find an outlet for their skills and abilities, and to make a tangible contribution to their communities,” the survey said. In other words, it’s an “opportunity to be relevant.”

About the survey: An online survey of 1,000 Canadian seniors, age 65 and older, was completed in March 2019 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this quantitative study was +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20. In March and April 2019, discussion groups with 150 residents were held at 12 Rivera residences and long-term care homes in Ontario and B.C.