|Project Title:||Charity Doubles Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To facilitate a team of experts to develop a comprehensive strategy to double charitable giving in Canada over the next ten years.|
Individual giving, which is the foundation of charity, has decreased precipitously since 2007, after a period of growth going back to 1995. Yet, despite overall giving increases in the longer term, the number of taxfilers claiming donations has decreased significantly by nearly a third, while the average donation has almost doubled. Imagine Canada summarizes these trends by noting that “the donor base is getting ever-smaller and changes in total donations are now primarily driven by variations in how much donors give.”
This means that charities rely on an ever-smaller number of people for donations – and that they can no longer count on average Canadians for financial support. This has significant implications for the future of the Canadian charitable sector, and is a problem which only the next generation can fully address. Giving is learned behaviour, and it’s a wicked problem for which there is presently no answer. Solutions are urgently needed, since there will be significant social problems if we leave the problem unsolved.
Cardus is proposing to initiate a moonshot: Charity Doubles, on an individual basis. We need a bold and ambitious goal like this to reframe the problem, and its solution – rather than simply tinkering with the status quo. This moonshot implies that a minor shift, or modest repair will be insufficient for initiating the kind if changes which the Canadian charitable sector requires. In pursuing a solution to the problem of decreased charitable giving, we are in need of a significant goal.
A prize mechanism is the most effective tool for accomplishing this goal. Our request to Stronger Together, is to fund the work required to bring the prize contest from the idea stage, to the point where we are ready to launch. To this end, we will bring critical and creative minds together into a ‘design team’ that can frame all of the basic elements that are required to make this project a success. The design team will consist of ten to twelve members with varied areas of expertise, including charity experts, thinkers who are qualified in recognition theory and the delivery of prizes, a marketing expert, etc. Select representatives from the charitable world, including Stronger Together, will also be invited. Together, they will do the thinking required to launch a major public prize – and to secure the funding for it.
A prize contest is cost-effective way of mobilizing resources and generating widespread recognition of the problem – and its solutions. It is a cost-efficient way of generating publicity and shifting behaviour on a massive scale. Even if we recognize that the design team may think of a better process for achieving 2Xin10 (or even determine that the goal cannot be achieved), we can be confident that they will begin that process by orienting themselves towards moonshot and the ten-year horizon for accomplishing it.
- To equip thousands of charities across Canada with the solutions and data they need to double their revenue within the next ten years (2Xin10); and
- To double average donation values amongst individual Canadian donors within the next ten years (2Xin10)
*Content provided by Cardus