Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nonprofits: A Growth Sector in Canada: Part I

Digitizing, IT Solutions

Though we might not think of nonprofits being on the up and up, they actually are now. Statistics Canada claims that in 2007 the total for charitable donations has gone up by 33% in five years to $8.6 billion. Despite the recession, the factors that drive donations, such as the richest sector getting richer and the population's aging, continue to go in the same direction. Those at the top income levels can still afford to increase their giving and do so. The top Canadian donors are now in their 60s and the amount of people in that age range are expected to expand by 50% between 2006 and 2016. The general population is only predicted to increase by 8% over the same period.

However, most of the donations arrive in the old fashioned ways. Artez Interactive, a company specializing in online fundraising and technology estimates that only 3% of US$500 billion in donations were made online. “There are huge opportunities in helping charities move to digital systems,” says Artez CEO Philip King.

Another issue that came to the fore following the 2004 tsunami was that despite a large amount of donations, how can the funds be distributed quickly to those in need? British companies have begun working on this type of technology but North America has not yet made inroads. This could be a great opportunity for a company that can find better ways to get money out to the relevant organizations easily and with the proper security in place.

Stay tuned for Part II in this series.

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