A new survey commissioned by Canada Helps and Capital One Canada as part of Fraud Awareness Month, has found that 45% of millennials (aged 18-34 years) are taking no steps to ensure a charity is legitimate before making a donation, and more than half (52%) are spontaneous, “on the fly” donors. This kind of behaviour puts millenials at risk for fraud because they are casually handing over their hard-earned money and personal information with little to no planning or due diligence.
The survey found that compared to other generations, they are more than twice as likely to give personal information, nearly half as likely to ask if a charity is registered, and less than half as likely to ask for a solicitor’s identification. This relaxed attitude might explain why only 19% of millennials are very concerned about falling victim to a fraudster compared to 27% for other age groups.
“Across all generations and all donor methods, more than half of Canadians say they’re less likely to give to charity based on a fear of fraudsters,” said Owen Charters, CEO of CanadaHelps. “It’s important that donors know how to find legitimate causes, so they can feel comfortable giving to charity – online and off.”
The survey found that online appeals are becoming the new “door knock” with email (17%) and social media (17%) closely following telephone (20%) as the most frequent ways to solicit Canadians for charitable donations. Even though they’re receiving most solicitations online, over a third of Canadians don’t trust online donations as a secure channel. In fact, Canadians are less trusting of online donating (65%) compared to online retail purchases (84%) and online banking (90%).
“With more Canadians giving online than ever before, it is increasingly important for them to understand what to look for before giving out their credit card number and other personal information,” said Laurel Ostfield, spokesperson, Capital One Canada. “There are some simple steps they can take to ensure the donation they’re making is going to a legitimate cause, and we’re partnering with CanadaHelps on this campaign in an effort to educate as many people as possible about what they need to do to safeguard their financial information.”
To educate the public about charity fraud, Capital One Canada and CanadaHelps are teaming up during Fraud Prevention Month for the third annual Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz. This quiz will help participants identify the signs of charity fraud to hopefully avoid these malicious schemes. During the month of March, Capital One will also be topping up individual donations made through CanadaHelps.org by $10, up to a total of $25,000 for Canadian charities.
The online Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz is designed to inform Canadians about the risk of charity fraud and how to prevent it. Accessible at Canada Helps, every participant who completes the quiz will be eligible to have their personal donation made via Canadahelps topped up by $10, thanks to Capital One Canada.
Capital One and CanadaHelps offer the following charity fraud prevention tips:
- Make sure the charity is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provides you with their charitable registration number. CanadaHelps.org only lists charities registered with the CRA
- Ask to see a charity’s financial statements. These should be readily available to anyone who asks and give you a sense of how the charity spends their money
- Understand the impact the charity has and what difference they make in the community. Charities should be able to give you clear outcomes of the programs or services they provide
- Research the causes you want to support and how much of your budget you want to donate to charity. You will feel less pressured to give when solicited if you have already planned your giving
- Avoid any charity that pressures you into making a donation or isn’t open to sharing more information about their organization
Additional Survey Results:
- Half of Canadians (53%) are less likely to give to charities because of the possibility of falling victim to a fraudster; 72% believe there’s more charity fraud today than 10 years ago.
- Just 3% donated via social media (like Facebook) and just 2% think donating by text message is secure.
- Canadians identify the following as important or very important factors in motivating them to make charitable donations online: easier/faster (29%); more traceable (24%); safer/more secure (21%); can confirm legitimacy of organization I’m donating to (16%).
- Millennials are less likely (65%) to think that there is an increase in charity fraud, compared to Canadians age 35-54 (73%) and 55+ (78%).
- Millennials are the most comfortable donating online (24%) compared to Canadians age 35-54 (14%) and 55+ (9%).
About the survey
From February 13th, to February 15th, 2012, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,000 Canadian adults 18 years plus, who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The Angus Reid Forum is owned and operated by Vision Critical. Individuals were sampled according to Census data to be representative of the Canadian national adult population. The full dataset has been statistically weighted according to the most current gender, age, region, education (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. The margin of error is ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.