Communities in southeastern Manitoba continue to trend above the national average when it comes to making charitable donations. 

Statistics Canada released data this week from the 2021 tax year. It shows that the median donation per tax filer in Canada that year was $360 and for Manitoba was $550. Both those averages were up slightly from 2020.  The median amount represents the middle point: half of the donors gave more than the median and the other half gave less. 

Spokesperson Dominique Pinard says what that means is that the pandemic did not stop Canadians from making charitable donations, as the 2021 tax year was still at the heart of the pandemic.

When you take a look at charitable donations per tax filer in southeastern Manitoba, most communities are trending much higher than the provincial and national numbers. Leading the way was Blumenort with a median donation of $3,710, which was up $80 from 2020. Next on that list was Kleefeld at $2,470, then Steinbach at $2,270, then Landmark at $2,130, then Grunthal at $1,850, then New Bothwell at $1,670, then Niverville at $1,200, then La Broquerie at $760, then Ste. Anne at $730, then St. Pierre at $660 and then both St. Malo and Lorette at $470.

The median donation amount in Canada was $360 in 2021. Manitoba is above that - tied with Alberta at $550. Nunavut topped the list at a median donation amount of $880.

"We notice that the median donation for most of the southeastern Manitoba regions is actually much higher than the national and the provincial donations in Manitoba," adds Pinard.

As mentioned, Steinbach's median donation was $2,270. Just like in 2020, that is the highest average among all Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) and Census Agglomerations (CA) in Canada. CMAs have a population of over 100,000, while CAs have a population of over 10,000. Winkler ranks number two on that list, with a median donation of $1,820.

When it comes to the percentage of tax filers claiming a donation in 2021, the national average was 17.7 per cent, while the provincial average was 19.7 per cent. Both those percentages dropped from 2020. However, for 17 consecutive years, Manitoba has been the province with the highest proportion of tax filers declaring charitable donations. In terms of CMAs and CAs across Canada, Winkler had the highest percentage of tax filers claiming a donation, at 26.0 per cent, with Steinbach coming in at number three with 24.7 per cent and Portage at number four with 23.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, Pinard says another interesting statistic is that the median donation for women is generally lower than for men. In Manitoba, for every $5 that a man will donate, a woman will give $4. The difference is slightly greater in Steinbach, where for every $3 that a man gives, a woman will donate $2. 

"That could be due to employment income, which is usually lower for women than for men," she says. "That would need to be investigated further."