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Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

Research and Facts

Imagine Canada’s various research programs and initiatives focus on knowledge development to support your work in the charitable sector.

Knowledge about charities — what they do, how they are supported and the environment in which they operate — is extremely valuable. The results are better understanding and decision-making by charities and those who support the sector either through funding or policy development.

Latest Research & Knowledge Development Work

State of Evaluation in Canada

March 2019 - A report that discusses the evaluation landscape in Canada. It explores what Canadian charities are measuring & evaluating, and the role and influence funders play. Learn more

State of Evaluation in Ontario

October 2018 - An Ontario-specific report that looks at what is being evaluated and measured by Ontario nonprofits and the role and influence of funders on measurement and evaluation. Learn more

30 Years of Giving in Canada

April 2018 - Take an in-depth look at the giving behaviour of Canadians in this report - who gives, how and why – and how these trends are re-shaping the future of philanthropy in Canada. Learn more

Young People & Nonprofit Work

May 2017 - Through a series of interviews with young workers, we gained insights into the experiences, aspirations and challenges these individuals face as they explore a career in the nonprofit sector.  Learn more

Download the paper (PDF)

Sector Monitor: Public Policy Activity

October 2016 — Responses to this edition of the Sector Monitor indicate that most charities (67%) are involved in some form of public policy activity, including 31% involved in political activities. This is substantially more than commonly believed. Learn more

Download the Sector Monitor (PDF)

Assets and Giving Trends of Canada’s Grantmaking Foundations

September 2014 — In collaboration with Philanthropic Foundations Canada and using data from Imagine Canada’s Grant Connect database this is the first-ever report about the largest 150 grantmaking foundations and the ten largest community foundations in Canada. These foundations give over $1billion annually to Canadian charities. Learn more

Download Assets and Giving Trends of Canada’s Grantmaking Foundations (PDF)

Talking About Charities 2013

November 2013 — We did the analysis for The Muttart Foundation’s public opinion poll surveying over 3,500 Canadians on their views about charities and issues affecting charities. Learn more

Download Talking About Charities (PDF)

Chief Economist for the Charitable & Nonprofit Sector

Measuring the impact of the sector and bringing economic issues facing charities and nonprofits to the forefront of public policy decision makers is the priority of the Chief Economist. Learn more

Charities in Canada

How many charities are there? Who oversees them? What do they contribute to the economy?

Key facts about Canada’s charities

Looking for more research?

Sector Source is an online resource centre and library for charities with current and past research including information about giving and volunteering in Canada. Curated topic guides highlight the essentials of organization management.

Help grow the Knowledge about Canada’s Charities

Our research programs and initiatives are often developed in partnership with other sector organizations, research firms and professionals, businesses or government agencies. Financial support helps us to carry out, grow and expand this important work.

Interested in becoming a research partner or supporter? Contact:

David Lasby
Director of Research
1 (800) 263-1178 ext. 262

Our National Partners

  • great west life
  • Lawson Foundation
  • Muttart Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Suncor
  • TD Bank
  • investors group

Learn more about our National Partners and other supporters.

Charitable Registration Number: 119218790 RR0001