Skip to content
9/21/22 3:00 PM 8 min reading

Philanthropy: the differences between Canada and France

Can we say that one country is more generous than the other? For which causes do they contribute? These are the questions our experts will answer in this article!

IMPORTANT : for comparison purposes, all amounts are converted to Canadian dollars (CAD).


Are Canadians more generous than the French?
The corporate share of the countries' generosity
What is the breakdown of donations to causes?
Canadian and French donors' concern



Are Canadians more generous than the French?

In 2020, Canada raised 10 billion dollars in donations despite the health crisis. This is an impressive figure, representing 0.77% of the gross domestic product (GDP), placing Canada third on the podium of the most generous countries behind New Zealand and the United States.

In France, the total amount of donations raised represents 11.6 billion dollars! Of course, France raises more than Canada, given the number of inhabitants. However, Canada (+ 38M inhabitants) gives an average of $263 per inhabitant compared to $172 for France (+ 67M inhabitants) each year.

générosité des canadiens

It' s important to note that Canadian generosity has been slowing down for the last few years. On the other hand, the French are mobilizing more and, in 2021, the country recorded an increase of 4.5% in donations. Will we have a new country on the 3rd step of the generosity podium?

One thing is certain, both countries are generous. Now it's the companies' turn to be under the microscope!


The corporate share of the countries' generosity

Corporate philanthropy accounts for a significant portion of donations in the West. In 2020 in Canada, businesses contributed over $4.5 billion. Of this amount, half is donations and half is sponsorships or sponsored goods. For these companies, donating is more beneficial to the employer brand. Indeed, 71% of Canadians consider it important to work for a company that is socially committed to its community. The importance that companies place on integrating a strong social brand into their economic, social and human strategy will allow them to stand out positively in the medium and long term with all their stakeholders.

In 2020 in France, companies also contributed $4.5 billion. If the French are mobilizing more in recent years, the same is true for companies. Compared to the years 2010 to 2019, corporate generosity has jumped 119% despite the COVID-19 crisis. As in Canada, a large portion of donations were made in goods: masks, disinfectant gels or foodstuffs.

To get a better picture of the generosity of Canadians and French people, we need to know: why do they donate?

générosité des  entreprises


What is the breakdown of donations to causes?

The distribution of donations is quite varied. Here are 3 major causes supported by each country.

In Canada






Local community services



Child and youth protection

In France







The fight against exclusion
and poverty




Support for
medical research


The donor profiles are quite similar. In addition, the environment has climbed in the last few years to the top 10 most supported causes in both countries! Good news for our planet's health. And speaking of health, what is the state of sponsorship in hospitals?

Fundraising in the hospital setting

Health care is at the heart of Canadian and French donors' concerns. So, what about fundraising in hospitals?

Recently, French hospitals have undertaken structured fundraising strategies. Public authorities are encouraging public health institutions to develop their own resources.

In Canada, hospitals have long-standing experience in fundraising, optimized by close collaboration between the hospital's management and its foundation, as well as the mobilization of its entire staff.

Hospitals and foundations are increasingly undertaking online fundraising to grow and it' s working. However, this transaction method can cause concern for some donors.

hopital collecte de fond


Canadian and French donor' concern

One thing that Canadians and the French have in common is the fear of being the victim of fraud or scams. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in online donations (7% in Quebec for example) and social media. This rapid migration has forced organizations and foundations to set up online campaigns, much to the delight of the younger generation.

Want to learn more about how and why to reach young donors? Here's how.        

With the risk of fraud being a barrier for some donors, it's essential that your organization's transactional platform be equipped with a strong and reliable security system like Stripe: DonnaPay's fraud protection radar.

While Canadian philanthropy seems to be more mature, philanthropy in France is developing rapidly thanks to the commitment of its businesses. Health and youth are two causes that are close to the hearts of Canadian and French donors. If some people thought that the COVID-19 crisis had slowed down the charitable sector, it' s not the case. Donors' habits and organizations' means have changed, but the desire to help others is still strong.


Talk to one of our experts to learn more about our services and digital coaching.