12 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

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GivingTuesday is on the horizon! Following a shopping-filled Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday is the world’s largest generosity movement. It is a day dedicated to celebrating and spreading kindness through acts of generosity like volunteering, donating, and fundraising to uplift others. Canadians are encouraged to support any cause they care about on GivingTuesday 2022 which is set to take place on November 29th. 

The state of charitable giving has changed so much over the last three years and this year is no different. Many Canadians and charities have felt the effects of inflation and pandemic recovery impacting their capacity to engage in charitable giving. Leading many to adjust their charitable giving budgets or discover other ways to give back like engaging in social advocacy to show support to those facing injustices in their communities. 

Last October, CanadaHelps commissioned an Ipsos poll on inflation, which found that 20% of Canadians plan to reduce their giving in 2022. 74% of respondents shared that the primary reason for reducing their giving is due to the rising cost of living, while others stated that their reason for giving less was due to the pandemic (31%).  That being said, many Canadians still have giving top of mind and want to give more as 13% of Canadians in the same survey stated they would give more by year’s end.

As GivingTuesday approaches, the team at CanadaHelps is highlighting 12 unique ways Canadians can come together and spread generosity in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

1. Act of Kindness

GivingTuesday is all about spreading kindness and doing what we can to uplift one another and the communities around us. A simple act of kindness can do wonders for someone’s day, and it’s so easy to do. Pay for the stranger’s meal or coffee behind you in line, leave a little something special for delivery workers dropping off packages at your door, or leave a kind note out for someone to find. Let’s hope that the recipient keeps the good deeds rolling too!

2. Set up a monthly donation

As much as an act of kindness is appreciated, so many
communities across Canada are in dire need of support year-round. If it is within your means, the best way to support your community is with
a monthly donation to a local charity. Monthly donations help charities plan ahead and ensure that they have funding throughout the year, while also helping donors keep track of budgeting and their charitable giving throughout the year.donate winter must haves

3. Donate winter must-haves like coats, blankets, and socks

It is well-known that Canadian winters are no joke! Across the country, temperatures range from 5 to -15°C and can drop as low as -30 to -40°C during the winter months.1
Unfortunately, many Canadians are unprepared for the harsh cold weather. An easy way to give is by digging deep into your closet and donating any gently used warm clothing to those in need. Warm winter coats are one of the most needed items to survive Canadian winters. Consider charities that support refugees as they will be prepping for their first winter, or donate them to homeless shelters. Find charities accepting clothing donations near you.

4. Send your loved ones a Charity Gift Card

The holiday season is always challenging when you have a hard-to-buy-for loved one. We have all found ourselves struggling to pinpoint the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t seem to need anything. This year, consider a Charity Gift Card! CanadaHelps Charity Gift Cards are convenient, quick, and easy feel-good gifts that encourage people in your circle to give back to the community. The purchaser is able to pick the value, design and can choose to send a personalized message with their gift. It is the perfect gift to send someone far away or a great stocking stuffer if you are looking to teach kids about charitable giving during the holidays! Plus, the purchaser gets a tax receipt for the Charity Gift Card and the recipient can give to a charity they love, or pick a charitable gift in our gift guide.
Volunteering for Charity_GivingTuesday

5. Volunteer at your favourite charity 

The gift of time is another valuable way to give. Charities are busy during this time of year and many would be happy to benefit from your time and talent.  Whether the cause closest to your heart is ending homelessness, improving mental health, or advancing health care, find a way to get your boots on the ground and directly help those in need. Find a volunteer centre near you to connect with volunteer opportunities in your community or at your favourite charities.

6. Donate blood 

One of the most needed but overlooked ways to give is by donating blood. Last year, Canadian Blood Services faced a dangerously low supply of all blood types, and in June, it reached its smallest donor base in a decade.2 Those who are  O negative (the universal blood type) are highly encouraged to donate blood if they are able as this donation can be used by anyone who is in need of blood. Blood donations are essential to our healthcare system and save countless lives. Visit Canadian Blood Services to schedule an appointment.

7. Donate to a charity on CanadaHelps

Every year, GivingTuesday jumpstarts the giving season, an essential time for charities. In August, CanadaHelps surveyed Canada’s small charities and found that 41% of small charities saw an increase in demand for their services at the start of the pandemic, but demand has returned to pre-pandemic levels for only 5% of small charities. It has become clear that many of Canada’s charities, especially small charities, are struggling to continue the important work they do.
Many charities generate a large portion of their donations for the year during this time, allowing them to make an impact year-round. Last year, generous Canadians came together to raise $11.4 million dollars via CanadaHelps, and this year with your help, we hope to exceed that. Find your favourite charity to donate to among the 86,000 registered charities on CanadaHelps.org.
Indigenous young women laughing_Donate to Unite for Change

8. Support multiple charities with a single donation on Unite for Change

For those who have a favourite cause but may not know of a specific charity focused on that cause, look to Unite for Change to help.
Launched in November 2021 and powered by CanadaHelps, Cause Funds on Unite for Change are an innovative way to give a single donation that will make a broad and lasting impact by supporting a group of registered charities working towards the same cause. This year, some of our most popular Cause Funds were the Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Fund, and End Hunger Fund.If you can, dig deep in your kitchen to clean out those cupboards and take non-perishables to a local food bank. If you have non-perishables like pasta, tuna, rice, or peanut butter, we encourage you to find a local food bank to donate them to.

9. Donate food to your local food bank

Now more than ever, food banks are in need of support as inflation has brought up the cost of food by 9.7%. Many Canadians are turning to food banks for support as the cost of living continues to rise. According to Food Banks Canada, this year’s food bank usage represents a 15% increase compared to March 2021. Overall, food bank visits have skyrocketed since 2019 and have hit the highest year-over-year increase in usage since the aftermath of the 2008 recession.3If you can, dig deep in your kitchen to clean out those cupboards and take non-perishables to a local food bank. If you have non-perishables like pasta, tuna, rice, or peanut butter, we encourage you to find a local food bank to donate them to.

10. Donate new toys and books for children

Unfortunately, too many children won’t have a new gift wrapped under the tree this year — a reality facing so many families who can’t afford gifts in their budget. As holiday shopping begins, consider adding a few additional toys and books to your holiday shopping list. Many local charities such as churches look for donations of new toys and books to wrap up and give to children. Take a look at Salvation Army’s Toy Mountain to see if they are accepting toy donations near you this holiday season.
donate Securities for GivingTuesday

11. Donate Securities

 In the midst of all your holiday planning, don’t forget your finances! If you are an investor, one of the most strategic ways to give is by giving securities or mutual funds this holiday season to reap the tax benefits. Canadians who make a donation of securities prior to December 16th get a 2022 tax receipt and when donating securities or mutual funds, you don’t pay the capital gains tax, meaning your donation can make an even bigger difference!

12. Connect with your community with a personal fundraiser

The holiday season is all about coming together to show gratitude and love towards one another. So what better way to embody the holiday spirit than to launch a fundraiser? Gather your community, school, family and friends to make a big difference for those in need this year.
Fundraisers are a great way to celebrate birthdays, weddings, holiday parties, personal challenges, and more! This holiday season, make coming together more meaningful by rounding up your loved ones to make a difference. Setting up a fundraiser on CanadaHelps.org is simple and easy. Organizers and donors can benefit from features like instant charitable tax receipts, donations going directly to the charity, zero cost to organizers and donors, plus the security of working with a trusted charity.


This GivingTuesday, there are many ways we can give to communities in need. Financial gifts are always appreciated, but oftentimes we overlook the ways in which we can spread kindness with simple actions. At CanadaHelps, we encourage everyone to come together to do what they can to make a difference on a day that is all about giving back. 

So many Canadians across the country are struggling in the face of inflation and pandemic recovery, but with your help, we can lift some of that strain. Let’s come together in support of one another to make a big difference. CanadaHelps is here to support charities and Canadians as we move through the giving season to ensure all Canadians have a happy holiday season! Tweet, post, or comment below with your favourite way to give and don’t forget to tag us on social. 



1 RBC Ventures Inc. website, ArriveIn, 2022, https://arrivein.com/daily-life-in-canada/how-to-prepare-for-your-first-winter-in-canada/#:~:text=Canadian%20winters%20can%20be%20freezing,common%20in%20November%20and%20December.

2 Blood.ca, Canadian Blood Services, June. 2022, https://www.blood.ca/en/about-us/media/newsroom/number-blood-donors-plummets-during-covid-19-lowest-point-decade 

3 Food Bank Canada, Hunger Count 2022, 2022, 

HungerCount 2022: From a Storm to a Hurricane (foodbankscanada.ca)

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