12 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

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The Holiday Season is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited to share 12 ways Canadians can spread the gift of generosity from coast-to-coast both big and small. 

The impacts of rising inflation has been felt by Canadians and charities alike. This includes the reduced capacity of donors to give and the challenges faced by charities in operating at pre-pandemic levels. This has lead 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.

A CanadaHelps commissioned Ipsos poll that was published late last year that found that 19% of Canadians plan to reduce their giving in 2023. At the same time 24% of Canadians say they expect to need support from charitable services within the next six months to meet essential needs such as food, shelter, or health services. A rising cost of inflation is the primary cause and charities are left to fill in the gaps of inadequate government services. Yet, there are still many Canadians that have giving top of mind and want to give more as stated by 13% of Canadians in the same survey.

1. Act of Kindness

GivingTuesday onwards to the Holidays 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. In 2021, Canadian Blood Services faced a dangerously low supply of all blood types, and in June 2022, 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 $13 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 food costs. Many Canadians are turning to food banks for support as the cost of living continues to rise. According to Food Banks Canada, food bank usage was at the highest levels in Canadian history in 2023. 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.  Alternatively, you can make a donation to a food bank or food program that allows  theses charities to serve the growing number of Canadians that rely on them.

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 8th for mutual funds and December 16th for all other securities get a 2023 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 Holiday Season, 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 

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