CARP members strongly support refugees and the majority sees them as positive influence on society





December 18, 2015

Toronto ON: CARP members strongly support refugees and the majority sees them as positive influence on society. A third have donated or volunteered to relief. More than half give to charity – $1300 a year on average primarily to health research and religious charities.

In a new CARP Poll™ of more than 2400 members, close to two thirds (61%) say they approve of the government’s plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada in the next few months. More than one half expects these refugees to have a positive effect on Canadian society (53%). As many as one quarter “strongly approve” of the refugee resettlement plan (24%), and a fifth think the new Canadians will have a “very positive “effect on our society (20%).

In total, more than one third of members (34%) have donated money, goods or time to refugee relief, primarily money (17%). On average, the vast majority of CARP members who give to charity (92%) gave, on average, $1300 to $1400 this past year, and they preferred to give it to health research (27%), social welfare (16%) or religious charities (17%). The prime motivation for member giving is caring about a specific issue (29%) or just helping people (31%).

“This demonstrates once again, especially at this time of year, that older Canadians understand the needs of those less fortunate than themselves, and empathize with the feelings of those left stateless and rootless at the holidays. Our members have high expectations of this new government, but at this time of year, their only feeling is gratitude for the helping hand it has extended to the Syrian refugees” said Susan Eng, Executive Vice President of CARP


Detailed Findings

Close to one third of members approve of the refugee resettlement plan (61%).

Do you approve or disapprove of Canada’s plan to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees in the next few months?

   Strongly approve    24%
   Approve    37%
   Disapprove    19%
   Strongly disapprove    12%

More than half believe the Syrian refugees will have a positive effect on Canadian society (53%).

Will the Syrian refugees have a positive or negative effect on Canadian society?

   Very positive  20%
   Somewhat positive  33%
   Somewhat negative 18%
   Very negative  8%

In total, just more than a third of members have or will volunteer or donate money or goods to Syrian refugee relief (34%) and this is most likely to be money (17%)

Have you or will you donate any time, money or goods to Syrian refugee relief?

   Have/will donate money  17%
   Have/will donate goods  10%
   Have/will donate time  2%
   Have/will donate more than one  5%
Have not/will not donate 36%

Overall, the vast majority of CARP members have donated time, money or both this year (92%), once again, predominantly money (54%).

Have you made a donation to an organization or charity this year? This could include volunteering

YES 92%
   Donated funds  54%
   Volunteered  5%
   Both  33%
No 3%

On average, those members who have donated funds gave about $1300 this year.

How much money have you given in donations this year?

Less than $100 10%
$100 to $500 38%
$500 to $1000 21%
$1000 to $2000 15%
$2000 to $5000 11%
More than $5000 6%
AVG $$ $1300


Members favour health research for their giving (27%), followed by religious charities (17%) and social services agencies (16%).


Which ONE type of organization do you prefer to give to or volunteer for?  

Health research (cancer, heart and stroke, arthritis) 27%
Religious charity/organization 17%
Social welfare agency (AA, food banks) 16%
Umbrella organizations (United Way, ShareLife) 7%
Children’s funds (Foster Parents, Save The Children) 6%
Animal welfare (SPCA, Humane Society) 6%
Global issues (AIDS, World Vision, Africa) 4%
College or school 2%

Members are equally likely to say they give because they want to help people (31%) or because they care about a specific issue (29%). Other ways of expressing this altruism are that they want to give back (18%) and that they have always given (13%). Very few say they give for the tax receipts (3%).

Why do you give to charity or volunteer?

To help people 31%
I care about a specific issue 29%
Want to give back 18%
Have always given 13%
Religious motivation 5%
For the tax receipts 3%

This poll was administered to more than 2400 members of the CARP Poll™ online panel on December 17 and 18, 2015. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is plus or minus 2%, 19 out of 20 times.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission. CARP has 300,000 members nationwide.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Park   416.607.2471
Director, Strategic Communications
[email protected]

Anna Sotnykova  416.607.2475
Media & Communications Coordinator
[email protected]


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