On a wing and a prayer: How religion affects volunteering and charitable giving in Canada
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Arts
The Western world as we know it is riding on a wing and a prayer as talk of a recession looms. Canada‟s financial state is troubling and often in situations such as this volunteering and charitable donations are relied on in an attempt to perpetuate normality in a sinking world. With generosity or philanthropy being such an important part of Canada, it is necessary to examine where these resources are coming from and why certain individuals are more likely to give communal support. Religious groups and religious people have been identified as a primary group of volunteers and financial supporters to charities. This paper will explore whether or not religious people demonstrate higher levels of giving and volunteering than the general public in Canada today and why. Previous research has concluded that religious individuals are more philanthropic than non-religious people, but there is some controversy as to how this difference may be explained. Social ties and religiosity are the two primary reasons given in the literature as to why religious people are more philanthropic than non-religious people. This study finds that religious people do give more charitably than non-religious people, but that there is no significant difference between the volunteer rates of these two groups. It also finds that of the charitable donations made by religious people a large portion of them go to religious groups. The factor that was found to help explain why religious people give more was religious teachings.
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