Still Christmas shopping? New study reveals why you should stop

TORONTO – A new study suggests almost two-thirds of Canadian adults would rather see a donation to charity on their behalf rather than receive a gift this holiday season.

The poll for BMO Harris Private Banking also found that 78 per cent of respondents would consider making that charitable donation rather than giving a traditional gift.

The survey also found that nearly half of Canadians (45 per cent) volunteered their time in 2012.

The bank does caution that people need to beware of fraudulent charities, notably solicitations made over the phone.

It advises you ask for the charity’s registered name, address and telephone number and double check with the Canada Revenue Agency to make sure it’s a legitimate outfit — and always ask for a tax receipt.

The findings are based on two surveys conducted for the bank by Pollara between Nov. 2 and 9 and Dec. 6 and 10. Both surveys polled 1,000 Canadians 18 and over and are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.