Survey: Canadians concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s health charities; support call for federal funding aid

Posted: 07-20-2020


Canada’s health charities facing financial crisis; federal relief needed to help
 protect delivery of critical patient support and research across the country

OTTAWA, ON, July 20, 2020 – According to survey results released today by the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC), most Canadians are concerned or somewhat concerned about the negative, long-term impact of COVID-19 on the country’s health charities and their ability to deliver critical services across the country.

According to the data collected by Nanos Research:

  • Four out of five Canadians say health charities play an important (34%) or somewhat important (48%) role in Canada’s health care system
  • Seven in ten Canadians believe the decline of donations to health charities will have a negative (22%) or somewhat negative (49%) impact on the healthcare system
  • Nearly six in ten Canadians are concerned (15%) or somewhat concerned (44%) about the impact on themselves if health charities or the services they provide are not available because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Nearly two in three Canadians are concerned (18%) or somewhat concerned (47%) that vital health research will not be done if health charities do not have sufficient resources

Estimates suggest that HCCC members have experienced a 50 per cent drop in revenue as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on health charities’ fundraising efforts. Consequently, many of these organizations have been forced to reduce their teams and pull back on services, reducing the amount and types of support available to Canadians.

“Canadian health charities are essential to the well-being of Canadians,” says Tammy Moore, Chair, Health Charities Coalition of Canada Board of Directors and CEO, ALS Society of Canada. “Our members are increasingly concerned about the significant impact of this downturn in revenues on Canadians. Illness and the need for social services and evidence-informed information does not stop because of crisis; actually, they increase,” says Moore.

HCCC members have requested up to $28 million a month in support from the federal government and, according to the survey results, Canadians support this request for federal aid. In fact, three in five Canadians support the federal government providing direct financial support to make up the difference so that charities can continue to provide their services.

How Canada’s Health Charities Support Canadians

Health charities play a critical role in Canadian communities, supporting social, physical and mental wellness across the country and offering opportunities for education on important social issues and supporting vital health research.

In a typical year, Canada’s health charities directly support approximately 2.9 million Canadians.

Canada’s health charities are largely funded by private donations. In turn, health charities rely on those donations to advocate on behalf of Canadians and their wellness. Specifically, Canada’s health charities:

  • Fund some of the most important leading health research in the world;
  • Provide leadership in lifestyle change for prevention, early detection, management and quality of life;
  • Develop and offer programs to support patients, families and caregivers; and
  • Translate knowledge gained through research to affect better public policy and better health outcomes for Canadians.

Members of the HCCC alone fund in excess of $155 million annually for health research and research training.

“Even current services cannot be sustained much longer,” says Moore. “There is a critical need for larger stabilization spending from the federal government to help organizations remain active now and once the crisis passes.”

About the Survey

Nanos Research conducted a hybrid telephone and online survey of 1,049 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between June 28 and July 2, 2020, as part of an omnibus survey. The research was commissioned by Health Charities Coalition of Canada. The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Canada. The margin of error for this survey is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Health Charities Coalition of Canada

Founded in 2000, the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC) is a member-based organization comprised of national health charities and patient groups who represent the voice of patients at all levels of the health continuum.  Our mission is to strengthen the voice of Canadians, patients and caregivers by promoting enhanced health policy and increased investment in health research. 

For more information about HCCC, visit   /healthcharitieshelp.aspx.

For a list of HCCC members, visit /membership/our-members.aspx.


For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Nkeonye Aniagu

Health Charities Coalition of Canada



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