Close this search box.

Expert advice: Donating during a pandemic

What does donating to charity look like now? Do I need to give more? How can I balance charitable giving with saving? What will the impact of my donation be? 

Our donors make a difference in the lives of vulnerable community members every single day. We want donors to feel confident and informed when giving to United Way East Ontario, so we can continue to be there for our neighbours in need throughout the year.

With the 2021 charitable tax deadline fast approaching, we’ve teamed up with Brent Villeneuve, Investment Specialist at Scotiabank, for some expert advice. He has tips for new and returning donors looking to make a smart donation this holiday season while considering the effects of COVID-19.

1. Your coffee budget can go a long way.

Try taking small steps like not buying coffee for a month and putting that money towards a donation. Any amount can be put towards helping your community, “whether it’s $5 or $50, every bit counts.” 

"People are willing to give, whether it’s the same amount as last year, a bit less or a bit more, people know the importance of giving."

Another year has shown us that the pandemic is still affecting our lives in big waysWe’re learning to carry on, but the needs haven’t gone away. People still need you, and will continue to long after the holiday season, which means it is even more crucial to think about how you can spread your budget throughout the year. 

“Whether it’s a percentage or a dollar amount of your take-home income, think about how you can make donating a part of your regular monthly expenses,” Brent says.   

Donating regularly also ensures that you have already accounted for your tax credits when tax season rolls around, making it easier to plan for what might be coming back your way.

A photo of Brent Villeneuve

2. Make the most of your charitable tax credit.

Don’t wait until the new year! If you wait until January to donate, you won’t receive the credit until you file your 2023 taxes. 

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on how fortunate some of us have been and remember that many people are still struggling, Brent says. 

"For people who have been lucky enough to work during the pandemic, they have been able to save because they aren’t commuting, going on vacations, or eating out as often. They are in the position to give the same amount, if not more."

You have until midnight on December 31, 2021, to make a charitable donation to save on your 2021 taxes. Use United Way’s tax calculatorto find out how much you can save with your donation.

3. Think about your impact.

"If we are feeling the pinch of inflation, so are the charities."

Together, we’ve helped the most vulnerable people in this pandemic, and while we have made immense progress in our communities, the challenges are far from over. Your support helps us build stronger communities that can weather any storm. 

“If anything, the pandemic has shown that mental health and addiction is more prevalent than ever, and by donating, you can help keep community initiatives and programs afloat,” says Brent. 

Whether it’s tackling youth homelessness, supporting vulnerable seniors, making sure kids succeed in school, or making mental health support easier to access, United Way invests in long-term solutions to the toughest local challenges. 

When you give, you ensure the supports put in place during the pandemic are there for the people who need them—now, and in the future. 

Because of you, this season will be brighter for people in need.

Give today and your donation will be matched by Scotiabank, doubling your impact.†

As we come to the end of another challenging year, we thank you for your continued support! 

* This tax estimator is for information purposes only, and is based on a donor within Ontario giving to charity during the 2021 calendar year. Your tax returns will vary based on your income and the other deductions you might claim. United Way East Ontario recommends that all donors seek assistance from qualified tax professionals to understand the advantages of supporting charitable organizations. For more information visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Holiday Matching Gift Opportunity Details 2021  




Similar Stories

From May 1–21, 552 participants hiked, biked, ran, danced, and more, all to Move for Youth. Together, we moved more than 62 million steps, doubling our initial goal.

Sign up for
our newsletter

Get stories of local love straight to your inbox! Stay up to date with United Way’s impact and latest news by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.