Canadian Consumers Willing to Engage with Companies on Good Works

Oct 28, 2014 4:00 PM ET

TORONTO, October 28, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Canadian consumers are open to contributing to good causes through the companies they do business with.  These are the results of a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid and released at the inaugural Companies and Causes Canada conference in Toronto today.

Giving at the cash register and a donation-embedded purchase are the top two ways Canadian consumers would consider joining companies in their good works, each cited almost six in ten of respondents in the survey, a collaboration between the Cause Marketing Forum and Ipsos Reid. 

“Canadians do see companies supporting important causes, for example mental health, the environment and poverty, and they believe that these organizations should be doing this type of work,” said Barbara Brooks, Vice President of Ipsos Reid and the report’s author.  “But the more concrete and the more local the mechanism, the better”. 

For example, when asked how a $2.50 donation to fight hunger should be directed:

  • 36% said it should be used to provide 22 meals via a food bank
  • 23% said it should be given to a food bank in their province
  • 23% wanted to choose the charity
  • Only 3% wanted the money to go to a national anti-hunger organization
  • 15% had no preference

Eight Canadians in ten reported that, price and quality being comparable, they would be likely to switch brands to one affiliated with a good cause.   

“To influence such behavior, companies must make people aware of their pro-social efforts”, said David Hessekiel, President of Cause Marketing Forum, organizer of the Companies & Causes Canada conference and creator of, an online resource for Canadian business and nonprofit executives.  

When asked how they’d like companies to communicate with them about their cause-related activities, consumers show a preference for in store channels - packaging and at the shelf – where they are often making the brand choice decision.  

A number of companies are lauded for supporting good causes, according to the results of the survey.  Tim Horton’s and Canadian Tire are the most top of mind among Canadian consumers.  

The financial sector was the industry consumers most associated with supporting causes today while the alcohol and pharmaceutical sectors are thought to be the least involved.

The study suggests that there is little downside for those causes affiliated with companies through cause marketing.   Nearly eight consumers in ten say that they rarely or never ‘reduce the amount I personally give to a cause after seeing a company supporting it.’


To learn more about the results of this study, contact:

Barbara Brooks, Vice President, Ipsos Reid

416 324-2003


Media Contacts:

Megan Strand, Communications Director, Companies & Causes Canada