Despite harsh economic conditions and the strain that charitable organisations are facing with declining donations, in Canada, Aeroplan reports that its charitable giving programmes are increasing their donations. This article is copyright 2009 The Best Customer Guide.

Aeroplan's members have collectively donated more than 6 million miles as part of the 'Aeroplan Match Days' programme, with donations being sent to Aeroplan Beyond Miles partners including Medecins Sans Frontieres, Schools Without Borders, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and Veterinarians Without Borders. For all of these causes, Aeroplan has matched member donations to bring the total donation to 12 million miles (equivalent to approximately 100 international flights, 800 hotel nights, or 2,400 car rental days).

The Beyond Miles programme allows members to donate some or all of their loyalty miles to eight Canadian charities that are committed to improving lives and enriching communities across Canada and abroad. Since the programme was launched in May 2006, more than 145 million miles have been donated by members.

Earlier in 2009, Aeroplan launched its 'Aeroplan Match Days' to allow each Beyond Miles partner organisation to select and promote one day in the year when Aeroplan would match all donations for a 24 hour period. Most recently the Stephen Lewis Foundation participated in a Mile Matching Day, raising 1.9 million miles to commemorate World AIDS Day on 1st December 2009.

On 5th November 2009, more than 3.2 million Aeroplan Miles were donated by members to Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Schools Without Borders raised almost 2 million miles on 16th November 2009. In June 2009, in the first of the programme's mile matching days, Veterinarians Without Borders raised 500,000 miles. All the miles donated were matched by Aeroplan, and 100% of the miles went directly to these organisations. During these campaigns, Beyond Miles partners have made creative use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube to help spread the word and encourage member participation.

Beyond Miles partners use Aeroplan Miles to offset costs related to travel by air as well as hotel accommodations and car rentals. Aeroplan offsets 100% of all carbon emissions from flights taken by Beyond Miles partners using miles donated to them via the Beyond Miles programme. Aeroplan employees also have an opportunity to support the charitable partners through employee engagement trips, designed to inspire employees and raise awareness of the projects that Beyond Miles partners are working on around the world.

Aeroplan also operates a Charitable Pooling programme that allows members to use miles to support individuals, families or local grass roots charities in need, and 100% of the donated miles go directly to these individuals and groups. Members have already pooled more than 45 million miles into more than 300 pooling accounts throughout Canada.