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Data Release: 52% of Canadians Looking to Volunteer Haven't Been Engaged

July 3, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Cara Eaton
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Last updated: July 3, 2020


On Friday, June 26th, Stats Canada and Volunteer Canada released two new data sets indicating trends in volunteerism:



Study: Volunteering in Canada: Challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic
2018 General Social Survey Data on Giving, Volunteering and Participating in Canada now available


Highlights from two surveys on COVID-19 pandemic volunteering

May 2020 data collection


Volunteer Toronto will be requesting city-specific data from Stats Canada when made available in August. For now, it should be noted that nearly 60% of respondents to Volunteer Canada's survey were from Ontario.


Major Insights From this Release:

  • 52% of Canadians looking to volunteer with non-profits during the pandemic haven't heard back (VC, 2020).
  • 43% of volunteer managers have been experiencing lay-offs, reduced hours or less support staff.
  • Non-profits that relied on seniors, who volunteered the most hours in 2018, will struggle to replace these contributions as the most vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic (StatsCan 2018).
  • For the first time, Stats Canada has measured informal volunteer participation (includes activism). Nearly 3/4 of Canadians volunteered informally in 2018, marking a major shift in volunteer participation even before the pandemic. Youth are a contributing factor to this disruption (StatsCan 2018).
  • Volunteer interest must be harnessed to ensure the sustainability of critical social services—in 2018, volunteers contributed equivalent to almost 858,000 full-time year-round jobs (StatsCan 2018).


Volunteer Toronto is advocating for investment in the volunteer management profession to ensure non-profits and grassroots leaders can harness public interest and build back up to 2018 community engagement and service delivery rates.


For additional information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Cara Eaton
Director of Strategic Communications, Volunteer Toronto

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