About volunteering in Canada
In 2001, Statistics Canada released results from an important survey carried out a year before. It’s called the 2000 National Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating or, in short, the NSGVP. The estimates are based on reports of charitable giving and volunteering by Canadians aged 15 and older over a one-year period.
We thought you’d be interested by some of the NSGVP findings about volunteers like you.
How many Canadians volunteer?
In 2000, 27% of the population or 6.5 million people, volunteered. This means more than one in four Canadians.
How much time do they volunteer?
They volunteer an average of 162 hours each during the year or a grand total of 1.05 billion hours. This corresponds to 549,000 full-time jobs, roughly equal to the employed labour force of Manitoba!
Do women really volunteer more than men?
Yes and no. Women volunteer at a higher rate than men, with 28% vs. 25%. However, men actually contribute more hours on average in the year than women: 170 hours for men vs. 155 hours for women.
How old are volunteers in this country?
They are mostly in their middle years. Thirty percent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 54 volunteered in 2000.
What about seniors?
Canadians aged 64 years and over volunteer at the lowest rate of 18%. However, they contribute the highest number of hours on average over the year: 269 hours!
Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 volunteer at a rate above the national average: 29% vs. the national average of 27%. Note that almost one in five youth was encouraged to volunteer by the school, an employer, or the government.
What type of organizations do Canadians volunteer for?
They are mostly involved in organizations devoted to:
- Arts, Culture, and Recreation (26% of volunteer hours)
- Social Services (20%)
- Religious (16%)
- Education and Research (11%)
- Health (9%)
What do our volunteers do?
They undertake a wide range of activities. The most common is organizing or supervising events, which accounted for 57% of all volunteering activities in 2000. The second most common activity is acting as an unpaid board or committee member which represents 41% of all volunteering.
What benefits do Canadians find in volunteering?
Among others, there are three outstanding top benefits.
- More than three quarters, 79% of volunteers, say that volunteering helped them with their interpersonal skills, such as understanding people better, motivating others, and dealing with difficult situations.
- Just over two thirds, 68% of volunteers, find they developed better communication skills.
- An impressive 63% if volunteers report they increased their knowledge about issues related to their volunteering.
Recognized yourself in this profile? We may get back to you on this eventually. You’ll also find more about volunteering in Canada on the NSGVP Web site: www.givingandvolunteering.ca