A Community Call to Action

Community Benefit Sector in Guelph Wellington Snapshot

A Community Call to Action

Guelph, Ontario | November 22, 2022 |

Since 2020, PIN – The People and Information Network has led an annual Community Benefit Sector Survey to understand the landscape of nonprofits, charities and grassroots groups that form the socially impactful community benefit sector and how COVID is affecting the sector locally. Through these surveys, key information threads are woven and continue to be present: volunteerism is facing unprecedented change and challenge, nonprofits have faced decreased revenue and increased demand for service.


“More than half of respondents indicate a decrease in the number of people contacting their organization to volunteer” says Kim Cusimano, executive director, PIN – The People and Information Network, “and information clearly shows volunteers are not returning to pre-pandemic levels. The decline in volunteers has impact on the organizations’ ability to deliver its programs and services and for those organizations that operate solely through volunteer efforts, the impact is formidable. Couple that with increased demand for programs and services, increased costs and declines in revenue there continues to be significant challenge for sector.”


“35% of respondents indicated that they needed to access their financial reserves since the beginning of the pandemic. More than a quarter of respondents indicated they do not have financial reserves” shares Cusimano. “Revenues down, increasing costs ignite a perfect storm as the Community Benefit Sector forms the foundation of supports contributing to the health and well-being of communities and powered by a valuable volunteer human resource.”


Recent data from Ipsos states that two in ten (22%) of Canadians say they will access charitable services to meet essential needs such as food, clothing, or shelter in the next 6 months and despite the need, Canadians are giving less (20%) to charities. Ipsos poll for Canada Helps.


“This is a deepening issue for our communities” says Cusimano, “the question is – what happens when nonprofits and charities cease to exist as a result and/or the length of wait times impact your ability, or family and friends ability, to access these needed services?”


“You do not need to look far to see how the community benefit sector contributes to our towns and cities, and to our families, our children and ourselves.” shares Cusimano, “coaching your children’s sports team, your grandfather’s weekly friendly visitor, driving your Mom for her cancer appointments, supporting food insecurity, accessing health services and housing, engaging in faith, arts and culture and more; nonprofits and charities are intertwined into our lives.”


A community call to action.


Together we can build forward. Donate $20, volunteer 20 hours, spread the word to 20 people.

PIN’s #DoGiveShare call to action continues beyond its 20th anniversary last year inviting the community to act. PIN also encourages our community to take part in Giving Tuesday.

‘November 29 is Giving Tuesday, the world’s largest generosity movement a global movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world’ – GivingTuesday.ca


“Whether giving for you is on Giving Tuesday or throughout the year organizing a food drive at work, purchasing socks for charity, sponsoring a family for the holidays, there are a myriad of opportunities to give not only financially but also by giving of your time. When you give, you are making a positive impact on the kind of community you want to live, work and play in” says Cusimano.


Locally, the annual Giving Tuesday – Guelph Gives Community Leaders Breakfast on ‘Why Community Matters’ is sold out showcasing solid support for community. If you missed out on obtaining a ticket, there are more ways to give. There are more than 300 charities in Guelph alone that community could support (GuelphGives.ca) In addition, PIN’s Holiday Giving Guide (PINnetwork.ca) outlines opportunities to contribute through donation and volunteering including United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin.

“Our communities need civic participation, volunteer contribution, and a robust community benefit sector” notes Cusimano, “our communities are calling upon all of us.”

2022 Community Benefit Sector Survey Report