‘It’s a Precarious Landscape’
There is an estimated 170,000 nonprofits and charities in Canada and in 2018, over 12.7 million Canadians engaged in formal volunteering, with a total of 1.6 billion hours of their time given to charities, non-profits and community organizations—equivalent to almost 858,000 full-time year-round jobs (Statistics Canada). In Ontario, nonprofits and charities contribute $50 billion in economic impact engaging 5 million volunteers: significant and vital resources for communities.
“The community benefit sector is not only an under recognized economic engine” says Kim Cusimano, Executive Director “it forms the foundation of supports contributing to the health and well-being of communities and powered by a valuable volunteer human resource.”
Over the last number of months, provincial and national reports have given voice to the community benefit sector and the impact of COVID. Revenues have declined an average of 30.6% since the onset of the pandemic, with 69% of charities reporting decreased revenues. (Imagine Canada Sector Monitor Report) and 1 in 5 survey respondents say they could close within the next 6 months (Ontario Nonprofit Network, ONN- The state of the Ontario nonprofit sector).
With appreciation to The Guelph Community Foundation and United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin’s Respond, Recover, Rebuild Fund, PIN – The People and Information Network launched a ‘Community Benefit Sector Survey’ this Fall to understand the impact of COVID locally.
“By gathering local data, we can understand the impact of COVID on our communities while we seek to strengthen and rebuild.” says Cusimano.