Volunteerism facing unprecedented change and challenge


 ‘Volunteerism facing unprecedented change and challenge’

Lost volunteers, volunteers not returning and difficulty recruiting new volunteers.

Guelph, Ontario | September 16, 2022 |

 Since 2020, PIN – The People and Information Network has led an annual Community Benefit Sector Survey to understand the impact of COVID locally. Through these surveys an early pattern has already emerged: volunteerism is facing unprecedented change and challenge.

“Right here at home and across the province, there are significant challenges,” says Kim Cusimano, executive director, “volunteers not returning, difficulty recruiting volunteers and the tapped capacity to engage volunteers are evident.”

The recent Ontario Nonprofit Network ‘State of the Sector’ report notes 62% of organizations have lost volunteers, more than half reported having difficulty recruiting new volunteers and 40% reported having difficulty with volunteers not returning. “This aligns with the local survey results over the past two years,” says Cusimano, ”61% of organizations reported decreased volunteer involvement, 47% of respondents indicated a decrease in volunteers contacting the organization to volunteer and there are critical capacity issues for leaders of volunteers as they manage expansive changes and, in some cases, laid off, redeployed or through a reduction in hours or additional duties.”

Cusimano continues, “critical issues can be found around volunteerism and capacity of organizations to transition roles, recruit and train volunteers at a time when there is a clear response that the decline in volunteers has affected the organizations’ ability to deliver programs and services.”

But that is not all. In Ontario, almost half of nonprofits are volunteer run. “Volunteers are a powerhouse fueling communities. They lead, fundraise, drive, advocate, mentor, coach, they invest in their community, they are changemakers and empathy in action.”

“Volunteerism, civic action, contributing to community, helping your neighbours is a valuable thread that connects us. From random acts of kindness to ongoing volunteer commitments, together our contributions strengthen our community” says Cusimano, “and provides essential support to grassroots groups, nonprofits and charities.”  

PIN is here to help. For individuals who are curious about volunteering, nonprofits and charities seeking to recruit volunteers, capacity building opportunities and board training, PIN is your local hub for volunteerism. Cusimano notes, “we are passionate about volunteerism and community. We believe that everyone has something to contribute to our community and we vision a world where strong and welcoming communities are connected through volunteerism, information sharing and leadership development.”

“PIN has transitioned to a fully remote operation” Cusimano continues, “with a focus to engage in places and spaces our community gathers continuing to outreach both online and in-person. We welcome our community to connect with us, we are here to help.”

PIN offers an online portal of volunteer opportunities and assists individuals to find a volunteer match. In addition, PIN offers education, leads communities of practice through its nonprofit leadership pillar of work.  

Fall lineup includes:

This Fall, PIN will again launch a Community Benefit Sector survey to further explore volunteerism and the impact of COVID on nonprofits and charities. In addition, continues to outreach in the community to inspire and assist individuals to find a meaningful match.

Considering volunteering? We can help. PIN hosts a variety of volunteer opportunities. Contact us at (519) 822-0912 or [email protected] for support. 

Posted on September 16, 2022

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