Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2010

1.4 million Canadians volunteer for or donate to cultural organizations

Executive Summary

Many arts and culture organizations in Canada are organized as not-for-profit organizations and rely on individuals to donate time or money in order to help achieve their mandates. Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2010, the 40th report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series, highlights the volunteer time and financial donations given to Canadian arts and culture organizations. The report is based on statistics that Hill Strategies Research queried from Statistics Canada’s 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP), a survey of more than 15,000 Canadians 15 or older.

About 1.4 million Canadians volunteered for or donated to arts and culture organizations (or did both) in 2010. This represents 5.1% of Canadians 15 or older. Key statistics regarding arts and culture volunteers and donors in 2010 are highlighted below.

Arts and culture volunteers

  • 764,000 volunteers
  • 2.7% of Canadians 15 or older
  • 5.8% of all 13.3 million volunteers in Canada
  • 97 million hours volunteered
  • 4.7% of all hours volunteered
  • Equivalent to about 51,000 full-time, full-year jobs
  • Valued at nearly $1.6 billion
  • 127 hours on average: more than any other type of organization
  • Motivated to make a contribution to their community
  • Many long-term, dedicated volunteers
  • 5% increase in the number of volunteers from 2004
  • 11% increase in hours volunteered from 2004

Arts and culture donors

  • 760,000 donors
  • 2.7% of Canadians 15 or older
  • 3.2% of all 23.8 million donors  in Canada
  • $108 million donated
  • 1.0% of all Canadian donations
  • $141 per donor on average
  • Motivated to help a cause in which they personally believe
  • No change in the number of donors from 2007
  • 7% increase in total donations from 2007 (not adjusted for inflation)

(Note: The estimates of volunteer hours, full-time / full-year jobs, value of volunteer contribution, and value of donations have relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.)

While there are very similar numbers of arts and culture volunteers (764,000) and donors (760,000), there are relatively few people who do both. Roughly 87,000 people both volunteered and donated in arts and culture organizations in 2010. This is only about one in every 16 people who either volunteered or donated in arts and culture organizations in Canada.

The demographic analysis in the report shows that education is a very important factor in arts and culture volunteering and donating. University graduates are much more likely than other Canadians to volunteer and donate. In addition, women are much more likely than men to both volunteer and donate in arts and culture organizations. Household income and age are important factors regarding arts and culture donors but much less so for volunteers.

The report highlights other interesting facts regarding arts and culture volunteers:

  • Arts and culture volunteers tend to stay with the same organization for a relatively long period of time: 42% of arts and culture volunteers were with the same organization for at least five years.
  • Arts and culture volunteer activities are very events-driven, with substantial work on committees and boards but less fundraising work than in other types of organizations.
  • Arts and culture volunteers indicated that they acquired, in particular, three important skills via their volunteer activities: interpersonal skills (cited by 64% of arts and culture volunteers), communication skills (56%), and organizational skills (44%).
  • Very few volunteers give their time to more than one arts and culture organization.
  • Almost one-half of arts and culture volunteers indicated that their volunteer activities “helped their chances of success in [their] paid job or business”, while one-third indicated that their volunteer activities had “ever helped [them] to get a job or start a business”.

The report provides a number of comparisons with other types of not-for-profit organizations:

  • Compared with the arts and culture’s share of all volunteers (5.8%), sports and recreation organizations and social service organizations attract the most volunteers (25% of all volunteers each), followed by education and research organizations (21%), and religious organizations (20%).
  • Compared with the arts and culture’s share of all donors (3.2%), health organizations have the largest number of donors (63% of all Canadian donors gave some money to health organizations in 2010), followed by social services (49%), and religious organizations (39%).
  • While arts and culture organizations receive 1.0% of all donations, religious organizations receive the largest proportion (40%), followed by health organizations (15%), social service organizations (11%), and international organizations (8%).

The full report also provides estimates of the number of arts and culture volunteers and donors in each province. While the provincial estimates of volunteers and donors are statistically reliable, all of the provincial statistics – except for British Columbia and Ontario – have a relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution. Unfortunately, estimates of arts and culture volunteers and donors in the three territories have high margins of error and cannot be reliably stated.

In Canada, the arts and culture volunteer rate is equal to the donor rate (2.7% for each). In many provinces, the volunteer and donor rates are quite similar. This includes:

  • Alberta (volunteer rate of 2.5%, donor rate of 2.7%).
  • Saskatchewan (volunteer rate of 3.2%, donor rate of 3.1%).
  • Manitoba (volunteer rate of 2.9%, donor rate of 3.1%).
  • Ontario (volunteer rate of 2.7%, donor rate of 2.8%).
  • Nova Scotia (volunteer rate of 3.4%, donor rate of 3.3%).

However, a few provinces have higher volunteer rates than donation rates in arts and culture organizations:

  • British Columbia (volunteer rate of 3.8%, donor rate of 3.5%).
  • Quebec (volunteer rate of 2.0%, donor rate of 1.7%).
  • Prince Edward Island (volunteer rate of 3.0%, donor rate of 2.2%).

Two provinces have lower volunteer rates than donation rates:

  • New Brunswick (volunteer rate of 3.3%, donor rate of 4.0%).
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (volunteer rate of 2.7%, donor rate of 3.1%).

Introduction

Many arts and culture organizations in Canada are organized as not-for-profit organizations and rely on individuals to donate time or money in order to help achieve their mandates. This report highlights the volunteer time and financial donations given to Canadian arts and culture organizations, including those involved in visual arts, architecture, ceramic art, performing arts, museums, zoos, aquariums, media and communications, and historical, literary and humanistic societies.[1]

The report is based on statistics that Hill Strategies Research queried from Statistics Canada’s 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP).[2] Between September and December 2010, Statistics Canada surveyed a statistically representative sample of Canadians 15 or older (15,482 people) about their volunteer time and financial donations given to not-for-profit organizations in the 12 months preceding the survey.

Volunteers are an important source of labour for arts and culture organizations in Canada. For example, a recent study of performing arts presenting organizations found that there are 17 volunteers who donate their time for each paid staff member.[3] A more comprehensive 2003 survey of not-for-profit organizations found that “almost two-thirds (63%) of arts and culture organizations are run entirely by volunteers, compared to 54% of all nonprofit and voluntary organizations”.[4]

On the financial side, individual donors are an important component of the funding mix for arts and culture organizations, supporting operating revenues, organizations’ endowments, and capital fundraising.[5] In 2010, individual donations accounted for 7% of the operating revenues of not-for-profit performing arts organizations, while fundraising events accounted for another 4% of operating revenues.[6] For not-for-profit heritage organizations (including museums and art galleries), support from individuals, fundraising, corporations, and foundations (combined) accounted for 11% of total revenues in 2009.[7]

Although the national survey of Canadians is statistically sound, data reliability limits the breadth of analysis possible regarding arts and culture volunteers and donors, especially demographic analysis and provincial breakdowns. Unfortunately, estimates of arts and culture volunteers and donors in the three territories have high margins of error and cannot be reliably stated. Breakdowns by type of arts and culture organization are not possible.

Arts and culture volunteers in 2010

Over 13 million Canadians 15 or older volunteered in a not-for-profit organization in 2010 (47% of all Canadians 15 or older). About 764,000 Canadians, or 2.7% of the population, contributed volunteer labour to arts and culture organizations in 2010. The 764,000 arts and culture volunteers represent 5.8% of the 13.3 million volunteers in Canada.

The 764,000 volunteers contributed a total of 97 million hours to arts and culture organizations in 2010. (Note: The estimate of volunteer hours has relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.) This represents 4.7% of volunteer hours in all types of not-for-profit organizations in Canada.

The 97 million hours volunteered in arts and culture organizations is equivalent to about 51,000 full-time, full-year jobs. Using the average hourly wage in Canadian arts, entertainment and recreation industries in 2010 ($16.03), this volunteer contribution can be valued at nearly $1.6 billion.[1] (Note: The estimates of volunteer hours, full-time / full-year jobs, and value of volunteer contribution have relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.)

Table 1 summarizes key statistics regarding volunteers in Canada.

Table 1

Average hours volunteered

The 97 million hours contributed to arts and culture organizations represent an average of 127 hours per volunteer. As shown in Table 2, this is a higher average commitment than for any other type of not-for-profit organization. In other words, arts and culture volunteers contribute more hours, on average, than volunteers in any other type of organization.[2]

Table 2

Many hours come from a few individuals

Generous volunteers are very important for arts and culture organizations. The top 10% of arts and culture volunteers (i.e., those who volunteered at least 286 hours) contributed 61% of total volunteer hours in arts and culture organizations. This is a slightly greater concentration of volunteer hours than in other types of not-for-profit organizations, where the top 10% of volunteers contributed 53% of total volunteer hours (53%).[3]

The top 25% (who volunteered at least 110 hours) contributed 80% of total volunteer hours in arts and culture organizations, a figure that is very similar to the percentage in all not-for-profit organizations (77%).[4]

Volunteering in multiple organizations

Many of the 764,000 Canadians who volunteered in arts and culture organizations also volunteered in another type of organization. Most commonly, arts and culture volunteers also gave their time to education and research organizations (17% of arts and culture volunteers did so), social services (14%), religious organizations (11%), sports and recreation (11%), and health (10%).

The 127 hours volunteered in arts and culture organizations represent 55% of the 231 hours volunteered by these individuals in all types of organizations. This is quite different from the typical situation in not-for-profit organizations, where most volunteer activity is concentrated on a single organization. The article Volunteering in Canada, based on the same survey as this report, indicated that “76% of volunteers’ hours were given to their main organization (that is, the organization for which they reported the most hours)”.[5]

Volunteer positions, activities and skills gained

Volunteer positions

Each organization in which a person volunteered in the reference year constitutes a “volunteer position”. Because detailed information was collected for a maximum of three organizations (or volunteer positions) for each volunteer, there were more volunteer positions reported than there were volunteers.[6] Canadian volunteers reported 846,000 positions in arts and culture organizations in 2010. This represents 3.8% of the volunteer positions in all types of volunteer organizations in Canada.

This also represents, on average, 1.1 positions per arts and culture volunteer. In other words, very few volunteers give their time to more than one arts and culture organization.

Responses to another survey question show that arts and culture volunteers tend to stay with the same organization for a relatively long period of time: 42% of arts and culture volunteers were with the same organization for at least five years. This is slightly higher than the equivalent percentage for volunteers in other types of organizations (36%). Only 11% of arts and culture volunteers had volunteered in the same organization for less than one year (compared with 23% of volunteers in other types of organizations).

Volunteer activities

The survey asked respondents about the types of activities that they did in their volunteer engagements. The results indicate that arts and culture volunteer activities are very events-driven, with substantial work on committees and boards but less fundraising work than in other types of organizations.

The most common activities mentioned by arts and culture volunteers are highlighted in Table 3.

Table 3

Skills gained from volunteering

Arts and culture volunteers indicated that they acquired, in particular, three important skills via their volunteer activities: interpersonal skills (cited by 64% of arts and culture volunteers), communication skills (56%), and organizational skills (44%).

Almost one-half of arts and culture volunteers (47%) indicated that their volunteer activities “helped [their] chances of success in [their] paid job or business”, while one-third (33%) indicated that their volunteer activities had “ever helped [them] to get a job or start a business”.

Volunteer comparisons with other types of not-for-profit organizations

The 764,000 arts and culture volunteers comprise 5.8% of all Canadian volunteers. As shown in Table 4, of 14 types of not-for-profit organizations covered by the survey, the arts and culture ranks eighth in terms of the number of volunteers.

Sports and recreation and social service organizations attract the most volunteers (3.3 million each), followed by education and research organizations (2.8 million), religious organizations (2.7 million), health organizations (1.8 million) and development and housing organizations (1.3 million). Arts and culture organizations (764,000) attract slightly fewer volunteers than environmental organizations (771,000) but slightly more than organizations involved in grant-making, fundraising and voluntarism promotion (695,000).

Table 4

Volunteer hours by type of organization

With 97 million volunteer hours – 4.7% of total hours volunteered in all types of not-for-profit organizations – the arts and culture rank seventh out of 14 types of not-for-profit organizations.

In 2010, Canadians volunteered 2.1 billion hours in all types of not-for-profit organizations. Figure 1 shows that sports and recreation organizations and social service organizations each received just under 20% of all volunteer hours in 2010 (399 and 380 million hours, respectively).  Religious organizations received 314 million hours (15%), while education and research organizations received 187 million hours in 2010 (9%). Development and housing organizations received 116 million hours (5%). Volunteers contributed 105 million hours to health organizations (5% of all hours), slightly higher than contributions to arts and culture organizations (97 million hours, also 5%). Hospitals received slightly fewer volunteer hours (63 million hours, 3%).

Volunteer hours by type of not-for-profit organization, Canada, 2010

Reasons for volunteering

People who indicated that they volunteered in 2010 were asked about important reasons why they did so. Almost all arts and culture volunteers (99%) indicated that they volunteer in order to make a contribution to their community. In addition, exactly nine out of ten arts and culture volunteers indicated that they want to use their skills and experiences.

Three other reasons were cited by over one-half of arts and culture volunteers: “to network with or meet people” (60%), to explore their own strengths (59%), and the fact that they or someone they know has been personally affected by the cause that the organization supports (54%). Slightly less than one-half of arts and culture volunteers (47%) indicated that an important reason for them is the fact that their friends volunteer.

Barriers to volunteering

Volunteers were also asked about ten specific barriers that might have kept them from giving even more time. For arts and culture volunteers, the most common barriers to giving more time are:

  • Not having the time (selected by 80% of arts and culture volunteers).
  • Feeling that they have given enough time already (50%).
  • Not being able to make a long-term commitment (42%).
  • Not having been asked to do so (28%).

Non-volunteers: Barriers to volunteering

Non-volunteers were asked if any barriers prevented them from volunteering in a not-for-profit organization. Among all non-volunteers, the most common barriers to volunteering are:

  • Not having the time (selected by 67% of non-volunteers).
  • Not being able to make a long-term commitment (62%).
  • Preferring to give money instead of volunteer time (52%).
  • No one asked them to do so (45%).
  • Having health problems or being physically unable to volunteer (26%).
  • Not having an interest in volunteering (26%).
  • Not knowing how to get involved (22%).

Arts and culture donors in 2010

About 760,000 Canadians 15 or older, or 2.7% of the population in this age group, made financial donations to arts and culture organizations in 2010. The 760,000 arts and culture donors represent 3.2% of the 23.8 million donors to all types of not-for-profit organizations in Canada. [7]

The 760,000 donors gave approximately $108 million to arts and culture organizations in 2010. (Note: The estimate of the value of donations has relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.) This estimate represents 1.0% of financial donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations in Canada.

 Same people?

Table 5 summarizes key statistics regarding donors in Canada.

Table 5

Average donation

The $108 million donated to arts and culture organizations represents, on average, $141 per donor. (Note: The estimate of the value of donations has relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.)

As shown in Table 6, this average annual donation ranks arts and culture organizations sixth out of 13 types of not-for-profit organizations with reliable data. Religious organizations rank far above all other not-for-profit organizations, with an average annual donation of $462 per donor. Universities and colleges receive the second highest average donation ($302), followed by international organizations ($277).

The other organizations with higher average donations than arts and culture are organizations in grant-making, fundraising and voluntarism promotion ($172) and development and housing ($148).

Importance of generous donors

Generous donors are very important for not-for-profit organizations. The article Charitable giving by Canadians, using the same dataset as this report, indicates that the top 25% of donors (who contributed at least $358) to all types of not-for-profit organizations accounted for 83% of the total value of donations.[8]

The situation is fairly similar for arts and culture organizations. The top 25% of donors, who contributed at least $125, accounted for 75% of total donations.

Many arts and culture donors also donated to other types of organizations in 2010. Most commonly, arts and culture donors also gave money to health organizations (69% of arts and culture donors did so), social services (59%), religious organizations (41%), education and research (32%), hospitals (28%), and sports and recreation (25%).

Donor decision-making and tax credits

While questions regarding activities and skills gained are not relevant for donors, arts and culture donors were asked a few other interesting questions.

Only one-quarter of arts and culture donors (25%) “decide in advance the total amount of money [they] will donate to charitable organizations annually”.

A similar percentage of arts and culture donors (28%) indicated that they “always donate to the same organizations”, while 21% “vary the organizations to which [they] donate”. One-half of arts and culture donors (51%) do both.

There is no consensus among arts and culture donors regarding whether they decide in advance to which organizations they will give larger donations. Similar percentages decide in advance (39%) and respond to someone requesting funds (44%). The remaining 17% do both.

Over two-thirds of arts and culture donors (69%) indicated that they (or someone in their household) would claim an income tax credit for their donation. Over four in ten arts and culture donors (43%) believe that they would donate more if the government provided a better tax credit.

Donor comparisons with other types of not-for-profit organizations

The 760,000 donors to arts and culture organizations comprise 3.2% of all Canadian donors. Table 7 shows that, among 14 types of not-for-profit organizations covered by the survey, arts and culture organizations rank 11th with regard to the overall number of donors.

Health organizations have the largest number of donors (15.0 million, or 63% of all Canadian donors), followed by social services (11.7 million, or 49%) and religious organizations (9.2 million, or 39%). Education and research organizations have 5.7 million donors (24%), followed by hospitals (5.0 million, or 21%).

Table 7

Value of donations by type of organization

In 2010, Canadians donated $10.6 billion to not-for-profit organizations. With $108 million in donations – 1.0% of total donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations – arts and culture organizations rank 11th out of 14 types of not-for-profit organizations with regard to the value of donations.

Figure 2 shows that religious organizations receive a substantial proportion of all donations ($4.3 billion, or 40%), followed by health organizations ($1.6 billion, or 15%), social service organizations ($1.2 billion, or 11%), and international organizations ($879 million, or 8%).

Arts and culture organizations ($108 million, 1.0%) receive a similar amount as universities and colleges ($117 million, or 1.1%) and development and housing organizations ($104 million, or 1.0%).

Value of donations by type of not-for-profit organization, Canada, 2010

Donor motivations

Donors were asked about important motivations for their giving. The four most common motivations cited by donors to arts and culture organizations are:

  • Helping a cause in which they personally believe: 93% of arts and culture donors.
  • Feeling compassion towards people in need: 90%.
  • Making a contribution to the community: 88%.
  • Being personally affected (or knowing someone personally affected) by the cause the organization supports: 74%.

Fulfilling religious obligations or beliefs was noted by about one-third of cultural donors (36%), similar to the percentage indicating that receiving an income tax credit was an important motivation (30%).

Barriers to donating more money

Donors to arts and culture organizations were also asked about nine possible barriers that might have kept them from giving even more money.  For arts and culture organizations, the most common barriers to donating more money are:

  • Being happy with what they already gave: 66% of arts and culture donors.
  • Not being able to afford to give more: 64%.
  • Not liking the way in which requests were made: 39%.
  • Not thinking that the money would be used efficiently: 38%.
  • Giving volunteer time instead of money: 36%.
  • Giving money directly to people rather than through an organization: 34%.

Unlike non-volunteers, those who did not donate were not asked about the barriers that might have kept them from donating some money.

Demographic analysis of arts and culture volunteers and donors

Given the fact that arts and culture volunteers and donors comprise a relatively small proportion of all volunteers and donors, only a limited demographic profile is possible using the 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP). Despite these limitations, demographic analysis of the CSGVP does reveal some interesting characteristics about arts and culture volunteers and donors.

Table 8 presents the arts and culture volunteer and donor rates for various groups of Canadians. The “arts and culture volunteer rate” is the percentage of the population in select demographic groups who volunteers in arts and culture organizations in 2010. The arts and culture volunteer rate for all Canadians 15 or older is 2.7%. Similarly, the arts and culture donor rate – the percentage of the population donating to arts and culture organizations in 2010 – is also 2.7% for all Canadians 15 or older.

Table 8 shows that education is a very important factor in arts and culture volunteering and donating. University graduates are much more likely than other Canadians to volunteer (4.5% volunteer rate, compared with 2.7% of Canadians 15 or older) and donate (4.7% donor rate, compared with 2.7% of all Canadians).

Women are much more likely than men to both volunteer and donate in arts and culture organizations. The arts and culture volunteer rate is 3.2% for women, compared with 2.2% for men. Similarly, the arts and culture donor rate is 3.0% for women, compared with 2.4% for men.

Household income is a very important factor in arts and culture donating but much less so for volunteering. Over 3% of those with household incomes of $100,000 or more donated to an arts and culture organization in 2010 (3.4%), well above the national average (2.7%). Volunteering in arts and culture organizations is only slightly more likely among Canadians with higher household incomes than those in lower income ranges.

Similar to household income, age is an important factor in arts and culture donating but much less so for volunteering. Well over 4% of those 65 years or older donated to an arts and culture organization in 2010 (4.5%), a figure that is much higher than the Canadian average (2.7%). Among the four age ranges, the arts and culture volunteer rate is highest for Canadians between 15 and 34 years of age (2.9%). Those between 35 and 44 years of age have the lowest arts and culture volunteer rate (2.2%).

Table 8 also shows that, compared with married or separated Canadians, those who are single are most likely to volunteer in arts and culture organizations (3.1% did so in 2010) but least likely to donate to arts and culture organizations (2.2%).

Canadians who are employed are more likely than those who are unemployed or not in the labour force to volunteer in or donate to arts and culture organizations.

In many respects, the portrait of arts and culture volunteers and donors is quite similar to all volunteers and donors, especially with regard to education, marital status, and labour force status. However, there is some dissimilarity in the demographic portraits. For example, the differences between women and men are more pronounced in arts and culture organizations than in other types of not-for-profit organizations. Higher income is a factor in donations to all types of organizations but is a much less important factor in volunteering in arts and culture organizations than in other not-for-profit organizations. Age appears to be a more important factor in arts and culture donations than for other types of not-for-profit organizations.

Other factors that might have an influence on individuals’ cultural appreciation – and therefore on their volunteering or donating in arts and culture organizations – cannot be analyzed in this report, because the CSGVP did not include specific questions about likely factors in arts engagement. For example, it is not possible to examine respondents’ arts education experiences or other previous experiences with the arts.

Table 8

The choice between volunteering and donating (or doing both)

The arts and culture volunteer rate in Canada is equal to the donor rate (2.7% for each). Table 9 shows that most of the demographic groups analyzed in this report tend to volunteer and donate in arts and culture organizations in relatively equal numbers.

However, some groups of Canadians have higher volunteer rates than donation rates in arts and culture organizations, including:

  • Canadians between 15 and 34 years of age, who have a volunteer rate of 2.9% and a donation rate of 1.6%.
  • Canadians with some post-secondary education but not a diploma or degree (volunteer rate of 4.4% and donation rate of 3.1%).
  • Single Canadians (never married), who have a volunteer rate of 3.1% and a donation rate of 2.2%.
  • Canadians with household incomes below $40,000 (volunteer rate of 2.3% and donation rate of 1.9%) and between $40,000 and $59,999 (volunteer rate of 2.6% and donation rate of 2.3%).

A few groups prefer to donate rather than volunteer in arts and culture organizations, including:

  • Canadians with a household income of $100,000 or more, who have a volunteer rate of 2.9% and a donation rate of 3.4%.
  • Canadians between 45 and 64 years of age (volunteer rate of 2.8% and donation rate of 3.1%) and those 65 or over (volunteer rate of 2.6% and donation rate of 4.5%).
  • Widowed, separated or divorced Canadians, who have a volunteer rate of 2.7% and a donation rate of 3.4%.

Table 9

Changes in arts and culture volunteers and donors

This section of the report examines the changes in key volunteer and donor statistics, based on similar surveys conducted in 2004 and 2007. Unfortunately, the estimate of donors in arts and culture organizations in 2004 had a very high margin of error, which does not allow for comparisons with that dataset.[9]

Volunteers

Between 2004 and 2010, the number of volunteers in all types of not-for-profit organizations increased from 11.8 million to 13.3 million, a 12% increase. As shown in Figure 3, the number of arts and culture volunteers increased by 5%, from 729,000 in 2004 to 764,000 in 2010. Despite this increase, the arts and culture sector’s share of total volunteers decreased slightly, from 6.2% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2010.

As a percentage of the population 15 or older, the arts and culture volunteer rate changed very little (2.8% in 2004 and 2.7% in 2010). Similarly, the percentage of Canadians 15 or older who volunteered in any type of not-for-profit organization changed relatively little (45% in 2004 and 47% in 2010).

Between 2004 and 2010, the number of volunteers increased the most in universities and colleges (88%), followed by hospitals (22%), and environmental organizations (18%).

The average hours per arts and culture volunteer increased from 120 to 127 between 2004 and 2010, a 5% increase. In comparison, there was a very small decrease (-1%) in the average hours volunteered in all types of not-for-profit organizations.

For the arts and culture sector, the combination of slight increases in both the number of volunteers (5%) and average hours per volunteer (also 5%) led to an 11% increase in the total number of hours volunteered (from 88 million in 2004 to 97 million in 2010). (Note: The estimate of volunteer hours in 2010 has relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.) In comparison, there was only a 1% increase in the number of volunteer hours in all types of organizations.

Donors

Between 2007 and 2010, the number of donors to not-for-profit organizations increased from 22.8 million to 23.8 million (4% growth). As shown in Figure 3, the number of donors to arts and culture organizations remained essentially unchanged (759,000 in 2007 and 760,000 in 2010). Arts and culture donors represented 3.3% of all donors in 2007 and 3.2% in 2010.

As a percentage of all Canadians 15 or older, the arts and culture donor rate changed very little (2.8% in 2007 and 2.7% in 2010). Similarly, the percentage of the population 15 or older who donated to any type of not-for-profit organization did not change between 2007 and 2010 (84% in both years).

The average donation to arts and culture organizations increased by 6% between 2007 and 2010 (from $132 to $141, not adjusted for inflation). In comparison, there was no change in the average amount given by each donor to all types of not-for-profit organizations ($446 in both years).

Total donations to arts and culture organizations increased by 7% between 2007 and 2010 (from $101 to $108 million, not adjusted for inflation).

Volunteers and donors in arts and culture organizations, 2004 to 2010

Provincial estimates of arts and culture volunteers and donors

This section summarizes the estimated number of arts and culture volunteers and donors in each province. Given the limited reliability of the estimates of volunteer hours and donation amounts in each province, these statistics are not provided.

Note regarding reliability of provincial estimates

British Columbia

There are 146,000 volunteers and 137,000 donors in arts and culture organizations in British Columbia. The arts and culture volunteer rate in B.C. is 3.8%, while the arts and culture donor rate is 3.5%. Both of these rates are well above the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Alberta

About 76,000 Albertans volunteered in arts and culture organizations in 2010, representing 2.5% of the population 15 or older. The 82,000 arts and culture donors represent 2.7% of Albertans 15 or older. These statistics are very close or equal to the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Saskatchewan

There are approximately 27,000 volunteers and 26,000 donors in arts and culture organizations in Saskatchewan. The arts and culture volunteer rate in the province is 3.2%, while the arts and culture donor rate is 3.1%. Both of these rates are higher than the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Manitoba

About 29,000 Manitobans volunteered in arts and culture organizations in 2010, representing 2.9% of the population 15 or older. The 31,000 arts and culture donors represent 3.1% of Manitobans 15 or older. Both of these statistics are slightly higher than the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Ontario

Approximately 292,000 Ontarians, or 2.7% of the population 15 or older, volunteered in arts and culture organizations in 2010. About 307,000 Ontarians, or 2.8% of the provincial population 15 or older, made a financial donation to arts and culture organizations in 2010. Both of these statistics are equal or very close to the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Quebec

In Quebec, there were about 130,000 volunteers in arts and culture organizations in 2010. This represents 2.0% of the Quebec population 15 or older, a figure that is below the Canadian average of 2.7%. The 109,000 arts and culture donors represent 1.7% of Quebec residents 15 or older. This is well below the Canadian average of 2.7%.

New Brunswick

There are 21,000 volunteers and 25,000 donors in arts and culture organizations in New Brunswick. The arts and culture volunteer rate in New Brunswick is 3.3%, while the arts and culture donor rate is 4.0%. Both of these rates are well above the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Nova Scotia

About 27,000 Nova Scotians volunteered in arts and culture organizations in 2010, representing 3.4% of the population 15 or older. The 26,000 arts and culture donors represent 3.3% of Nova Scotians 15 or older. Both of these statistics are above the Canadian averages (2.7% for both volunteers and donors).

Prince Edward Island

There are approximately 3,500 volunteers and 2,600 donors in arts and culture organizations on Prince Edward Island. The arts and culture volunteer rate on the Island is 3.0%, while the arts and culture donor rate is 2.2%. The volunteer rate is slightly higher than the Canadian average (2.7%), while the donor rate is below the national average (also 2.7%).

Newfoundland and Labrador

About 11,500 Newfoundland and Labrador residents volunteered in arts and culture organizations in 2010, representing 2.7% of the population 15 or older. The 13,500 arts and culture donors represent 3.1% of residents 15 or older. The volunteer rate is equal to the Canadian average (2.7%), while the donor rate is slightly above the national average (also 2.7%).

Provinces with more volunteers than donors (or vice-versa)

The arts and culture volunteer rate in Canada is equal to the donor rate (2.7% for each). As shown in Figure 4, the volunteer and donor rates are quite similar in many provinces, including:

  • Alberta (volunteer rate of 2.5%, donor rate of 2.7%).
  • Saskatchewan (volunteer rate of 3.2%, donor rate of 3.1%).
  • Manitoba (volunteer rate of 2.9%, donor rate of 3.1%).
  • Ontario (volunteer rate of 2.7%, donor rate of 2.8%).
  • Nova Scotia (volunteer rate of 3.4%, donor rate of 3.3%).

However, a few provinces have higher volunteer rates than donation rates in arts and culture organizations:

  • British Columbia (volunteer rate of 3.8%, donor rate of 3.5%).
  • Quebec (volunteer rate of 2.0%, donor rate of 1.7%).
  • Prince Edward Island (volunteer rate of 3.0%, donor rate of 2.2%).

Two provinces have lower volunteer rates than donation rates:

  • New Brunswick (volunteer rate of 3.3%, donor rate of 4.0%).
  • Newfoundland & Labrador (volunteer rate of 2.7%, donor rate of 3.1%).
Arts and culture volunteer and donor rates by province, 2010

[1] A full-time full-year job was calculated as 40 hours per week and 48 weeks per year. The estimated value of volunteer labour excludes benefits or other costs required to support an employee. The earnings data come from Statistics Canada, Earnings, average hourly for hourly paid employees, by industry, available at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/labr74n-eng.htm.

[2] Drawn from Volunteering in Canada, Mireille Vézina and Susan Crompton, in Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada, April 16, 2012, page 40, Chart 3: Average volunteer hours, by selected organization type, volunteers aged 15 and over, 2007 and 2010.The statistics in this article are based on the same survey as this report.

[3] The statistic for all not-for-profit organizations is from Volunteering in Canada, Mireille Vézina and Susan Crompton, in Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada, April 16, 2012, page 43.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., page 40.

[6] For example, if one person volunteered in a theatre company and an art gallery, this would constitute one volunteer and two volunteer positions in the arts and culture sector.

[7] The 23.8 million Canadian donors to any type of not-for-profit organization represent 84% of all Canadians aged 15 or older.

[8] Charitable giving by Canadians, Martin Turcotte, in Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada, April 16, 2012, page 26.

[9] There was also a similar survey of volunteers and donors conducted in 2000. However, because of differences in survey content and methodology, comparisons with that dataset cannot be made.

 


[1] Volunteering and donations in all types of not-for-profit structures are included in the statistics, not just organizations with charitable status.

[2] Hill Strategies Research thanks the Department of Canadian Heritage for its partnership in helping to conduct the CSGVP and for sharing the dataset with us.

[3] Interim Report of Findings, Value of Presenting Study, CAPACOA and Strategic Moves, 2012.

[4] Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada, a factsheet based on Statistics Canada’s 2003 National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, Imagine Canada, 2006, p. 2.

[5] No distinction was made in the survey between gifts destined for operating costs, capital campaigns or endowments. All of these components of giving are therefore included in the results.

[6] Data from Statistics Canada’s 2010 Performing Arts Survey were analyzed by Hill Strategies for this report.

[7] Data from Statistics Canada’s 2009 Heritage Institutions Survey were analyzed by Hill Strategies for this report. Separate data on individual donations are not available.

 

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