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Mapping the Non-Profit Sector

October 17, 200517 October 2005

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As the title promises, this report does the basic work of measuring the size, staffing and composition of Canada’s non-profit sector. Based largely on the same data set as CPRN’s job quality report, this report finds that the non-profit sector is composed of 58,000 organizations with employees (organizations without paid staff are excluded from the data set). These 58,000 organizations employ just under 900,000 people or about 8% of Canada’s workforce – roughly equivalent to the construction, mining, and oil and gas industries. Regionally, the non-profit sector ranges from 7.4% of employment in Ontario to 10.1% on the Prairies.

The authors find a high percentage of female employees and female managers, high educational attainment among staff, and large professional and managerial staffing components.

The authors divide the non-profit sector into three categories: culture, recreation and associations (including arts, entertainment, recreation and culture as well as member-service organizations such as professional associations and unions); health, education and social services; and other non-profits. The culture, recreation and associations (CRA) segment comprises about 34% of all non-profit employers and 28% of employees. Small employers predominate: over 94% of CRA organizations employ fewer than 20 people. The CRA component has the youngest staff in the non-profit sector (40% under age 35), the lowest proportion of women (61%), and the lowest proportion of immigrant employees (just under 12%).

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