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Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering, 2007

September 13, 201013 September 2010

Nonprofit sector information, donors and volunteers

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Data tables:

Statistics Canada’s Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering provides information on the economic size and scope of the non-profit sector, based on “a set of standard economic accounts covering the production, incomes and outlays of the nonprofit sector, mirroring information already available for other sectors in the Canadian economy”. Overall, the report indicates that the non-profit sector’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP, which equals gross output minus intermediate purchases) was $101 billion in 2007. This represents 7% of Canada’s total GDP. Statistics Canada’s analysis indicates that “the broader non-profit sector, which includes hospitals, universities and colleges, exceeded by more than one third the value added of the entire retail trade industry, and outpaced the value added of the mining, oil and gas extraction industry.”

Statistics Canada provides information on three main groupings of non-profit organizations: 1) all non-profits; 2) hospitals, universities and colleges; and 3) the “core” non-profit sector, which includes all non-profits except hospitals, universities and colleges. The report indicates that the largest share of sector’s overall economic activity comes from hospitals, universities and colleges, which account for 65% of the sector’s GDP ($65 billion). The economic activity in the “core” non-profit sector (which excludes hospitals, universities and colleges) is $36 billion. Statistics Canada notes that the GDP of the core non-profit sector is 20% higher “than the entire accommodation and food services industry, more than 2.5 times that of agriculture, and … nearly six times as much … as the motor vehicle manufacturing industry.”

Non-profit organizations in the area of culture and recreation (including arts, culture, recreation and sports) have a GDP of $4.0 billion, or 4% of the non-profit sector’s GDP. (The measure of economic activity in this report differs substantially from the methodology used in estimates of the cultural sector’s economic impact. There are many differences, including the scope of organizations included, the exclusion of for-profit cultural industries, and the lack of any estimates of indirect or induced impacts.)

Between 1997 and 2007, the GDP of non-profit organizations in culture and recreation grew by an annual average of 6.2%, which is slightly higher than the overall growth in the Canadian economy during this timeframe (5.8%). Over the same period, the GDP of hospitals, universities and colleges grew by an annual average of 6.0%.

Non-profit organizations other than hospitals, universities and colleges are very active in generating non-government revenues: 80% of their revenues come from non-government sources. In comparison, hospitals, universities and colleges generate 26% of their revenues from non-government sources. Of all government funding to non-profit organizations, more than 80% goes to hospitals, universities and colleges.

The revenues of non-profit organizations in culture and recreation total $11.4 billion, or 6.7% of non-profit sector revenues. A breakdown of revenues by source is not provided for culture and recreation organizations. 

This information (from 2007) pre-dates the recent recession in Canada. A new resource from Imagine Canada, the Sector Monitor, provides information about the situation of charities, based on a survey of charitable organization leaders. The first issue of the Sector Monitor examined the effects of the downturn on charities. The report indicated that many charities are having difficulties fulfilling their missions. In fact, one in every eight charities was characterized as experiencing “high levels of stress”. Among all charities, the most common responses to the economic downturn were to attempt to increase revenues from either existing or new sources, reduce overhead costs and rely more strongly on volunteers.

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