Not-for-profit sector

The not-for-profit sector is a significant employer in Ontario comprising 7.5% of Ontario’s workforce, with an estimated 597,000 employees (excluding hospitals, colleges and universities; NSNVO, 2003). The sector employs more paid workers than the finance and insurance sector or the construction industry. According to NSNVO, 60% of Ontario not-for-profit and voluntary organizations are registered charities and 40% are incorporated not-for-profits.

In Canada, there is an average of 508 not-for-profit organizations per 100,000 population compared to only 369 organizations per 100,000 population in Ontario. There were 45,360 not-for-profit and voluntary organizations operating in Ontario in 2003, representing 28% of all organizations in Canada. The top 6 organizations by primary activity areas in Ontario were: religion (23%); sports and recreation (16% compared to 21% in Canada); grant-making, fundraising and voluntarism promotion (12%); social services (11%); development and housing (9%); and arts and culture (8%). Ontario not-for-profit organizations reported $47.7 billion in annual revenues. This sector generates billions of dollars for the Canadian economy. Source: Implementing a Labour Force Strategy for the Non profit Sector: Ontario Non profit Network, 2010.

Non-paid work:  The economic contributions of the not-for-profit sector and the impact of non-paid voluntary work is beginning to be quantified and noted for their substantial contribution to the economy. Such work includes the countless hours in community services, sports and recreation, arts and culture, and in places of worship. It also includes care of children and seniors and direct services in health and providing community supports. Such work also involves the leadership, fundraising and community planning contributions of citizens to shape their community through their vision, positions on boards and committees. Unpaid work also involves the hours of personal care, housework, yard work and support to one another that helps citizens maintain independence and contributes to overall community health.

The 2011 Partnership Project strategy, released by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, shows that each year more than 5 million Ontarions donate over 820 million hours of their time to volunteer.  They govern and work with over forty six thousand incorporated not-for-profit and charitable organizations. Their volunteer time is valued as equivalent to 400,000 full-time jobs.  The report states that these volunteers play a critical role in attracting new investment and jobs to communities by providing a strong recreational, cultural and social infrastructure.  Approximately 1 million people – 15% of Ontario’s total workforce – are employed in the not-for-profit sector.

The total economic impact of the sector in Ontario is nearly $50 billion, representing more than 7.1 percent of the GDP.



Hours, stress and time: 

The proportion of Canadians working more than 50 hours a week has declined slightly from a high of 14.9% in 1996 to 11.0% in 2009. Males are more than twice as likely to work long hours outside the home than females. Working non-standards hours has negative consequences for individual and family well being. The proportion of Canadians aged20-64 who worked other than a regular daytime schedule increased from 22.8% in 1992 to 25.2% in 2009. The proportion of males and females experiencing “time crunch” increased from 16.4% to 19.6% between 1992 and 2005. A higher proportion of females than males report time pressures than.

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