Hill Strategies Report on Volunteers and Donors

A new report, released February 3, 2016 by Hill Strategies Research, examines the volunteer time and donations given to Canadian arts and culture organizations in 2013. Read the executive summary below, and visit the Hill Strategies website here to read the report in its entirety.

 
 

Statistical Insights on the Arts, Vol. 13 No. 3

Volunteers and donors in arts and culture organizations in Canada in 2013

Report funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council

Many Canadians show their support for arts and culture organizations through the time and money that they give as volunteers and donors. The contributions of time and money help arts and culture organizations serve their communities and balance their budgets. Volunteers and Donors in Arts and Culture Organizations in Canada in 2013, the 46th report in the Statistical Insights on the Arts series, highlights the volunteer time and financial donations given to Canadian arts and culture organizations, based on statistics that Hill Strategies Research queried from Statistics Canada’s 2013 General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering, and Participating (GSS-GVP), a survey of nearly 15,000 Canadians 15 or older.

The key findings of the report are that:

  • The equivalent of 56,000 jobs were volunteered by 900,000 Canadians in arts and culture organizations in 2013.
  • The 107 million hours contributed to arts and culture organizations represent an average of 120 hours per volunteer – more hours, on average, than volunteers in any other type of organization.
  • Between 2004 and 2013, the number of volunteers in arts and culture organizations increased by 23%, much higher than the 7% increase in all volunteers.
  • In 2013, $162 million was donated to arts and culture organizations by over 1 million Canadians (3% of the population 15 and older). This represents, on average, $159 per donor to arts and culture organizations.
  • After adjusting for inflation, donations to arts and culture organizations increased by 46% between 2007 and 2013, a much greater increase than the 16% growth in donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations during the same timeframe.
  • Between 2007 and 2013, the number of arts and culture donors increased by 34%, the highest rate of increase among 11 types of organizations, well above the 6% increase in all donors during the same timeframe.
  • The four Western provinces have the highest volunteer and donor rates in the arts and culture.

Further information about these findings follows.

Equivalent of 56,000 jobs volunteered in arts and culture organizations

Close to one-half of Canadians 15 or older (44%) volunteered in a not-for-profit organization in 2013. In the arts and culture, about 900,000 Canadians (3% of the population) volunteered the equivalent of 56,000 full-time jobs in 2013. Using the average hourly wage in Canadian arts, entertainment, and recreation industries in 2013 ($17.58), this volunteer contribution can be valued at nearly $1.9 billion.

Higher average volunteer hours than any other type of organization

The 107 million hours contributed to arts and culture organizations represent an average of 120 hours per volunteer. Arts and culture volunteers contribute more hours, on average, than volunteers in any other type of organization. Arts and culture volunteers do not just give significant amounts of time (on average), they also tend to stay with the same organization for a relatively long period of time: 39% of arts and culture volunteers were with the same organization for at least five years.

23% increase in arts and culture volunteers

Between 2004 and 2013, the number of volunteers in arts and culture organizations increased by 23%, much higher than the 7% increase in all volunteers. During the same timeframe, the number of volunteer hours in arts and culture organizations increased by 22%, higher than any other type of not-for-profit organization and much higher than the 1% increase in volunteer hours in all types of organizations.

Western provinces have the highest volunteer rates in the arts and culture

Compared with the national average (3%), the arts and culture volunteer rate is highest in the four westernmost provinces: Saskatchewan (5%, 48,000 volunteers), British Columbia (also 5%, 186,000), Manitoba (4%, 45,000), and Alberta (also 4%, 135,000). The arts and culture volunteer rate and number of volunteers in the other provinces are: Ontario (2%, 281,000); Quebec (2%, 153,000); New Brunswick (2%, 15,000); Nova Scotia (3%, 20,000); Prince Edward Island (3%, 3,000); and Newfoundland and Labrador (3%, 12,000). Note: The estimates of volunteers in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec have a relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.

Over 1 million donors to arts and culture organizations

In 2013, $162 million was donated to arts and culture organizations by over 1 million Canadians (3% of the population 15 and older).

Average of $159 per donor

The $162 million donated to arts and culture organizations in 2013 represents, on average, $159 per donor. This average annual donation ranks arts and culture organizations sixth out of 13 types of not-for-profit organizations with reliable data, well behind religious organizations (average of $573 per donor), international organizations ($418), and universities and colleges ($340). The average donation to arts and culture organizations is higher than that for organizations involved in law, advocacy, and politics ($137), social services ($136), and the environment ($128).

46% increase in donations to arts and culture organizations

After adjusting for inflation, donations to arts and culture organizations increased from $111 million in 2007 to $162 million in 2013. This 46% increase is much higher than the 16% increase in donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations.

34% increase in the number of donors

Between 2007 and 2013, the number of arts and culture donors increased by 34%, from 759,000 in 2007 to 1,015,000 in 2013. The 34% increase is the highest among 11 types of organizations and is much higher than the 6% increase in all donors during the same timeframe.

Arts and culture donor rate highest in the West

Compared with the Canadian average (3%), the arts and culture donor rate is highest in the four westernmost provinces: Manitoba (5%, 49,000 donors), British Columbia (4%, 170,000), Alberta (also 4%, 133,000), and Saskatchewan (also 4%, 32,000). The arts and culture donor rate and number of donors in the other provinces are: Ontario (3%, 383,000); Quebec (3%, 200,000); New Brunswick (2%, 16,000); Nova Scotia (3%, 24,000); Prince Edward Island (2%, 2,000); and Newfoundland and Labrador (2%, 6,000). Note: The estimates of donors in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and each of the Atlantic provinces have a relatively high margin of error and should be used with caution.

Additional findings in the full report

The full report (available on the websites of Hill Strategies Research, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council) also explores reasons for volunteering or donating, volunteer activities, barriers to volunteering, donor decision-making, demographics of arts and culture volunteers and donors, and comparisons with other types of not-for-profit organizations.

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