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

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This report is based on the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, the same dataset as Statistics Canada’s articles on all volunteers and donors in Canada. The report indicates that about 1.4 million Canadians (5.1% of all Canadians 15 or older) volunteered for or donated to arts and culture organizations in 2010. This includes the 87,000 people who did both, which represents only “about one in every 16 people who either volunteered or donated in arts and culture organizations in Canada”.

The 764,000 volunteers in arts and culture organizations represent 2.7% of all Canadians 15 or older. Arts and culture volunteers gave a total of 97 million hours in 2010, the equivalent of approximately 51,000 full-time, full-year jobs. The report estimates that this work effort would be worth about $1.6 billion.

On average, volunteers gave 127 hours to arts and culture organizations, more than the average hours volunteered in any other type of organization. The report indicates 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”. Arts and culture volunteers tend to be very loyal: 42% of them volunteered with the same organization for at least five years.

Between 2004 and 2010, there was a 5% increase in the number of arts and culture volunteers and an 11% increase in the number of hours given to arts and culture organizations.

The 760,000 donors to arts and culture organizations (2.7% of Canadians 15 or older) donated a total of $108 million in 2010, representing 1.0% of donations to all types of not-for-profit organizations. On average, donors gave $141 to arts and culture organizations, ranking sixth out of 13 types of not-for-profit organizations. Between 2007 and 2010, there was a 7% increase in the value of donations to arts and culture organizations (not adjusted for inflation).

The report provides estimates of the arts and culture volunteer and donor rates in each province. From west to east, the rates for each province are:

  • British Columbia: arts and culture volunteer rate of 3.8% and donor rate of 3.5%.
  • Alberta: volunteer rate of 2.5% and donor rate of 2.7%.
  • Saskatchewan: volunteer rate of 3.2% and donor rate of 3.1%.
  • Manitoba: volunteer rate of 2.9% and donor rate of 3.1%.
  • Ontario: volunteer rate of 2.7% and donor rate of 2.8%.
  • Quebec: volunteer rate of 2.0% and donor rate of 1.7%.
  • New Brunswick: volunteer rate of 3.3% and donor rate of 4.0%.
  • Nova Scotia: volunteer rate of 3.4% and donor rate of 3.3%.
  • Prince Edward Island: volunteer rate of 3.0% and donor rate of 2.2%.
  • Newfoundland & Labrador: volunteer rate of 2.7% and donor rate of 3.1%.
Summary: 

This report is based on the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, the same dataset as Statistics Canada’s articles on all volunteers and donors in Canada. The report indicates that about 1.4 million Canadians (5.1% of all Canadians 15 or older) volunteered for or donated to arts and culture organizations in 2010.