Imagine Canada: Sector Monitor

This post first appeared in Volunteer Victoria’s E-Link newsletter on February 11, 2011. Sign up for E-Link and keep current with news and information from Volunteer Victoria.

Imagine Canada released its third Sector Monitor report last week. This ongoing project tracks the health and vitality of Canada’s nonprofit sector, with a focus on the impact of the economic downturn.

The first survey was conducted in late 2009, the second in mid-2010 and the third in fall 2010. The findings of this latest report are compared to those of the previous two.

Key findings are:

Challenges for Service Demand – over half of the organizations continue to experience increased demand for service, up 10% from late 2009.

Stress Levels – the percentage of agencies reporting high stress levels is down slightly from mid 2010 (14% of agencies compared to 17% in mid 2010). However, looking at the findings by province, BC has the greatest percentage of nonprofits reporting high stress (19% of agencies).

Revenues Stagnating, Expenses Increasing – organizations were most likely to report that their revenues are unchanged and their expenses have increased. Twenty percent of those surveyed anticipate that they will have difficulty covering their expenses this year and 24% anticipate difficulty for next year.

In comparison, businesses reported increased operating revenues over the past year.

Small Organizations Losing Staff – over half of the organizations report that staff levels have held steady over the period surveyed. However, organizations with between 1 – 4 staff have consistently reported decreases since 2009.

Confidence in the Future – over a quarter of the organizations predict they will be stronger in 3 -4 months, while just under half predict they will be stronger in a year.

Excerpted from Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor.

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