A survey of Canadians volunteering habits indicate that Quebecers
rate of participation is lower than that of other Canadians.
Paul Reed, a professor at Carleton University and senior social scientist
with Statistics Canada, spoke about the research on April 6 as part of
a lecture series for the International Year of the Volunteer, sponsored
by the John Molson School of Business Graduate Diploma in Administration
(DIA) and Graduate Diploma in Sport Administration (DSA).
The National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating 1997 was
followed by a more recent study, for which only preliminary results are
Canadians are moving away from gifts to organizations and towards
gifts to individuals, Reed said. There has been a precipitous
decline in donations to religious organizations, and donations to secular
organizations are flat.
He had good and bad news for his audience of graduate students from Concordia
and McGill, academics, senior managers and administrators of a wide variety
of not-for-profit organizations. While the number of people involved in
volunteering their time is slightly down, the amount of time each person
volunteered was up, resulting in a net gain of volunteer power.
The good news is that Canada is the world leader in collecting data on
the non-profit sector to help determine who volunteers their time and
money, and why. This will assist in developing new approaches in recruiting
volunteers and fundraising, and encourage a healthy volunteer sector.
Since this is only the second time the government has undertaken such
an extensive survey of volunteering and giving, Reed promised that the
data gathered will continue to become more accurate. With time,
well do a better job in capturing the nuances.
In terms of formal volunteering, Quebec is at the bottom of the
list, Reed said. The prairies provinces consistently produce the
most volunteers in Canada. Quebecers unique style of giving made
statisticians rethink the way they evaluate these activities, and they
included informal aid as well as formal volunteering and giving in the
Quebecers prefer giving money to volunteering. They are much more
oriented to helping people they know in the parish, family or community,
He also said that Quebecers are unique in their continuing interest in
fraternal or service clubs like the Lions, Rotary or Optimist Club. These
are a really big thing in Quebec, and they are negligible in the rest
of the country.
Reed teaches sociology, anthropology and law at Carleton, and is associate
director of that universitys Centre for Applied Social Research.
This was the first of three events planned for the International Year
of the Volunteer.
The Graduate Diploma in Administration is focused on providing administrative
and management skills for the not-for-profit sector, including the arts,
health care and community groups.
Students in the Graduate Diploma in Sport Administration work in amateur
sport organizations at the local, regional and national levels as well
as in professional sport and in business.