Enabling Volunteerism Beyond COVID-19

Enabling Volunteerism Beyond COVID-19

Our Mission

To provide a provincial network and voice to strengthen the individual and collective ability of Volunteer Centres in Ontario, to promote, support and enhance volunteerism.

A Renewed Imperative:

  • 1 in 2 volunteer leaders displaced
  • 80% decrease in volunteer positions; slow to return in mid-markets
  • 20% volunteer shortage in Toronto
  • Local, intensive support to facilitate program adaptation
  • Critical impact to priority sectors: Social Services, Health Care ,Arts & Culture, Sport

Key Insight #1: volunteer Roles for Emergency Services

Ontario volunteers contribute $2.07 billion to Canada’s GDP

Volunteers play a critical role in delivering services to our most vulnerable residents (food security, mental health programs, seniors support services, hospital support, hospice care), and support community initiatives that enhance the lives of all citizens (sport, arts and culture, education, etc.).

Significant social and economic implications of not building back: 

  • Capacity loss (health care and social services)
  • Organizational sustainability
  • Personal opportunity (skills & employment)
  • Social inclusion and community belonging

Key Insight #2: primary challenge is organizational demand

Numerous sector-wide surveys indicate that organizations are challenged to find volunteers (ONN, Imagine Canada) 

The pandemic has placed significant operational strain on the voluntary sector causing 1 in 2 organizations to lay-off or permanently re-deploy volunteer management professionals. This trend has significantly disrupted volunteer engagement across Ontario as volunteer demand outstrips the supply of available positions.

Key Insight #3: volunteering as prevention

Meeting critical needs is paramount as social system (health care) is under critical duress. Volunteers can support further erosion through preventative support.

  • Ambassadors for fire/fall prevention for seniors, health and wellbeing
  • Vaccination support Food security programs (in community and in hospital)
  • Volunteers as capacity builders to fill gaps in long term care/health sector.
Bradley George
Author: Bradley George

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