Volunteers are the lifeblood of many non-profit organizations. The physical energy, the time, the support, the commitment volunteers give to NPOs makes a huge difference in the lives of millions of people around the world, and at home.Whether its moving and distributing food, water and aid for international organizations, providing safe havens for people who are exploited or abused, or supporting programs at a grass-roots level, volunteers drive the success of every campaign and program in the non-profit world. They bring their talents, their expertise, the education to the table and give their time freely for the greater good.
Volunteers make the world go 'round.
Today marks the 27th anniversary of International Volunteer Day, designated by the United Nations in 1985 to thank the volunteers for their efforts and increase public awareness on their contribution to society. The day is celebrated in majority countries of the world.
What makes volunteering meaningful to you? Check out the results of Volunteer Canada's pan-Canadian research study on Canada's voluntary sector (published 2010).
Volunteer Quick Facts (courtesy of http://www.imaginecanada.ca):
- There are 161,000 non-profits and charities in Canada
- Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector is the 2nd largest in the world
- The sector represents $79.1 billion or 7.8% of the gross domestic product
- The sector is larger than automotive and manufacturing. It generates $112 billion in revenues and employs 2 million people
- Canadians donated $10 billion in 2007
- Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have the highest donor rates.
- Canadians volunteered 2.1 billion hours in 2007
- Young Canadians aged 15 to 24 are more likely to volunteer than Canadians in any other age group
- One percent of nonprofits command 60% of all revenues flowing to the sector
- Canadians with the lowest household incomes give a greater percentage of their income than others
- Saskatchewan has the highest volunteer rate in the country, followed by the Northwest Territories and the Yukon
- Those exposed to giving and volunteering activities early in life are more likely to continue those behaviours as adults
So, how did you thank your volunteers today?