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PIN launches new COVID-19 community impact survey

Hope to understand impact of pandemic in local non-profits, charities
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There is an estimated 170,000 nonprofits and charities in Canada and in 2018, over 12.7 million Canadians engaged in formal volunteering, with a total of 1.6 billion hours of their time given to charities, non-profits and community organizations—equivalent to almost 858,000 full-time year-round jobs (Statistics Canada). In Ontario, nonprofits and charities contribute $50 billion in economic impact engaging 5 million volunteers: significant and vital resources for communities.

“The community benefit sector is not only an under recognized economic engine,” says Kim Cusimano, interim executive director of The People and Information Network (PIN). “It forms the foundation of supports contributing to the health and well-being of communities and powered by a valuable volunteer human resource.”

Over the last six months, provincial and national reports have given voice to the community benefit sector and the impact of COVID. Revenues have declined an average of 30.6 per cent since the onset of the pandemic, with 69 per cent of charities reporting decreased revenues. (Imagine Canada Sector Monitor Report) and one in five survey respondents say they could close within the next six months (Ontario Nonprofit Network, ONN - The state of the Ontario nonprofit sector).

What does this mean for Guelph – Wellington?

“We need to understand the status of nonprofits and charities locally,” says Cusimano. With appreciation to the Guelph Community Foundation and United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin’s Respond, Recover, Rebuild Fund, PIN is launching a ‘Community Benefit Sector Survey’ to understanding the current landscape.

Why is this important?

“You do not need to look far to see how the community benefit sector contributes to our towns and cities, and to our families, our children and ourselves,” shares Cusimano. “Coaching your children’s sports team, your grandfather’s weekly friendly visitor, driving your mom for her cancer appointments, supporting food insecurity, accessing health services and housing, engaging in faith, arts and culture and more; nonprofits and charities are woven into our lives.”

“If you consider that potentially 20 per cent of local organizations may close in the next six months, what does that mean for our community, its health, resiliency and what does it mean for volunteerism?”

Forty per cent of non-profits continue to experience an increase in demand for services, over three in 10 non-profits have had to lay off staff and have lost more than 53 per cent of their volunteers. (ONN - The state of the Ontario nonprofit sector).

“More demand, less human resource and lack of sustainable dollars,” says Cusimano. “This is a crisis economically and socially.”

“We welcome all nonprofits and charities – grassroots to larger organizations – to complete this survey. By gathering local data, we can understand the impact of COVID on our communities while we seek to strengthen and rebuild.”

To complete the survey, visit