Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.
— Thomas Alva Edison —
The 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating found that 6.5 million Canadians, 15 years of age and older, volunteered over 1 billion hours.
Although there was a decline of 13% in the total number of volunteers from 1997 to 2000, the average volunteer donated 162 hours per year, up from 149 hours in 1997.
Community literacy agencies, like many other voluntary- based organizations in Canada, are facing a very different environment than they were a decade a go. The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (2000) showed that the number of people volunteering their time has decreased. A more recent survey of the voluntary sector, Cornerstones of Community: Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations (September 2004), also conducted by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy and Statistics Canada, found voluntary organizations regularly report difficulty recruiting and retaining volunteers and board members. Even in 1996, however, community literacy agencies recognized they were entering a new era. In CLO’s Changing Volunteer Environment research1, agency staff members reported they had a greater need for volunteers with specialized skills because of funding cutbacks, and yet they had more difficulty attracting these kinds of volunteers. The agencies also said they had less time available to support volunteers, and the volunteers’ interests and expectations were changing.