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Non-profits optimistic better days to come

  • September 16, 2021

OTTAWA -- Despite the continuing economic disruption of the COVID pandemic, most Canadian non-profits are optimistic that better days are ahead.

That optimism is reflected in recent surveys. A Statistics Canada survey is in line with an Imagine Canada non-profit sector report that said while some Canadian non-profits and charities have suffered financially, others are doing just fine.

“More than a year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of the crisis are still being deeply felt by many charities across the country,” states Imagine Canada’s “Sector Monitor” report in August.

Imagine Canada, an advocacy organization on behalf of Canadian non-profits and charities, said the pandemic has had an “uneven” impact on the non-profit sector, with more than 40 per cent of charities reporting they continue to face a decline in revenues. But that is countered by others reporting better results

“On the other hand, about a third of charities are now reporting that their revenues are about the same as before the pandemic and almost a quarter report increased revenues. Our latest Sector Monitor survey shows how the pandemic continues to challenge the sector and suggests that recovery will be challenging for many organizations.”

It concludes that this is not unlike the rest of the economy. “These findings mirror what is going on in the economy as a whole, with some industries affected by the pandemic far more than others and some of those affected likely to take much longer to recover than others.”

Imagine Canada points out that a government wage subsidy program that has been used by non-profits to weather the economic storm will continue until at least Oct. 23.

The “uneven” impact of the COVID pandemic is also reflected in a Statistics Canada quarterly survey of businesses that included Canada’s non-profit sector.

The Statistics Canada survey, conducted July 2-Aug. 6, found just under 90 per cent of Canadian non-profits were bullish about the immediate future. As many as 78 per cent of non-profit organizations expect to retain all their employees over the next three months and 14.5 per cent expect to hire more employees.

“The most common obstacles non-profit organizations expected to face over the next three months were recruiting skilled employees (35.4 per cent) and retaining skilled employees (25.3 per cent),” it said. “Nevertheless, the majority of non-profit organizations (89.7 per cent) were optimistic about the future outlook for their organization over the next 12 months.”

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