The Voluntary Sector in Alberta
Alberta's voluntary sector is the cornerstone of every community and touches the lives of every Albertan. It consists of more than 20,000 organizations and 9,000 registered charities both of which employ approximately 176,000 Albertans.
From sports and recreation, arts and culture, services for seniors and children as well as services to help integrate new immigrants into new communities — all theses ways and more, voluntary sector organizations strengthen our communities.
A vibrant voluntary sector is an important contributor to making Alberta strong. Over the course of their daily lives, many Albertans take the time to help others and better their communities by making time to volunteer with nonprofit organizations or by helping others directly.
Community Volunteerism in Alberta:
- In 2010-11, 72.3% of adult Albertans indicated that they did at least one type of volunteer work, a decrease from 82.7% in 2009-10.
- In 2010-11, Albertans volunteered in the following areas:
- Informal volunteering, that is, volunteered of their own initiative outside of an organization such as helping a neighbour (56.4%),
- Human services, for example, volunteering for a food bank, senior centre, or international aid organization (27.9%),
- Sports and recreation, such as, coaching a team, officiating, or organizing local athletic games (23.1%),
- Recreation, including volunteering as a coordinator/supervisor of a recreational event or activity or as a Board or committee member (21.4%),
- Arts and cultural area, for example, volunteering for an arts or cultural organization, a performance or multi-cultural event, an art exhibition or a heritage society (17.6%),
- Youth development, for example, volunteering for a boys and girls club or youth centre (19.4%),
- At libraries (5.3%), and
- Other types of volunteer work, for example, community associations, animal rights and animal rescue (22.2%)
Note: In 2008-09, the question on volunteerism was changed to better reflect examples of informal volunteering. The example "such as helping a neighbour in need" was added to more clearly indicate what activities fall under informal volunteering. While the example provided greater clarity to what informal volunteering is, the comparability of results was impacted.
Data Source: Alberta Culture, Survey of Albertans on Culture