Strategies for Boosting Volunteerism in Canada

Introduction

In February 2005, an eclectic group of individuals was brought together for an event called Volunteer Zone Bénévoles to tackle a significant challenge—to unite their thoughts, passions, experiences, and energies in the creation of an action plan to move volunteerism in Canada into the future.

It was an ambitious task. The three-day think-tank involved intense interchange, debate, consensus building, brainstorming, and decision-making. But great visions can and do become powerful realities when bolstered by hard work, cooperation, and the determination of many. The work that was started is just a beginning—but as French novelist Anatole France once wrote, “To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.”

When was the last time you thought about volunteerism? About volunteering? About your organization’s volunteers? Or even about yourself as a volunteer? What image comes to mind when you think of volunteers? If you are like most people, the image is probably fairly standard—a person, likely middle-aged, devoting time through the medium of an organization to helping people on a fairly regular basis. In fact, many think the word “volunteer” is almost “depassé.”

Volunteer Canada defines volunteerism as “the most fundamental act of citizenship and philanthropy in our society. It is offering time, energy, and skills of one’s own free will.”1 While the emphasis may be on the civic responsibilities of each Canadian, the focus is on the concept of people doing—by choice and without pay—something for the benefit of others.

Today, this simple word has somehow been replaced by or is held to be synonymous with different words that have real or perceived broader meanings: civic or community engagement, citizenship or citizen involvement, participation, community work, social capital, etc.

Civic engagement – “the broad, inclusive and direct participation in the search for the public good that renews and enriches earlier concepts of democracy.”2

Community engagement – “the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the well-being of those people. It is a powerful vehicle for bringing about environmental and behavioural changes that will improve the health of the community and its members. It often involves partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems, change relationships among partners, and serve as catalysts for changing policies, programs, and practices”.3

Social capital – “the collective value of all ‘social networks’ [people whom people know] and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other [‘norms of reciprocity’].”4

Because the definition of volunteerism is definitely changing and is merging with broader and important concepts of how we improve our society, it is time to examine and consider what the impact of language and the evolving conceptualization have on our practices.

The Basic Facts about Volunteering

Understanding the basic facts about volunteering can help shed some light on the volunteer movement.

According to the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations:5

Virtually all of the 161,000 nonprofit and voluntary organizations in Canada are governed by volunteer boards of directors, which define the missions and objectives of these organizations.

More than half of all organizations are run completely by volunteers.

Collectively, these organizations draw on two billion volunteer hours annually or the equivalent of one million full-time jobs.

The primary areas of activity of these organizations are sports and recreation (21%), religion (19%), social services (12%), grant-making, fundraising and voluntarism promotion (10%), arts and culture (9%), and development and housing (8%). Also included are hospitals; universities and colleges; law, advocacy and political organizations; environment, education, and research organizations; health organizations; and international organizations.

Nonprofit and voluntary organizations in Canada report substantial problems related to their capacity to engage volunteers and obtain funding. A majority report difficulties in planning for the future, recruiting the types of volunteers they need, and attracting board members.

According to the National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating:6

6,500,000 Canadians (27% of the population aged 15 and over) volunteered in 2000, down from 7,500,000 in 1997.

Seven percent of Canadians—or 25% of volunteers—account for 73%

of all volunteer hours.

The rate of volunteering was highest among youth (29% of those aged

15 to 24 volunteered in 2000) and those in their mid-adult years (30% of those aged 35 to 54 volunteered).

One in every two Canadians (51%) is a member of, or participates in, a group or organization, which shows that the community spirit is alive and well.

The statistics are powerful: volunteerism, although on the decline, is essential to our way of life. It is imbedded in the social fabric of our communities and our country.

Redefining Volunteerism

Volunteers read, coach, walk, drive, visit, cook, telephone, canvas, run, and protest. They write, plant, organize, coordinate, sew, speak, clean, prepare, direct, chair, and give. They are parents, friends, seniors, children, teenagers, people who work for a living, and people who do not work. They are from towns, cities, villages, provinces, and territories; they are from everywhere across this nation.

But volunteerism and the volunteer movement have shifted in recent years. For example:

Mandated volunteerism in the form of community service for parolees, curriculum-driven community involvement as a condition for graduation, workfare programs, etc., have become common. Should we take a stand and define what volunteerism is and what it should be?

The demographics of volunteers are changing. Baby boomers have had record involvement in volunteering; youth are enthusiastic about volunteering, yet voluntary sector organizations are not adequately responding to that enthusiasm; the trends and patterns of volunteering by ethno-cultural minorities are not understood; and accessibility for disabled volunteers is often not considered.

Time management is increasingly a challenge for volunteers and “lack of time” remains a barrier to volunteering. Because of changing work schedules, multiple priorities, and the “full speed ahead” philosophy influenced by technology, many people can volunteer only for short-term or sporadic assignments or outside of the traditional 9-to-5 time slot.

Societal values and connections are changing. Will we go back to the hyper-competitive, 24/7/365 world of pre- 9/11? Will technology replace human contact? Will virtual volunteerism become all the rage? Is altruism being replaced by self-serving involvement? What really motivates those who get involved and what impact will this have on Canada’s social fabric?

Volunteerism is becoming more professionalized and “engineered.”7 It is being noticed in a more formal sense. The movement has been “taken in hand”: professional practices and structures are common in many organizations, and we have seen increased political interest and government involvement in volunteerism. Will this shift prove to be a detriment to the movement, or will it enhance its abilities?

Identifying Priorities to Help Boost Volunteerism

It was against this backdrop that Volunteer Zone Bénévoles participants were asked to consider four priority areas that were identified by Volunteer Canada. These were offered only as a springboard for discussion. We expected that by the end of the three days, participants would have developed a different list. We were not disappointed.

Where We Started

The four priority areas that we asked participants to consider did not constitute a comprehensive list. Rather, these were areas that seemed important to the future of volunteerism in Canada. They were youth involvement, demographic shifts, diversity, and governance and leadership issues.

A quick overview of these priority areas is presented below.

1. Priority Area: Youth Involvement8

In the past, the traditional Canadian volunteer was rarely portrayed as young. Nonetheless, there has always been a cohort of young people in Canada who are actively committed to community organizations: Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, 4-H Clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, YM/YWCA’s, to name a few. Young people also have a strong tradition of involvement in the sport and recreation sector, often moving from participant to helper to junior coach. Over the last 20 years, statistics have shown that youth9 volunteerism is gradually making its presence known. Clearly the context and influences relating to youth volunteering in Canada have changed.

Current Status

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Canadian youth volunteered a total of 287 million hours in 2000 (the equivalent of 150,000 full-time jobs).

A number of “generational conditioning” elements influence youth engagement. These include the information age, pop culture, globalization, broken families, recession spending, political scandals, television wars, the nuclear threat, risky love, better education, environmental awareness, and the decline in the credibility of organized religion.

Forty-two percent (42%) of youth volunteer because their friends do;

49% don’t volunteer because no one has asked them to.

Youth surveyed in the U.K. identified seven factors that influence youth volunteerism: the legitimacy of the organization seeking to recruit youth, ease of access, past successful or unsuccessful volunteer experiences,

incentives offered by the organization, the variety of volunteer assignment available, the type of organization, and whether or not the activity is fun.

Gaps and Challenges

Although youth need to believe in the “cause,” they are also pragmatic; they want to develop job-related skills and enhance their employment opportunities.

Youth are frustrated by what they perceive as the ineffectiveness of organizations: they want more say in “how” they contribute, they want their youthful voices to be heard, and they need flexibility so that they can juggle school-work-family pressures.

Youth experience ageism in voluntary sector organizations.

Youth expect a “return” on their time investment—and their time horizon is different from that of adults; for example, youth view as long-term a volunteer placement that lasts several weeks whereas to organizations long-term often mean placements of several months and even several years.

Many organizations lack the infrastructure, culture, and readiness to effectively involve youth volunteers.

The concept of mandatory volunteer programs has emerged and is often associated with youth engagement (however they are structured, mandatory volunteer programs require people to volunteer).

2. Priority Area: Demographic Shifts10

As we are faced with the need for more volunteers on the one hand and declining volunteer involvement on the other, we often ask existing volunteers to contribute more time rather than finding ways to increase the number and diversity of the volunteer pool. Current volunteers may be “tried and true”; they know the work and they are committed to the cause. Turning to them is often the easy way out—the band-aid solution. But what are the longer-term consequences of such a strategy, especially when many volunteers are beginning to hit their limit and many more are ageing.

Baby Boomers, now on the brink of retirement, are a promising pool of new volunteers. We know from studies and research that this cohort is different from their predecessors. They are more demanding, are seeking opportunities for growth, want to use their time in new and innovative ways, and are looking for interesting and meaningful experiences. Are we ready for them?

Current Status

Declining fertility rates, a steady rise in life expectancy, and the entry of the Baby Boom generation into late middle age have combined to produce a rapidly ageing population.

In 1971, 27% of the population was 45 and older; by 1993, that percentage had risen to 38%.

Prior research suggests that the lifecycle pattern of volunteering is essentially “bell-shaped”: the rate of volunteering peaks between the ages of 35 and 44 and then declines steadily thereafter.

After age 45, volunteer participation steadily declines as children leave home, the demands of career advancement stabilize or wane, and participation in voluntary associations as a means of social integration becomes less important.

A number of “generational conditioning” elements affect volunteering by Baby Boomers. These include economic optimism, higher levels of education, increasing levels of comfort with technology, individualism (i.e., a focus on self and a tendency to reject authority), hectic lifestyles (i.e., leisure time infringed upon by the various demands of life), and an increasing trend to working at least part-time after retirement.

Gaps and Challenges

Will Baby Boomers move seamlessly into volunteering or will their relative wealth, options, and energies pull them in other directions?

Baby Boomers have less religious affiliation and engagement than their elders. Many want to continue to work throughout retirement. They are generally more sceptical about organizations and institutions, are concerned about personal safety, and are more inclined to “personal helping.”

Will Baby Boomers become frustrated as the sector becomes more “bureaucratic,” i.e., as it responds to the need to do more with less, to increase accountability, and to protect itself against possible liability?

3. Priority Area: Multiculturalism and Visible Minorities11

Adjusting to a new life in Canada can be challenging for many recent immigrants. For new Canadians, volunteering is one way to practice new language skills, build social networks, gain Canadian experience, and develop a sense of attachment to and integration into their new community. The combination of language classes, often available with settlement organizations and school districts, and volunteer experience can assist new Canadians in adapting to their new environment.

As a multicultural and bilingual society, Canada has become even more culturally diverse over time, with close to half of the population reporting origins other than British, French, or Canadian. At the same time, there has been a tremendous growth in the demand for volunteers to serve increasing community needs. Unfortunately, many mainstream organizations have not changed or adapted their practices to reflect changes in the volunteer pool.

Current Status

Forty-four percent (44%) of the total Canadian population reported origins other than British, French. or Canadian.

In 1996, 11% of the population reported themselves as “visible minorities,” a significant increase from the 6% who reported this in 1986.

The visible minority population is very diverse (Chinese, South Asians, and blacks are the largest of the visible minority groups), and the majority of visible minorities are immigrants.

Not all ethno-cultural communities have the same awareness of volunteering. Some are familiar with the “elements” of volunteering, while others have limited awareness. In some cases, it is difficult to “translate” the term volunteering.

Motivations for volunteering tend to be similar across cultures and include mutual support and care, response to a need, personal belief in a cause, wanting to give something back, wanting a sense of belonging, a desire for personal satisfaction and enjoyment, opportunities for personal and skills development, and a desire to network.

Volunteer involvement by people from specific cultural communities often results from the activities of their children as well as from a desire to break down racism and to promote their culture.

Gaps and Challenges

Although many of the gaps and challenges are similar to those faced by volunteers in the broader community, there are also additional, specific concerns. These include:

language;

culture (e.g., lack of understanding by volunteer-involving organizations, failure to value various cultural backgrounds, lack of cross-cultural training);

institutional racism;

not enough incentives and recognition or recognition that is not tailored to the specific communities;

organizations, staff, and volunteers who don’t make new participants feel welcome;

“formal” policies and procedures when, often, volunteers would prefer informality; and

lack of information about volunteer opportunities (i.e., lack of targeted communications).

4. Priority Area: Governance and Leadership12

“With shrinking public money, greater demand for services, exposure to liability, stronger accountability and questioning of the nature of charitable work, the voluntary sector must enhance its capacity to increase the credibility and effectiveness of the sector.”13 Given this situation, it is not surprising that recruiting individuals to serve on boards or take leadership roles has proven to be more and more challenging. As well, many individuals already involved may not be as well versed in their role as they should or could be.

Because little research has been done on why individuals are reluctant to volunteer in governance and leadership roles, we are left to speculate.

Current Status

Approximately 41% of Canadian volunteers serve on boards and committees.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of organizations are experiencing challenges in recruiting qualified individuals to serve as board members, and we believe a number of factors are at play:

personal liability of board members;

unclear or poorly communicated governance structures; and

lack of understanding of the role of board members and inadequate training.

Many boards have ineffective nominations processes and give minimal consideration to effective succession planning.

Many boards use the “warm body” approach to filling board positions.

Founders’ syndrome mires many boards in a traditional approach to governance and board communications at a time when new thinking and new and diverse styles of working are badly needed.

Gaps and Challenges

Additional training and development is required to allow senior staff and board members to be better prepared for their leadership roles.

While most boards and CEOs openly acknowledge the extraordinary contributions of their volunteers, there is very little demonstrated recognition of the need for structures to support these volunteers; managers of volunteers tend to be positioned low in the organizational hierarchy and are provided with minimal budgets.

Programs in leadership in the voluntary sector spend little time focusing on or discussing the concepts of volunteerism; expertise in volunteer development is rarely seen as a priority for those in leadership positions.

Where We Ended Up: Priorities for the Future

The participants of Volunteer Zone Bénévoles spent two of their three days together engaged in discussion and feedback sessions designed to help them sift through myriad themes, issues, and challenges and to home in on specific areas that they decided were critical for action. By the final day, they had reached consensus on four priority areas where they felt that the proper investment of time, energy, and resources could result in an integrated approach and renewed general interest in volunteerism (often referred to in French as a “projet de société”).

Participants identified the following as the four critical building blocks for action: public policy and advocacy, organizational capacity, volunteer engagement, and movement building. It was understood that demographic shifts are an important consideration for each of the four areas.
Public policy and advocacy refers to the process of speaking and working with governments at all levels on issues related to volunteering and volunteerism in a society in which contributing to one’s community is seen as a fundamental right. Organizational capacity refers to building healthy organizations and includes supporting and enabling healthy management, governance and leadership, and funding policies. Communication plays a key role in each of these. Volunteer engagement refers to the experience of volunteering and to understanding how and why people become engaged as volunteers and how they want to be engaged. Recruitment, retention, and recognition of volunteers are important components of this priority area, and marketing plays a key role in each of these. Movement building refers to the creation of a social movement to broaden public understanding of and recognition for a societal agenda (projet de société) focused on volunteerism. This also means creating an integrated strategy that can easily be adapted and adopted by voluntary sector organizations. Building such a movement involves creating shared awareness, commitment, and other values, and includes connecting with organizations, reclaiming the language (by ensuring that the word volunteering is understood and used appropriately), and strategic communications.

Taking Action

Participants engaged in in-depth discussions to determine possible strategies and next steps for each priority area. They examined the objectives for each area and identified actions, programs, and activities that could be implemented. The results of these discussions are outlined below.

Public Policy and Advocacy

In a societal model in which volunteering is perceived as a fundamental way for every Canadian to participate in civil society and in which the provision of many public services depends on the contribution of volunteers, the need to engage with government and others in policy dialogue becomes critical. Policy makers must recognize, as they design policy and programs, that volunteers are a critical component of any service-delivery model. The voluntary sector does not yet have a history of solid policy and advocacy work and is a relative neophyte in this area. However, policy dialogue is an increasingly important focal point for the sector, and several specific areas for action were identified. They include the following:

Each time government articulates public policy, volunteers and volunteerism must be considered. Volunteering, volunteers as individuals, and the impact of both on society must become part of policy development at every level of government. Fortunately, others have done compelling work in this area that could be used as a model by the sector. For example, urban centres have been successful in turning their issues into a “cities agenda” that has ultimately led to federal policy shifts and new government programs. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has been effective in ensuring that governments do not discuss political or economic issues that affect small business unless the Federation is at the table. These same successful approaches could and should be used by the voluntary sector.

There should be a reference point on public policy with respect to volunteering. Governments and decision-makers must have easy access to reliable information and resources about volunteering and need a single source for this information. Existing partnerships (e.g., between Volunteer Canada and Imagine Canada) need to be strengthened and brought to bear in this area.

It is essential to establish collaborative, sector-wide involvement in public policy dialogue. For example, if volunteering and health are the focus of discussion, there must be strong connections with people working in the health field. The same is true of volunteering and sport—or any other part of the sector. Volunteers are active in a wide variety of entities and aspects of the sector and the involvement of all is vital.

Effective input into the public policy dialogue requires structures. A structure with a strong research component must be put in place to help formulate and articulate issues across the country and to move the agenda forward. Policy development must occur at all levels—national, provincial, regional, and local. In addition, there is the need for strong network development across the entire sector.

Organizational Capacity

The culture of an organization has an enormous impact on its ability to attract, retain, and engage people. In the values framework in which voluntary organizations work, communications must be strong and effective, decision-making processes must be inclusive, and the contributions of people who give their support—of either time or money—must be recognized and valued.

Leadership is an important consideration when discussing organizational capacity. Leaders are the people who develop and maintain an organization’s culture. There is a strong link between good leaders and an organization’s ability to establish and maintain a healthy organizational culture and strong volunteer engagement practices.

One of the biggest challenges in building organizational capacity is finding the time to create a welcoming and engaging culture. So much energy and time is devoted to writing reports, chasing dollars, and delivering on promised results while figuring out how to be sustainable that this often restricts the creation of a living, breathing organizational culture. Participants expressed a need to get back to organizations that are “fun, interesting and valuable.” As one participant stated, “People need to be excited to walk in our doors and feel they belong.”

Strategies identified for this priority area include making better use of technology. Technology can assist in the transfer of information and the sharing of best practices. Creative ways to use technology tools must be examined. Participants also discussed a facilitated process of collaboration at the community level—clusters of community leaders could be brought together to devise better ways of doing things and sharing information. Participants said, “We need to bridge that knowing/doing gap—we often know what needs to be done but just don’t have the time to adapt ideas and implement them.”

Volunteer Engagement

Volunteer engagement includes motivation, meaning, quality of life, excitement, value building, and ownership, as well unleashing in people the latent potential to become involved. It also requires the examination of advocacy and promotion.

In order to identify strategic next steps, participants devised a stated objective: “to create a safe and inclusive environment in all aspects of life where ownership of volunteer engagement takes place.” This objective reflects the idea that volunteer engagement happens along a continuum of involvement.

Four specific areas were outlined to illustrate how we (Volunteer Canada and other sector partners) could take action to involve volunteers.

A wealth of very good, established programs for youth already exists (for example, the Roots of Empathy and the Lion’s Club youth outreach program). We should find ways to share these successful models widely in order to engage more Canadians at younger ages. We do not have to “reinvent the wheel” at every turn, but can learn from what is already known to be working.

We need to divert more energy into renewing and re-engaging volunteers. We cannot risk losing volunteers and must ensure that their contributions are a “continued part of a life-long journey.”

Canada’s immigration and citizenship processes were pinpointed as other action areas. Possibilities exist for language changes in both processes so that the Canadian value of volunteering and community engagement can be more explicitly related to newcomers. A stated value of “community engagement” in both the immigration and citizenship processes would send a powerful, clear, and useful message to all.

“Grassroots volunteering” could be promoted. This would allow people to volunteer without a job description or other impediments that the sector itself has created (e.g., risk management policies). We do not always have to think in national and provincial terms, but should consider how to “let people come together on their own corner of the street.” Allowing for segmentation could result in smaller groups of volunteers flourishing in their own districts and communities and responding to their own set of specific needs.

Movement Building

Building a social movement for volunteerism involves raising Canadians’ consciousness of volunteering, beginning with a fundamental recognition of the dignity of volunteer involvement. This involves the articulation of the value of volunteering (so much of what happens in Canadian society is dependent on the activity of volunteers), increasing awareness of the existence of volunteers (so many people have little notion of the impact and contribution of volunteers in Canadian society), and increasing the quantity and quality of volunteers.

While individual acts of kindness may occur spontaneously, volunteering as part of the nonprofit and voluntary sector and as a society does not “just happen.” It must be nurtured and supported. It needs a structure in which to thrive and grow. A social movement provides this structure; in its initial stages, a movement primarily involves communication and identification of key entry points through which to plant the seeds of the movement and its messages most effectively. After that, a movement becomes more organic, depending on what is done with the messaging and how receivers act on these messages.

With this in mind, participants identified four key entry points for the development of the movement. Although individual volunteers and random acts of kindness are in themselves important, participants agreed that the focus for movement building is “people working in groups for the benefit of their communities.” The four entry points are:

1. The sector itself. While a range of organizations of all types, sizes, and budgets exists, mid-sized organizations that already have some staff in place to work with volunteers are considered the most effective starting point. This group has already been successfully targeted by IMPACS (the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society) for work on creating awareness on advocacy.

2. Large employers in the private sector. The movement would seek early understanding and public commitment on employee volunteerism from this group. Companies in the Caring Company corporate citizenship program (Imagine Canada) could be linked with commitments on employee volunteerism.

3. Educators. By working with provincial and territorial ministries of education, the voluntary sector can influence curriculum development in the school system, develop opportunities to work with youth, and develop the long-term future of the movement.

4. Key funders. Funders play a strong and valuable role in encouraging organizations to develop strategies around volunteerism. United Ways, community foundations, private foundations, government funders, and corporate partners are all part of this. As one participant said, “If United Ways were to be asking, ‘What are your strategies around volunteerism?’ this could have quite a profound impact on organizations.”

Time did not allow for specific activities to be discussed, but components of movement building would include strategic communications, the legal regulatory process, and partnership building.

Moving Forward

Volunteer Zone Bénévoles brought together an eclectic group of subject specialists who would not normally come together to form a working group. The agenda was a difficult one. A serious societal goal was set: examining volunteerism in its broadest sense and creating actions to allow it to flourish. Many ideas were shared and debated, and the seeds for something significant were sown.

Initial decisions about follow-up processes have already been made. New communication devices are being developed in order to make the transfer of information easy and timely—this includes a regular update section in Volunteer Canada’s electronic newsletter, eVOLution.

Volunteer Canada is committed to playing a leadership role in moving this agenda forward. We will work collaboratively with others in order to enable, facilitate, and assist individuals and organizations across Canada to contribute, give, participate, and make this the best country in the world. There is much to be done to put the efforts of Volunteer Zone Bénévoles to good use. Everyone has an important role to play and success will depend on the continued participation and commitment of all.

NOTES

1. Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: <http://www.volunteer.ca/volunteer/pdf/ CodeEng.pdf>.

2. As defined by the University of Southern Mississippi’s Centre for Community and Civic Engagement: <www.ccce.usm.edu/Mission.htm>.

3. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: <http://www.cdc.gov/phppo/pce/part1.htm>.

4. Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone, 2000: <http://bowlingalone.com/socialcapital.php>.

5. National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, 2004: <http://www.nonprofitscan.ca/research_at_CCP.asp?page=NSNVO#section2>.

6. National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2000: <www.givingandvolunteering.ca>.

7. Linda Graff, Genetic Engineering of the Volunteer Movement, Rants And Raves Anthology: What’s on the Minds of Leading Authors in the Volunteer World (2003): <www.lindagraff.ca>.

8. Several sources were used in producing this section, they include: Citizen Re-Generation: Understanding Active Citizen Engagement among Canada’s Information Age Generations, Robert Barnard, Denise Andrea Campbell, Shelley Smith; with contributions from Don Embuldeniya, <www.nonprofitscan.ca>; National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2000, <www.givingandvolunteering.ca>; Volunteer Connections: New Strategies for Involving Youth, Volunteer Canada, <www.volunteer.ca/volcan/eng/content/youth/ involving.php>; What Young People Want from Volunteering, National Centre for Volunteering (U.K.), Katharine Gaskin: <www.ivr.org.uk/youngresearch.htm>.

9. For discussion purposes, “youth” has been defined as individuals between the ages of 15 and 24.

10. Several sources were used in producing this section, they include: Why is Volunteering

Declining in Canada? An Age-specific and Cohort Analysis of Volunteering Rates, 1987–2000, L. Kevin Selbee and Paul B. Reed, 2004: <www.arnova.org>; National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2000, <www.givingandvolunteering.ca>; Volunteer Connections: New Strategies for Older Adults, Volunteer Canada, <www.volunteer.ca/volcan/eng/content/older-adults/involving.php>.

11. Several sources were used in producing this section, they include: Multicultural Canada—A Demographic Overview, Canadian Heritage, <www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/pubs/multi_e. cfm>; A Graphic Overview of Diversity in Canada, Canadian Heritage: <www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/ progs/multi/assets/ppt/jedsite_e.ppt>; Cultural Inclusion: Volunteering is for Everyone, Volunteering South Australia, <http://www.volunteeringsa.org.au/publications/ policies/cultural_inclusion.pdf>.

12. Several sources were used in producing the information in this section, they include: Building on Strength: Improving Governance and Accountability in Canada’s Voluntary Sector, 1999; <http://www.vsr-trsb.net/pagvs/Book.pdf>; The Importance of Board Governance, <www.boarddevelopment.org/importance.cfm>; National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2000, <www.givingandvolunteering.ca>.

13. The Importance of Board Governance, <www.boarddevelopment.org/importance.cfm>.

MARLENE DEBOISBRIAND

President, Volunteer Canada, Ottawa, Ontario