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Nonprofits working hard to keep up with demand

Nonprofits working hard to keep up with demand

Posted on: 10/24/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

From lost jobs and empty office space to depleted savings and shuttered businesses, the economic recession we experienced in 2015 and 2016 has left a lot pain in its wake. One sector we sometimes overlook when thinking about the economic effects of the downturn is the nonprofit sector and its thousands of organizations that work tirelessly to make Alberta a better place.

Part of this oversight is due to a lack of information on the nonprofit sector and part is due to the sector’s ability to rise above the challenges it faces to be there when we need it.

The recently released results* of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organization’s annual Alberta Nonprofit Survey are a welcome reminder of the sector’s economic importance and the role it plays in making Alberta a caring, interesting, just and fun place to live.

Not surprisingly, given the downturn and Alberta’s growing population, the survey provides evidence of rising demand for the services provided by the nonprofit sector, with 70 per cent of respondents reporting increased demand in the previous year. The proportion of social service organizations that experienced a rise in demand was 83 per cent. Only 53 per cent of respondents said their organization was able to meet the increase in demand for the services it provides.

As we pull out of the economic downturn, it is a particularly good time to think about the important work done by our nonprofit sector and how we can support it.

*Due to methodological challenges, the survey results are not generalizable to Alberta’s nonprofit sector as a whole. Nonetheless, they provide a valuable indication of the current state of the sector.

Higher demand for nonprofit services, graph

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