According to Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education volunteers and nonprofit organizations are some of the key threads that make up the social and economic fabric of Nova Scotia. Volunteers are an important part of our communities! Everyday, Nova Scotians and the Nova Scotia Government depend on nonprofit voluntary sector organizations and their volunteers to deliver valuable programs and services, which in turn build healthy, vibrant communities.


Voluntary Sector in Nova Scotia

  • 453,000 Nova Scotians volunteer
  • Rates of volunteerism increased 7% between 2004 and 2007
  • Average hours of volunteerism declined between 2004 and 2007
  • 65% of Nova Scotian youth volunteer44% of Nova Scotian seniors volunteer
  • Volunteers contribute $1.8 billion worth of services to the Nova Scotia economy


Voluntary Sector in Canada

  • Over 12.5 million Canadians volunteered in 2007.
  • Nationally, volunteers contribute the equivalent of $64.9 billion ($2007) worth of services annually to the national economy.
  • Most of the volunteer hours that are contributed in Canada are from a small number of volunteers. 
  • The top 25% of volunteers contributed 78% of all volunteer hours.

In the SIRC (Sport Information Resource Centre) October Newsletter, SIRC highlighted the important role volunteers have in the success of the sport and recreation sector. Within the newsletter, SIRC stated that, ” appreciating our volunteers and providing well managed programming and tools will assist in the retention and positive experience for everyone involved. Typically volunteers feel a strong identification with the activity, a passion for giving back and want to make a meaningful contribution.”


Facts about Sport Volunteers

  • Sport Quarterly March 2008
  • Sport/recreation organizations make up the largest component of the voluntary sector (21% or 34,000 organizations) with the largest number of volunteer positions (28% or 5,300,000 volunteer positions) performing the greatest amount of volunteer hours (23% or 460 million)
  • The sport/recreation sector has only 131,000 paid employees, or 6.4% of all paid staff to support the sector. Three quarters of sport/recreation organizations have no paid staff.
  • When at least one parent is involved in amateur sport in some capacity, their child’s participation rate jumps to 83%
  • Sport Matters Sport 2.0 Towards a New Era
  • Community Sport is suppored primarly by communities themselves, relying heavily on volunteers and only minimally on government support. Sport and recreation organizations make up 21% of Canada’s non profit sector by engage 28% (5.3 million) of all volunteers – more than any other sector. On average, sport organizations receive only 12% of their funding from governments, compared with 49% for voluntary organizations overall.


Looking to Volunteer? Without Volunteers. Kids Can’t Play. Be ONE!

To become a volunteer in your community download the Sport Nova Scotia Volunteer Form here.  Some roles volunteers play include:

  • coach, officiate or referee
  • assist team/club/league with administration tasks to enable coaches to focus on coaching tasks
  • sit on the board (serve as the President, Secretary, etc.)
  • organize fundraising opportunities, Team Manager, Stats/Score Keeper are some additional examples of ways to get invovled and become part of your community.
  • smaller commitment of volunteering for a special event (tournament or a weekend meet).


Support for Volunteers: On-line Resources/Links:
Recreation Nova Scotia The Volunteer Experience of Women in Sport and Recreation

Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education Volunteerism Resources

Sport Matters Group Sport, the Voluntary Sector and Canadian Identity

SIRC Learning from the Experience of Older Adult Volunteers in Sport

SIRC For the Love Of It: Volunteer Coaches

SIRC September 2010 Newsletter on Volunteers

Province of BC Volunteer Screening Tool

Hillary Commission Support Sport Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

Knowledge and Imagine Canada Sport Volunteerism in Small Communities in the Northwest Territories 

Australian Government Volunteer Management Program: Retaining Volunteers

Paper: Managing Volunteers in Canadian Community Sport Organizations

Volunteer Canada Volunteer Canada 

Volunteer Canada National Volunteer Week

Giving and Volunteering – Canada Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating