Altus Dynamics Blog

Need Help Finding Volunteers? Use Data!

Posted by Davis Campbell on Oct 8, 2015 9:00:00 AM


It can be tough finding volunteers who fit your organization. Whether you are a healthcare, social services, sports & recreation, or religious nonprofit, there are specific common characteristics that make people interested in volunteering at any organization. What are they? Using a Statistics Canada report, we’ve listed the top determining factors below:

1) Age:


  • 58% of people aged 15 to 24 reported doing volunteer work in 2010, where people aged 55 to 64 had a rate of 41% and seniors recorded a rate of 36% (Tweet this stat!)

According to the report, 58% of people aged 15 to 24 reported doing volunteer work in 2010, where people aged 55 to 64 had a rate of 41% and seniors recorded a rate of 36%. Also, well over one-half of people aged 35 to 44 (54%) volunteered their time to various organizations. Although younger Canadians are more likely to volunteer, senior volunteers actually commit more hours, with an average of 223 hours, in comparison to 130 hours for youths 15 to 24. So if you’re looking to increase your number of volunteers, direct your efforts towards young people. If you need more volunteer hours, cater your campaigning to appeal to seniors.

2) Education and Faith:


  • 58% of adults with university educations volunteer their time (Tweet this stat!)
  • 21% of people who regularly attend religious services are top volunteers (Tweet this stat!)

Individuals with either post-secondary education or involvement in some form of religious organization are more likely to volunteer. According to recent data, 58% of adults with a university degree reported doing volunteer work, compared with 37% of those without a high school diploma and 43% of high school graduates. Also, people with higher education or religious involvement are more likely to be top volunteers at the organizations they support. Statistics Canada says that 16% of university grads are top volunteers, with only 8% of high school; 21% of people who regularly attend religious services are top volunteers, where only 10% of those who infrequently or don’t attend at all were considered top volunteers. So in order find the best volunteers for your organization, statistics say show that you should be focusing a majority of your efforts on people with higher education and/or religious involvement.

3) Type of Organization:


  • 12% of volunteering occurs at sports and recreation organizations (Tweet this stat!)
  • 12% of volunteering occurs at social services organizations (Tweet this stat!)

Did you know that the kind of work your organization does can make you more appealing to volunteers? Well now you do! Recent statistics say that people over the age of 15 did more work at sports & recreation and social services organizations. Volunteers who dedicate more than 100 hours of their time, on average, give 120 hours of time to sports & rec. and 116 hours to social services. So is this bad news for organizations that support something other than sports & rec. and social services? Not at all. Although these organizations tend to receive the most volunteers, other organizations still have plenty (10% to education/research, 9% to religious, and 6% for health) of Canada’s volunteer population’s involvement.

4) Having Children at Home:


It may seem counter-intuitive, but busy parents with school-aged children (59%), or who have both older and younger kids (56%), have significantly higher rates of volunteering than those who live without kids in the house (41%). However, people without kids happen to give about 30 more hours to their volunteer activities. When looking for numbers, go after parents; but when looking for hours, go after couples without children.

After reading these statistics, hopefully you can have a better idea of who you’re potential volunteers are. For more data and information on volunteering in Canada, check out the full publication

Want to learn more about using data? Check out our eBook by clicking below!

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This Post Was Written By Davis Campbell
Davis Campbell is our awesome marketing intern from Wilfrid Laurier University.