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the Centre for Learning, Social Economy and Work at OISE, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Volunteers Count (2009-2011)

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According to Statistics Canada research, volunteers are a major human resource, and their yearly contribution is equivalent to over one million full-time jobs in Canada (Hall et al., 2005).

Yet, volunteers are often an invisible human resource that is taken for granted and not included in the formal accounting reports of non-profit organizations.

Project objective

The objective of this SSHRC public outreach grant, “Building Capacity for VolunteersCount — an Innovative Approach to Account for Volunteer Contributions” (2009-2011) was to help make the invisible visible through the creation of materials to educate non-profits in valuing, keeping records of, and reporting the contributions of volunteers.

These materials included:

  • a National train-the-trainer program for volunteer centres across Canada
  • and, Volunteers Count, an online open source software system that includes a component on social accounting, which broadens the items considered in accounting to include volunteer contributions.

VolunteersCount was developed in part through research funded by a SSHRC INE Research Grant (Creating a Framework for Valuing Volunteer Labour).

For more information, visit the VolunteersCount website.


This project was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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