I’ve Got Volunteer Fatigue :-(

I woke up grumpy today 😦

It’s February, so I’m chalking it up to “Volunteer Fatigue”. Hockey season started way back on Labour Day Weekend and it ends in ~ 6 weeks. We had a parent flare up this week. The reason behind the flare up really bugged me. In many ways I can’t wait for the season to end. But it’s playoff time, so there is plenty of good stuff to come. Good times will roll again soon 🙂

It is interesting to me that “Volunteer Fatigue” is a common phrase. A Google search of it returns an endless list of similar stories. I’m not alone. Many of these stories point to a countries statistics site. I took a quick look at Statistics Canada’s latest report
Satellite Account of Nonprofit Institutions and Volunteering, 1997 to 2003 and found some very interesting stuff with respect to “V-Fatigue”.

A. The first point is that Volunteering is dropping — in 2000 ~6.5M vs 1997 of ~7.5M.

In 2000, 6.5 million people, or 26.7% of Canadians, volunteered their time and skills, down from a volunteer rate of 31% in 1997. Although a million fewer Canadians volunteered, those who did devoted more time, partially mitigating the decline in hours. In 2000, volunteers contributed 162 hours on average, up from 149 hours in 1997, resulting in 1.1 billion hours volunteered, equivalent to 539 thousand full-time jobs (calculated using a 40 hour work week).

(via Statistics Canada)

B. The second point is that the value of volunteered hours is much higher than the value of donations.

Volunteer work is worth more than donations from households

Despite a small decline in the value of volunteer work between 1997 and 2000, volunteering continues to represent a considerably larger resource to the nonprofit sector than monetary and in-kind donations from households. The replacement cost value of volunteering was estimated at $14.0 billion in other “in-kind” revenue offered to the nonprofit sector in 2000, more than double the $6.6 billion of donations received from households.

(via Statistics Canada)

Figure 25 Donations from households and the value of volunteer work


3 Replies to “I’ve Got Volunteer Fatigue :-(”

  1. Hi,
    I’m a writer for CBC Sports online’s OurGame website. It’s devoted to minor hockey issues in Canada.
    I came across this post about volunteering for a minor hockey association. I would like to know more – are you a parent? A coach? Do you keep a blog?

    As well, I’m doing a story on those who volunteer with minor hockey associations and whether or not they should be paid, or reimbursed, and if so, by how much. Are you interested in being interviewed on this topic?

    Please contact me at your earliest convenience. 416 205 7085, lindsey.craig@cbc.ca
    Thanks very much.
    Lindsey Craig

  2. * Hi Lindsey,
    – I am most familiar with wvmha (boys) and nsfiha (girls) associations.
    – each of these clubs has moved to paid positions in hard to fill areas
    – wvmha has had paid positions for quite a while … mainly rep coaching & skills programs
    – nsfiha has just recently added its first paid position
    – in each case “paid” is more like a “thank you” amount
    – probably best to contact the presidents of those associations .. they are parents who put in many many hours. Here are the links to their contacts pages.


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