Measure Description

Reported Volunteer Rate measures the percentage of respondents to the Edmontonians’ Perception Survey who report having volunteered with a community group, charity or other similar organization during the past 12 months. This measure is used to assess whether Edmontonians' are volunteering in a formal capacity, which is an indicator for being connected to their community. A third-party vendor conducts the survey by telephone. The vendor also collects demographic data to assess whether participants reflect the population. Survey methodology and the demographic results are provided in the Appendix. Reported volunteer rate is considered an indicator.

Measure Importance

The City values volunteers and believes that volunteering promotes citizen involvement, social and civic responsibility and civic pride. It contributes to healthy communities and a vibrant Edmonton and improves Edmontonians’ quality of life.

Historical Data

Data sources: Banister Research & Consulting Inc., Citizen Perception Survey(2010), Leger Edmontonians' Perception Survey (2014, 2015, 2016).Note: The 2011, 2012, and 2013 results are not shown as the survey was notconducted in 2011 and a comparable question was not asked in 2012 and 2013.

Explanation of Performance

In 2017, 44 percent of citizens surveyed in the Citizen Perception Survey reported formal volunteering with either a community group, charity or similar organization. The definition of volunteering has evolved and although there is a 7 percent decrease from 2016, informal volunteering has seen a rise from 84 percent in 2016 to 88 percent in 2017. Forty-one percent of Canadians associate “helping out” with volunteering, which is considered informal volunteering (Canadian Life Survey, 2013). The top three volunteer activities reported in 2017 are: helping others with yardwork or snow removal, helping others with errands or housework, and donating time to organizations involved with youth, children and schools.

In 2017, approximately 15,000 individuals responded to volunteer opportunities offered by the City of Edmonton, which is an increase of 1,000 from 2016. This translated to around 200,000 volunteer hours toward various City programs. High levels of volunteering are shown in City programs such as Roots for Trees (4,599 volunteers), Edmonton Public Library (428 volunteers) and Fort Edmonton Park (703 volunteers). The City also hosted an annual volunteer fair during National Volunteer Week and the annual Board Leadership Conference, which offers training opportunities to new volunteer board members. Two hundred delegates participated in these events.
In addition, the City supported volunteering through funding programs delivered by community agencies and not-for-profits. The Edmonton Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program promoted, encouraged and supported volunteering. In 2017, FCSS-funded agencies reported participation from 13,750 volunteers for a total of 540,295 volunteer hours. Volunteering was also supported through volunteer-led committees and boards and, in 2017, committee members of Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB), NextGen, Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) and the Accessibility Advisory Council contributed a total of 5,502 volunteer hours.

Useful Links

For information about the City's strategic plan, The Way Ahead: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_vision_and_strategic_plan/the-way-ahead.aspx