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Chapter 5

REC101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Gross Domestic Product, Voluntary Sector, Married People

Recreation and Leisure Studies
Course Code
Luke Potwarka

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Volunteering in Canada
important topic because of its dual function as a leisure activity and a
method of recreation and leisure service delivery
volunteers touch all aspects of community life in Canada
2000: 27% (6.5 million) of Canadian population over 15 volunteer in a
Volunteer over 2 billion hours to non-profit and voluntary organizations
in 2003
Canada’s voluntary sector is 2nd largest in the world
More than ½ of Canadian non-profit and voluntary organizations are run
entirely by volunteers
2000: Value of volunteers work amounted to 1.4% of Canada’s gross
domestic product
Refers to any activity that is freely undertaken to benefit another person,
group or cause
o Emphasizes that volunteering is an act of free will
o People volunteer because they choose to do so, and, for many,
there is no expectation of remuneration or financial gain
Recent changes in provincial legislation have challenged the definition of
o Example: in ON students are required to complete 40 hr of
community service as a condition of their graduation

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o Many jurisdictions offer people found guilty of minor criminal
offences the choice of undertaking unpaid “community service”
in lieu of serving time in an institution
o People are who mandated to volunteer represent 8% of all
Canadian volunteers
Volunteering and leisure share common characteristics
o Both based on activities that are freely chosen, primarily
intrinsically motivated and can provide individual benefits such
as self-actualization and increased self-esteem
Identify of an activity as leisure is subjective thus not everyone thinks
volunteering as leisure
16 types of organizational volunteers In After Work: The search for an
optimal leisure lifestyle, Stebbins
Arai suggested a typology of volunteers based on factors such as
individuals’ understanding of their volunteer organization and their
involvement in decision-making processes
Formal or organizational volunteering is activity undertaken through a
voluntary group or public or private institution. Example: Coaching a
minor league baseball team
Informal volunteering any unpaid work a person undertakes on
his/her own to support another
o 77% Canadians do informal volunteering
involvement in volunteering by individuals is influenced by a variety of
factors including gender, age, marital status, household status,
education, employment status and income

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2000 NSGVP survey Canadian women volunteered at a slightly higher
rate than man (28% vs 25%) but contributed to fewer hours on average
(155 vs 170 hr)
2000 volunteering rate for youth was higher (29% aged 15-24) and
those in mid-adult years (30% 35-54) than any other age group
65 and over volunteered the least (18%) but contributed the highest
number of hours on average
Generally, average time spent volunteering increased with age from a
low of 130hr for 15-24 age to a high of 269 hr for those 65 and over.
From 1997 NSGVP, volunteering rates have declined for all age groups
Trends indicate that people were spending more hours on volunteering
but not as many people were choosing to volunteer
2000 married people report highest rate of volunteering (28%) and
widowed the lowest (17%)
Volunteers who were widowed (253hr) or divorced gave more hours
(181hr) than those who were married (175hr) or single (126hr)
Households with children have higher rates
o 1 in every 3 (32%) households with children under 18
W/o children volunteer rates were lower (24%) (168hr) but contributed
more hours than households with children (150hr)
Volunteering participation tends to increase with years of formal
o Canadians with atleast some post-secondary education
volunteered at a higher rate than those with less education
o People with university degree reported highest rate of volunteer
participation (39%)
1/3 Canadian volunteers who reported having at least some post-
secondary education contributed to the most hours on average (173hr)
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