State of the Sector Reports
The State of the Sector report series is a collaboration between Vantage Point, Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver and the Victoria Foundation. Vancity Community Foundation and United Way BC joined the partnership in 2023.
The first report, No Immunity (2020), was published during the pandemic, and the second report, Unravelling (2021), was published the following year. Both reports outline the impact of COVID-19 on non-profits around the province.
Since the first two reports were published, the BC context has changed. We are now entering an endemic stage of the pandemic, a softening of physical distancing, the sunsetting of emergency funding supports, and the creation of an initial sector development fund administered through three funders – the BC Recovery and Resiliency Fund. At the same time, in 2023, we are now experiencing high inflation, challenging climate events, and a housing crisis. How are BC non-profits doing?
2023 State of BC's Non-Profit Sector: Safety Net
The 2023 State of BC’s Non-Profit Sector Report provides a snapshot of the trends, challenges, opportunities, and successes for BC’s non-profits during a period marked by the sunsetting of emergency funding supports coinciding the creation of a new sector development fund – and an endemic era of COVID, high inflation, climate events, and a housing crisis. The report provides an analysis of the current contexts for non-profits operating on the ground in different regions of BC.
This year’s report underscores the need to increase the sector’s capacity to be a decent work employer through a focus on job creation investments and strategies. It calls on the sector’s partners and leaders to bolster the internal strengths of the sector with external supports to sustain community-serving programs.
Despite ongoing pressure, BC’s non-profits are working to lift communities and their workforce. The survey found that non-profits are doing more to meet increasing program and service demands from communities, while also doing more to take care of staff with increased wages and benefits. However, revenues are staying the same as expenses are increasing. So, while there is a sense of stabilization in the sector, organizations are concerned about sustainability in the face of increasing costs and staffing pressures.
Priority areas that require immediate action include capacity-building investments, expanding trust-based funding practices, and workforce development strategies.
We invite members of the sector to use the 2023 report to share their organizations’ experiences with policy makers and non-government funders. We need all stakeholders to continue coming together to sustain community driven solutions and non-profits’ community-serving programs.
The Unraveling report clearly shows that the non-profit sector in our province is frayed. This sector which, pre-pandemic, contributed $4.6 billion annually to the capital region economy, is vital to creating a vibrant, caring community through health-related services, arts, culture, sports, recreation, and environmental protection.
To ground this data in a local context and to share this information with people who could help implement calls to action, Victoria Foundation, hosted two Vital Conversations in the capital region on March 10 and April 9, 2021.
Unraveling Vital Conversations
In these conversations, participants identified actions to support changes and capitalize on opportunities presented by the challenges of the pandemic that will re-weave the fabric of our non-profit sector stronger. There is sense of urgency and great appetite to support the sector’s recovery into the “next normal”.
No Immunity report
The No Immunity survey was conducted in the early days of the pandemic between April 8 and April 21, 2020 to examine how nonprofit organizations across BC were being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. BC non-profits and charities were invited to identify the ways in which COVID-19 is impacting their organizations, and what types of support would help them continue to serve their communities.
- Civil Society Impact Report