The non-profit sector includes organizations that operate in diverse areas of the economy.

These organizations are characterized by some common aspects, which include: delivering programs and services- from health care to after school sports-that improve people’s daily lives; fostering cohesion, integration and innovation; bringing vibrancy to communities. The sector can be divided into five subcategories: religious organizations, welfare organizations, arts, entertainment and recreation, other non-profit and educational services.

In the last decade, the non-profit labour force in the Toronto CMA grew by 17,1%, outpacing the growth of the total labour force by almost 50%. Today, approximately 3% of the employed residents in the City of Toronto work in the non-profit sector. Toronto residents form a disproportionate share of the provincial workforce in the subsectors of grant making and giving services, and social advocacy organizations. Toronto CMA residents are under–represented in the out-patient care centre subsector. More than half of non-profit organizations have existed for 28 years or more, while religious organizations report an average of 70 years in existence and employ a median of five people. These organizations rely on both full-time and part-time employees. Close to 10 percent of organizations have no full-time employees. Three quarters of organizations have only full-time staff.

On average, full-time employees work 37.9 hours a week and part-time employees work 15.6 hours a week. Half of the sector’s large employers are unionized. Workers in the non-profit sector earn somewhat less than the average employment income for all industries. There is a slight under representation of immigrants in the non-profit sector labour force. The majority of employees are Canadian citizens born in Canada while 8.6% were born in a country outside of Canada and now hold Canadian citizenship.

Visible minority workers in the non-profit sector in the Toronto CMA are present in the same proportion as in the labour force as a whole. Recent studies show that the following skills will be important for the non-profit organization in the next two years: communication, computer literacy, fundraising/resource development and marketing, client service along with the ability to work with a diverse population.

Demand is strong and is increasing for training in the areas of board governance, grant seeking, proposal writing as well as leadership training and core managerial skills, including volunteer engagement and management. Areas that appear to be emerging as potentially popular topics include succession planning and the use of social media.

Labour Force

The most striking feature of the non-profit sector is the very high proportion of females who work in these occupations. They represent 84.4% of the industry’s labour force. Women in the non-profit sector have the same profile of hours worked as women elsewhere. Men in the non-profit sector tend much more towards the women’s profile of hours worked as opposed to the profile of males in all industries. The proportion of women in the Toronto CMA working part-time in the non-profit sector is similar to the overall workforce (22.0%), but the proportion of men working part-time is almost double that of men in all industries (19.0%) More than half of all workers (53.5%) have been with their current employer for over five years and almost one third (29.6%) for ten or more years.

Age profile 

There is little difference between the age profile of the labour force for the non-profit sector and that of the entire labour force. Employees range in age from 19-76, with the mean age being 43,4. Males on average are older than females-46,9 compared to 42,3 years old.

Educational attainment 

Occupations in the non-profit sector are made up of far more jobs that require a university or college education than in other sectors. Toronto CMA, residents who make up the non-profit labour force have higher levels of educational attainment compared to all workers in the area. Over half (51.9%) of the labour force in the non-profit sector in the Toronto CMA have diplomas or degrees in one of the three fields: social and behavioural sciences and law (21.9%); business, management and public administration (17.8%); and health, parks, recreation and fitness (12.2%). Four subsectors have a labour force in which approximately half of the workers possess university degrees: out-patient care centre (52.4%), vocational rehabilitation services (49.4%), grant-making and giving services (52.0%), and social advocacy organizations (48.6%) Women occupy a disproportionally lower share of the many senior manager and manager positions related to the non-profit sector. The middle level professional occupation of social workers demonstrates something closer to gender parity. Social workers in Toronto experienced modest increases in employment income between 1996-2005. Family, marriage and other related counsellors, as well as community and social service workers, experienced essentially flat –lined employment incomes over this 10 year period.

Key facts 
  • Social workers both male and female have experienced modest increases in employment income over past 10 years.
  • Family, marriage and other related counsellors, as well as community and social service workers, have experienced essentially flat-lined employment incomes over this 10 year period.
  • 80.8% of employees hold full time positions and 19.2% hold part time positions.
  • 20.9% of employees are members of a union or covered by a collective agreement.
  • Residents of the Toronto CMA earn more than residents in the rest of Ontario when comparing the same industries.
  • Toronto males in senior positions in the non-profit sector experience higher incomes and higher income increases than females in the same positions in the sector.
  • Over a third of the Toronto CMA non-profit sector labour force is found in the child day care service sector.
  • Early childhood educators have seen their employment incomes drop substantially.