Not-For-Profits: An Untapped Market?

Consider the not-for-profit sector locally. Are they an annoying group that comes door to door always seeking donations, or are they potential partners in the growth of your business?

In 2007, the value added or gross domestic product (GDP) of the core non-profit sector amounted to $35.6 billion, accounting for 2.5% of the total Canadian economy. This share increases to 7.0% when hospitals, universities and colleges are included, reaching $100.7 billion in 2007.” (Statistics Canada)

What does that mean?

In 2006, the latest year for which GDP by industry for Canada is available, the core non-profit sector generated 20% more value added than the entire accommodation and food services industry, more than 2.5 times that of agriculture, and generated nearly six times as much value added as the motor vehicle manufacturing industry.

The broader non-profit sector, which includes hospitals, universities and colleges, exceeded by more than one third the value added of the entire retail trade industry, and outpaced the value added of the mining, oil and gas extraction industry.” (Statistics Canada)

These organizations have a lot of employees, who are as equally loyal to their donors as they are to their cause. Looking at Grey Bruce there some very significant employers in the not-for-profit sector, Bruce Grey Child and Family Services and Keystone Child Youth and Family services have over 150 employees combined. Highly qualified, extremely educated and well employed employees, who still have to fundraise to deliver a full range of services to their clients.

Are you missing an untapped market?
It’s also important to look at where the funds are being spent. Are the dollars staying locally, in employees, business overhead, programs and supplies purchased locally?
Naturally some dollars need to leave the community, medical research is not conducted here so to support the research to end the diseases, money has to leave the community.

It’s important to ask questions when dealing with the sector locally. The not-for-profit sector is as equally important to the local economy as any other for profit business, and in some cases, has a greater positive impact.

Author: Francesca Dobbyn – Bruce-Grey United Way

One Response

The not-for-profit sector is consistently overlooked by the private sector as a viable and important component of our local economy.

A case in point: in 1996, the largest employment sector in Hamilton, Ontario was manufacturing with the steel makers Stelco and Dofaco leading the way. This sector employed more people than the next two sectors combined, healthcare and social assistance and education services.

In just 10 years manufacturing jobs dropped 11% with 7,100 lost jobs while healthcare jobs increased 31% and education 57% adding a combined total of 20,730 new jobs to the market place. These two sectors now employee twice as many as in the manufacturing sector.

Every employee working in the not-for-profit sector spend locally and need to be recognized as a major economic stimulus to the Owen Sound and the Grey Bruce community.

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