About the Community Foundation of PEI
The Community Foundation of PEI was incorporated in 1993. It is part of a network of Community Foundations across Canada, and has three main functions:
- Endowment Building/Donor Service – The charitable gifts of many donors are pooled to create permanent, income-bearing endowment funds which form revenue sources that are available to benefit the community in perpetuity.
- Grant Making – The income earned by invested funds is used to provide grants to a wide range of charitable organizations. Community Foundations add value by supporting projects that strengthen the quality of life in communities.
- Leadership – Community Foundations take a leadership role in bringing together a broad range of stakeholders within communities to address mutual issues of concern. Community Foundations serve as a repository of best practices which can be shared for the benefit of many.
As part of its continuing efforts to strengthen third sector organizations individually and collectively, the Community Foundation of PEI commissioned a Building Community Capacity Study. The intent of the study was to take a look at the social and economic impacts of the sector, to identify key challenges and to determine which supports, resources and initiatives would be most beneficial for building capacity and sustainability within sector organizations.
*Sourced from introduction page of the study
Highlights of the study
The study indicated that the achievements of PEI’s third sector organizations are many and cross many different disciplines. The sector brings communities together to work on common purposes, provides much-needed social services such as life skills training, respite care and terminal illness support, educates, employs, promotes and supports health and wellness, and advocates for causes that may not otherwise have a voice.
- There is increasing evidence that the third sector is a significant employer and economic force provincially, nationally and globally;
- Within Atlantic Canada, the provincial governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have ministerial responsibility for the nonprofit and voluntary sector that helps to ensure policy, promotion and other supports for the sector. Government stakeholders in Prince Edward Island recognize the importance of third sector organizations and consider them valuable partners in service delivery, but this recognition is not supported through formal policies or a designated bureaucratic structure such as a Third Sector Secretariat;
- The Prince Edward Island third sector includes a wide range of organizations established to meet the needs of individuals and communities. Some of the metrics of PEI’s third sector include:
- 943 nonprofit organizations
- $230 million in revenues in 2003
- 6,172 Islanders employed
- 53,621 volunteers
- 56% volunteer rate (3rd highest in the country)
- 89% donor rate (2nd highest in the country)
- The number of non-profit organizations and their employees is greater than the bioscience, information technology and aerospace sectors combined;
- Additional indicators on the contributions PEI’s third sector organizations make to the province were developed by compiling and analyzing information from a small sample (35) of organizations. This analysis estimated based on a three-year average is as follows:
- $357,426 annual revenue per organization
- $328,366 annual expenditures per organization
- 5,417 annual paid staff hours per organization
- 2,917 annual volunteer hours per organization
- 987 clients served per organization annually
- Percentage breakdown of PEI non-profit organizations by category:
- Religion/Faith 28%
- Sports & Recreation 19%
- Education & Research 9%
- Grant making, Fundraising & Volunteerism Promotion 8%
- Social Services 7%
- Business & Professional Associations & Unions 6%
- Health 6%
- Arts & Culture 5%
- Development & Housing 5%
- Environment 4%
- Organizations not classified 3%
- The most significant challenges of PEI third sector organizations include:
- Accessing funding
- Recruiting volunteers
- Increasing awareness of organizations and the sector
- Accessing affordable, flexible, and coordinated training and professional development
The study concluded that PEI’s third sector is a vital part of Island society and of the provincial economy and deserves increased support and recognition. Since this report was launched, the Community Foundation of PEI opened up discussions with all levels of government and third sector organizations and stakeholders to share the findings presented in this report and to receive their feedback. It is expected that the dialogue will continue and will identify potential partners and collaborations to explore recommended strategies and initiatives.