Victoria Civil Society: Economic and Community Impact Quantified

Civil Society Impact report was released by the Victoria Foundation and University of Victoria on November 27, 2018. It quantifies the $4B direct economic impact of Greater Victoria’s non-profit and charitable sector. Total economic impact is $6.8B in total economic impact with 122,000 jobs.

For an often viewed as ‘have-not’ sector, it is a positive step to recognize this significant economic and employment impact. The report has a section on ‘what is impact’ and I would argue that non-profit sector is the primary IMPACT sector that delivers significant community and economic benefit.

BC is lagging behind in terms of investing in the Impact Sector. If we compare the Impact Sector to the Tech Sector, the difference becomes clear: Comparing Investments.

The Impact Sector is growing, becoming more entrepreneurial and offers a blended value return:

• Non-profits and charities tend to be locally governed entities that employ locally and resource locally- the Civil Society Impact report uses a 1.7 multiplier effect calculation. LOCO uses a 2.6 multiplier for local small businesses. Either way, local ownership and presence is good for local economies.

• The impact sector is a significant employer of women, people of colour, young people, and people who may face barriers to employment. The work flexibility and willingness to train people makes the sector a significant employer in terms of numbers and plays an important role in the employment eco-system.

• The Impact Sector is undergoing a significant shift. Traditional grant and donation revenues are decreasing while earned income is increasing. This context shift needs a comprehensive strategy, investment and support to help the sector adjust to new financial models and operational realities.

It is time for the Impact Sector to be recognized and invested in as both an economic and impact driver for BC. As Civil Society Impact outlines, there is a lot to build from!

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