The Nonprofit Sector in Prince Edward Island – Report

PEI NonProfit 1 Pager Final_page-0001

Nonprofits are an important, successful and growing part of Prince Edward Island society, providing essential supports and services. However, funding and labour challenges, and now COVID-19, are impeding their success. The economic contribution and issues facing the sector are examined in a report, released today, by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), commissioned by the Community Sector Network of PEI (CSNPEI).

“PEI nonprofits employ 3,400 people, accounting for 4.3% of jobs in the province,” says report author, Patrick Brannon. “This is similar in the size to PEI’s transportation or professional services industries”.

APEC’s study shows that the nonprofit sector’s direct economic impact was valued at $136 million in 2019. With indirect and induced impacts this grows to $214 million.

A survey of the 1,700 non-profits in the province identified several pressures including funding and labour force challenges related to an aging workforce, low wage rates, a lack of succession planning and falling volunteer rates.

“COVID-19 has reduced nonprofit funding, made daily operations more difficult, and exacerbated mental health pressures.” says Brannon. “While nearly half of non-profits received increased government funding during the pandemic, these organizations will need continued support to ensure a full recovery”.

“Nonprofits deal with some of the most complex issues facing Islanders, including the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Jillian Kilfoil, Board of Directors of CSNPEI. “This report helps us better understand the sector and provides recommendations that will support their success.”


Full report available here


Report Highlights

  • More effective funding is needed to ensure that nonprofits can deliver services, pay competitive salaries, and support training.
  • Labour pressures and an aging population are serious threats to the sustainability of the nonprofit sector.
  • Leaders tend to be older than senior managers in other industries, but few nonprofits have a formal succession plan.
  • Support targeted at HR challenges will assist the sector in meeting the needs of Islanders.
  • 70% of employees and 65% of leaders are women. The share of employment of underrepresented groups is also above the PEI average.
  • PEI has one of the highest rates of volunteerism in Canada, but rates are falling with declines intensified by COVID-19. Encouraging volunteerism will be crucial to the continued success of nonprofits.
  • The pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology in the sector. This must continue to improve productivity and collaboration.

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