The Business section of La Presse gives space to an op-ed from a business stakeholder. Entrepreneurs and managers, the floor is yours. Raise questions, share your experiences, propose solutions, express your opinions.

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are at the heart of our communities. Every day, in Montreal and elsewhere in the country, they play a crucial role in the economy, in addition to contributing greatly to the well-being of the population. They offer valuable programs and services in a variety of areas, from childcare and housing to health, arts, employment and education.

According to the data available in 2021, Quebec NPOs represented 10.1% of the province’s GDP and generated economic spinoffs of around $43.2 billion. Community NPOs alone contributed $6.5 billion to the economy, or 1.5% of Quebec’s GDP.

As for job creation, 616,000 people in Quebec work in this NPO sector, which has three main categories: community, commercial and government organizations. For community NPOs, 155,000 people work there.

If we do a quick calculation, with more than 8 million inhabitants in Quebec, each person working in the community would have more than 50 dependents. These workers are under immense pressure, both mental and physical. We cannot deny the fragility of this sector which requires our full attention for the generations of tomorrow, in the current context. Community players are ready, but they have to be given the means.

One way to help community NPOs would be to give them access to up-to-date data on their sector so that they can have a more adequate understanding of their contribution to society. Their impact would be better recognized and their workforce needs would be better planned.

There is a data gap on the nonprofit sector. We do not have reliable comprehensive data on the number of NPOs, the populations they serve, or the people they employ. In addition, there are differences between data collected by provincial statistical agencies and data from Statistics Canada. Among other things, Statistics Canada data does not take into account unincorporated community organizations, and therefore these organizations are not included in this infographic.

On this Day to Support the Mental Health of People Working in the Community, let’s show them how important they are to us by providing them with better data collection on the nonprofit sector. This will enable them to advocate for public policies that foster an environment better suited to conducting their business.