“The nonprofit sector is large and robust, and our staff and volunteer leadership play a critical role in Canadian communities,” say the authors of An Overview and Trend Analysis for Volunteer Board of Directors of Community Organizations in Canada, published by the Ontario Nonprofit Network.

They continue: “However, these are times of change. The context and circumstances within which the sector does its work are changing… Is there a nonprofit that has not been affected? How can local organizations keep up? How do volunteer board members know where to start?”

Here are some of their findings:

The growing income inequality means those nonprofits “working to build social cohesion in our communities are finding our jobs increasingly difficult as more people find themselves at the margins of society.”

Government investment is declining or stagnant year on year; and, while the profile of those who donate is changing, charitable giving is stagnating.

While increases in membership fees and fees-for-service account for some increase to overall earned revenue, new social enterprises help nonprofits as they search for ways to earn revenues to fund their missions. But be forewarned, the Canada Revenue Agency has a narrow definition of related business,

Given all the challenges, nonprofits are increasingly seeking out compatible organizations to support them with governance and administrative support, sometimes referred to as shared platforms.

It’s a new world. Be brave.