Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

December 2005


The authors challenge the assumption that organizations are willing to use all the volunteer labor available to them. Rather, they are influenced by the costs incurred of utilizing volunteer labor. This article provides a modest first look at the demand for volunteers by nonprofit institutions. Specifically, the article presents an economic analysis of the demand of volunteer labor by hospitals in the Toronto area and examines some of the factors that may determine the hospitals’ willingness to use volunteer labor. Using data generated from 28 hospitals in Toronto, which use a total of more than 2 million volunteer hr per year, the authors show that the quantity of volunteer hours demanded is a decreasing function of their costs. Other factors such as productivity, output, and labor market institutions also influence the demand for volunteers.


Copyright Sage Publications. Postprint version. Published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Volume 34, Issue 4, December 2005, pages 491-509.


hospital volunteers, demand for labor, nonprofits, Canada



Date Posted: 05 January 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.