(24 October 2013) – On the occasion of the 8th National Forum of Associations and Foundations held today in Paris, Deloitte presented the results of a study of the voluntary sector in 20 countries. It sets out a comparative analysis of associative structures worldwide and provides information on interesting best practices.
The study shows how associative practices worldwide are heterogeneous because of the wide variety of models ( “corporatist”, “social democrat”, “liberal” , “emerging” or “oriental” ), the legal statutes and local regulations. Each country has been shaped by its own history, its own culture, its own needs and its own resources.
The data collected have been used to evaluate existing major differences in a legal and tax perspective, and also in terms of governance, funding sources, the role of the state and the involvement of volunteers and employees.
The countries in which non-profit organisations employ the most people – employees or volunteers – are the Netherlands (13%), Canada (12%) and Belgium ( 11%). Some countries have developed a very important associative sector. For example in Canada, the third sector employs as many people as the entire industrial sector of the country (2 million FTE).
However Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden) and Anglo-Saxon countries (UK and the US) are ahead of the Netherlands. This is to be connected to the models of these countries: in the Nordic countries, there has always been a culturally strong participation of civil society in the non-profit sector. Similarly, Anglo-Saxon countries have always had a strong tradition of private charitable initiative.