General Social Survey - Giving, Volunteering and Participating (GSS GVP)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1997

Reference period of change - 2018 (Cycle 33)

Comparability of 2018 GSS GVP estimates with previous iterations - The 2018 GSS GVP offered for the first time an Internet option to survey respondents. This new approach to data collection was in recognition of the need to adapt to the changing use of technology and the ever present demands on Canadians' time. It is impossible to determine with certainty whether, and to what extent, differences in a variable are attributable to an actual change in the population or to changes in the survey methodology. However, there are reasons to believe that the use of an electronic questionnaire had an impact on the estimations. Because of these changes it is not appropriate to compare results from GSS GVP 2018 with previous iterations. Analysis and associate documentation is available upon request.

The 2018 GSS GVP has been significantly reworked to reflect changes that have occurred since its last iteration, including the following:

The transition to the Integrated Collection and Operations System (ICOS) required various adaptations of the electronic questionnaire to reflect the new "self-completion" mode. Some updates have been made in light of changing international standards regarding the definition of volunteering. Among other things, it is now be possible to better distinguish the compulsory or non-compulsory aspect of unpaid activities or the fact that they are performed during working time related to a job.

The rewording of several questions was done to better reflect new online technologies and social media. Thresholds and limit values associated with volunteer hours and donation amounts have been put in place in the electronic application to ease the flow of questions.

For the 2018 survey, the rotating modules on skills gained through volunteering (SK) and participation (CER, GRP, OIF) were withdrawn. Those aimed at employer support (min) as well as the youth experiences and attitudes (EA) were reincorporated into this iteration. New content added to the survey includes the QVS (Quality of the Volunteer Experience and Skills Used), the IVA (Informal Volunteer Activities) module on citizen engagement, the DSQ (Disability Screening Questions) and VET (Veteran) module consisting of a veteran screening question.

Reference period of change - 2013 (Cycle 27)

Target population - The 2013 GSS GVP continues the method of measuring established by the 2004, 2007 and 2010 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating. CSGVP replaced the way these behaviours were measured in the 1997 and 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating. For this reason, it is not appropriate to compare results from the 2013 GSS GVP or the 2010, 2007, or 2004 CSGVP with previous NSGVP estimates.

Instrument design - In 2013, many survey specific socio-demographic questions were replaced by Statistics Canada harmonized content. Harmonized content modules contain standard concepts, definitions, classification and wording for multiple collection modes. This new standardized content is for the most part very similar to the previous concepts used by CSGVP, but in some cases required adjustments to the traditional derived variables.

Sampling - In 2013, the survey was implemented using the newly redesigned GSS frame, which integrates data from sources of telephone numbers (landline and cellular) available to Statistics Canada and the Address Register (AR). This new frame includes "cell phone only" households. Our sampling unit is also different in 2013 where it is now defined as groupings of telephone numbers linked to the same address.

Reference period of change - 2012 (Cycle 27 Pilot Survey)

This survey is now a part of the General Social Survey (GSS) programme.

Reference period of change - 2004

In 2004, the survey's name was changed from the National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating to the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (CSGVP).

The target population for the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating was expanded to include residents of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Reference period of change - 2004 (follow-up of 2000)

The Follow-up Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating was conducted to follow-up a sample of respondents from the 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (NSGVP) and collect data regarding unpaid volunteer activities and charitable giving.

Reference period of change - 2000

Beginning in 2000, the National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating was conducted as part of the Federal Government's Voluntary Sector Initiative.

Reference period of change - 1997

The National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating was conducted in 1997 as a one-time special survey.

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