This paper reports exploratory data from a broader study that examines media representations of the voluntary sector in Canada. It specifically identifies the resources and organizational attributes of Canadian voluntary groups that appear to be important for receiving mainstream news coverage. The data identifies four sets of characteristics of more than 500 voluntary organizations: demographic variables, association type, noneconomic resources, and economic expenditures. These characteristics are examined in terms of their relationship to news coverage. The data suggest that area of activity is significantly related to the amount of media attention that organizations receive. However, the amount of media attention that an organization receives is most strongly influenced by its yearly budget. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to both current debates about advocacy in the voluntary sector and important contextual developments that are transforming the communication environment in which charities and nonprofit organizations in Canada operate. We also draw comparisons to news coverage of the voluntary sector in other liberal democratic countries.

, , , ,
School of Journalism and Communication

Greenberg, J, & Walters, D. (David). (2004). Promoting philanthropy? News publicity and voluntary organizations in Canada. Voluntas, 15(4), 383–404. doi:10.1007/s11266-004-1238-6