Our mandate is to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with nonprofit organizations working for the public benefit in Ontario. ONN has been created in order to:
- Gather, analyze and interpret information about what is going on in the sector as a whole;
- Enhance communication across the sector;
- Work strategically with nonprofit organizations, government, business and other stakeholders;
- Respond to government at all levels about policy, legislation, and practices that affect how the sector operates;
- Develop a sense of shared interests and common purpose within the sector in order to strengthen the role of nonprofits in Ontario.
The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) was organized in May 2007 in response to concerns about proposed changes to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Bill 65). Since that time, sector support for the nonprofit network has continued to grow and ONN has emerged as a nonpartisan convener of sector voices, communication broker and coordinator for nonprofits in Ontario. We have increased collaborations with government, foundations and segments of the for-profit sector to support its mandate.
An incubated project of the Centre for Social Innovation, ONN’s current network exceeds 6,000, with an estimated reach of 42,000 individuals who are committed to the sector in Ontario. Within the last six months alone, the network has grown by more than 50%, a strong indication of interest, credibility and commitment to ONN’s work with and for the sector. Download a backgrounder on ONN and the third sector here (Backgrounder).
Partnerships and Collaborations
ONN has worked successfully with the Metcalf Foundation to identify areas of systemic policy reform for the sector. We have also partnered with KPMG and Imagine Canada on shaping sector-specific Accounting Standards. We are currently working in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance to address procurement in the sector. More recently, ONN has developed a partnership with St. Andrew’s Insurance to offer tailored insurance to nonprofits at discounted rates; and, Ajah, whose Fundtracker is Canada’s best fundraising tool. We have also teamed up with the United Way Toronto to expand criteria for Infrastructure Ontario loans, opening new financing opportunities to the sector.
Government Relations: ONN played an important role in the development of the Government of Ontario’s Partnership Project Report, released March 2011, submitting various sector-driven papers and participating in the launch of the Partnership Project Office. ONN continues to work effectively with the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to advance the Report’s recommendations. Read about ONN’s partnerships with government.
Key Issues in the Sector
Sector leaders and organizations across Ontario have identified a number of key priorities (below) to grow the impact of the nonprofit sector. These priorities will allow the sector to reach citizens and communities more effectively and strengthen the sector’s ability to deliver efficient and relevant services, such as support for volunteerism and Ontario’s civic engagement.
1. Increasing Partnership with the Government of Ontario
Building on involvement in and implementation of the Partnership Project, ONN seeks to continue strengthening this relationship and building new partnerships with the Government of Ontario on public service delivery reforms as a result of the Drummond Commission’s Report. In this context, the Government must work with the sector to avoid the privatization of public services in Ontario.
2. Government of Ontario/Sector Funding Reform
Slashing red tape and streamlining funding requirements will significantly reduce government administrative costs while freeing up resources in the sector for direct services to citizens and communities. This recommendation was provided to the Drummond Commission in the ONN’s submission last November.
3. Improve Support for Communities and Volunteer Boards – Amend Bill 65
In its current form, Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (Bill 65) limits the sector’s accountability to communities and fails to support volunteer boards of directors and good governance practices in the sector. ONN has proposed tangible amendments to alleviate these likely challenges posed by the proposed legislation that removes barriers and enables the sector to do its work
4. Social Finance Innovation
Pro-active regulatory and policy support for social enterprise and social finance will allow the sector to further diversify funding, and to increase its own sources of revenue. This will enable nonprofits to invest more in social and economic development in Ontario communities. Such support could include the creation of a social innovation lab within the provincial government with a mandate to develop innovative solutions across Ministries as part of the public service reform agenda.
5. Protection of Public Assets
Infrastructure Ontario support could provide opportunities to facilitate community involvement and control over its assets (land, day cares, prisons, long-term care facilities, etc.). The sector should be given “right of refusal” on the protection of public assets before they are sold to the private sector.
In keeping with our mandate to connect and convene across the sector, ONN will be engaging with nonprofits across Ontario providing key data on the sector’s impact on their areas. ONN will also encourage organizations to reach out to their riding candidates on local issues and broader sector priorities which affect their work. Additionally, ONN will be engaging with key political parties to understand their platform positions on the nonprofit sector. We will post results of our engagement and provincial discussions soon.
Our Privacy Commitment to You