Ontario Nonprofit Network

Policy to Practice – ONN Conference 2012

Be a Part of Sector Building. Join your sector colleagues for this exciting opportunity to get informed, share experiences, and take action on our sector’s most critical and topical issues. Consult with highly knowledgeable sector experts, build beneficial connections, and learn how ONN’s current policy work can impact your organization.

ONN’s sector conference is designed to move policy into practice and is focused on what busy EDs, board members and other sector leaders need to know to influence strategic work in their communities. The day following our conference, groups who are currently collaborating across the sector have an opportunity to leverage connections and knowledge gained through hands-on working sessions.

Join your sector colleagues in downtown Toronto on September 27-28. And may we suggest staying in the city to enjoy Nuit Blanche on the 29th?

Policy to Practice, ONN Conference 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012


Registration 7:45am
Reception 4pm

Find out first what policies and trends are shaping the sector – and being shaped by it.  Next, touch base with experts to make strategic use of this knowledge in your communities. Nonprofits are stretched thin these days, but by leveraging one another’s efforts, we can save time and strengthen our work to build healthy communities across the province. Take a peek at our Conference Agenda.

When: September 27, 2012, 8:30am

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox
350 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario

Registration includes all sessions, light breakfast, lunch, coffee, drinks reception and all conference materials.


  • ONN Supporters Early Bird: $75+ HST (Until August 24). After August 24, $125+HST
  • General Public Early Bird: $115 +HST(Until August 24, 2012). After August 24, $145+HST



Working Sessions
Friday, September 28, 2012



Making strategic change is hard work, and ONN wants to support sector leaders to make a difference. Following the conference, ONN is providing a chance for strategic thinkers and solutions builders across the sector, and across the province, to come together. On Friday September 28, join key leaders working in the areas listed below. Take advantage of this opportunity to be part of building networks for change in Ontario.

When: September 28, 2012, 8:30am-1pm

Where: Victoria College, University of Toronto
73 Queen’s Park Crescent
Toronto, Ontario

Flat Rate: $35 +HST –  Registration includes light breakfast, coffee and lunch

Registration Note: Please register for one of the following sessions. All sessions will run from 8:30am-1pm. A few workshop groups are undertaking ongoing specific work, classified as ‘by invitation’. To join or hear more, please contact Heather Laird at heather.laird(at)theonn.ca


If you are working to convene organizations or individuals across parts of the nonprofit sector to act collectively, let us know if you would like to host a working group. This is a chance to place your strategic work in the context of broader sector-building — and save yourself some time and energy on organizing the logistics. Contact heather.laird(at)theonn.ca to explore this option.

Strategic Sessions Underway:

a) Shared Platforms Community of Practice 

This is a chance for the Shared Platforms Community of Practice to strategize and share information based on research, knowledge sharing and partnerships that have taken place over the last six months. (There is no one definition of a Shared Platform, but in general Shared Platforms provide administrative support and an organizational home to initiatives that would otherwise be unincorporated).

b) Organizing Renewable Energy Community Power Projects

Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program for renewable energy is a potential source of funds for NFPs and other community groups as well as a way to address the climate change challenge. Join the Climate Change Lawyer’s Network to learn more about how NFPs can participate in the FIT Program.  The session is relevant to any NFP with an interest in participating in a renewable power project, and particularly those NFPs which own or control roof space suitable for renewable energy installations. The speakers will provide information on the key elements of successful projects, how to obtain project funding (including the Community Energy Partnership Program), how to contract out the building and maintenance of the project, and many more practical tools. For a full agenda, please visit http://climatechangelawyers.ca/

c) Policylicious Presents: Policy Engagement, Advocacy, and Charitable Law 

The focus of this upcoming event will be to look at how frontline workers and youth-serving networks can engage in public policy work in tandem with a direct service mandate. The tagline for the first Policylicious event in 2011 hosted by Frontline Partners with Youth Network (FPYN) was “when youth policy gets built from the ground up, it becomes Policylicious.” To continue the conversation that began in 2011, FPYN is hosting a discussion on the importance and limits of advocacy and policy engagement in the non-profit sector. We will explore this topic utilizing the research and information provided in the paper by our Public Good Initiative students (Fardowsa Hashi, Christopher Langlois, Adina Serbanescu), “Building Advocacy Strategies: Formal and Informal Challenges to Advocacy, and Promising Ways Forward.”

d) Ontario Social Economy Roundtable 

Join this open session to learn about the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable’s past & planned activities, discussion document for Principles for Community Financing in Ontario, and its strategic plan for the coming months. This is also a chance to share information about what has been happening and what is planned in other spaces (Ontario, across Canada, and internationally), and network with others interested and active in strengthening the social economy.

e) Partnership Grants Working Session 

This year the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration awarded 27 Partnership Grants to advance the capacity of the sector. Mowat NFP and the ONN will convene the Partnership Grants Working Session to provide Partnership Grantees with a rare opportunity to discuss our projects, including research agendas, common goals, and challenges and successes to date. The goals of this session are to exchange knowledge, create a stronger network, and build organizational and network capacities.

f) Human Capital Renewal Strategy 

Due to the rapid pace of policy work, QELN, as well as ONN’s Governance and Funding Reform groups, are no longer meeting at this time. Please see details and contact information below.

g) Child Care – Responding to the Minister’s Discussion Paper, hosted by the Quality Early Learning Network 

The Minister of Education has issued a discussion paper and is seeking the input of the child care community on the future of child care.  The Quality Early Learning Network has responded and will share our response with a broader network of agencies delivering services to children and families seeking their additional input which will be shared with the Ministry.  This is a critical time for Child Care in the Province and the session offers a real life example of Policy moving to Practice.

If you are interested in the work of QELN and/or how it might relate to other ongoing work, please contact Peter Frampton administration.executive_director@lefca.org

Due to multiple requests for more information from QELN, a Q&A session has been rescheduled for September 28.


At ONN’s last governance meeting, Jillian mentioned Capacity Waterloo Region’s fantastic work including their board governance bootcamp and Executive Director In Residence programs. We’re excited that Cathy Brothers can come and speak with us about some of the work Capacity Waterloo Region is doing, what works and what doesn’t, some governance trends she is seeing in Waterloo Region, etc.

Funding Reform

We are pleased to announced that Carolyn Davis is leading a Funding Reform session at ONN’s Conference on September 27th, which will be an opportunity to discuss this issue. For more information please see our Conference Agenda. For further information you can also contact Heather Laird heather.laird@theonn.ca