Ontario Nonprofit Network

News Releases

News Release- Reframing leadership in Ontario’s nonprofit sector: First step toward a labour force plan

September 19, 2013

TORONTO, ON- Critical human resource challenges have been identified for Ontario’s nonprofit leadership, with the first broad dataset collected for the sector to better understand labour market trends and begin developing a comprehensive strategy. Issues include an increasingly strained leadership model, competition to find and retain talent, and lack of succession planning for an aging workforce. More



Media Release: Breaking New Ground: Outcomes from Government-Sector Open for Business Roundtable

September 17, 2012.  The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is pleased to fully support the Open for Business not-for-profit sector final report.  Jointly led by the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation and the ONN, the Open for Business sector strategy resulted in solutions within five key areas that will both streamline government-sector public benefit services in Ontario and foster new opportunities for the nonprofit sector to create community wealth across the province.  

In a video message Premier Dalton McGuinty praised the nonprofit sector not only for its contribution to the economy, generating nearly $50 billion each year, but also for creating a better quality of life for Ontario families.

The sector made substantive recommendations through the Open for Business process in five key areas:

  • Streamline and modernize government-sector funding relationships
  • Expand Infrastructure Ontario’s Loan Program to new subsectors in Ontario’s nonprofit sector
  • Allow broader public sector access to the provincial vendor of record
  • Maximize public investment returns for government surplus lands
  • Clarify provincial regulatory and legislative requirements related to police records checks for volunteers

In all areas, both government and nonprofit sector representatives discussed and debated the recommendations and, through joint efforts, approved solutions that addressed each one.

Tonya Surman, Ontario Nonprofit Network Co-Chair notes, “As a nonprofit sector, we are solutions providers and builders of community wealth. Through the Open for Business process, we have witnessed concrete steps to build and sustain the nonprofit sector and advance the Partnership Project vision: for Ontario to be a leader both in Canada and around the world, we must work together to foster the most ambitious, innovative and effective nonprofit sector possible. We look forward to implementing the significant work we have begun with the government of Ontario.”

Implementation of the commitments made at the final Open for Business Roundtable have begun through Ministry-led solutions or joint sector-government working groups. Progress is already being made in some areas, particularly on proposed policy and operational matters. ONN will continue to track the progress of the Open for Business commitments as implementation moves forward.

“The Open for Business experience truly reflects the phrase ‘The Art of the Possible.’ The relationships built and advanced throughout this process reflect the value of, and commitment to, nonprofit sector and provincial government joint work that will result in more efficient and effective public benefit programs for Ontario,” states Jini Stolk, Ontario Nonprofit Network Co-Chair.


For more information:

Cathy Taylor, Interim Director, Ontario Nonprofit Network

cathy@theonn.ca; 416-642-5786

Brigitte Marleau, Communications Branch, Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation



Open for Business is Ontario’s initiative to create faster, smarter and more streamlined government-to-business services and to establish a modern system of government. It’s a key part of the Ontario government’s commitment to make the Province more attractive to business while continuing to protect the public interest. www.ontario.ca/openforbusiness

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is a non-partisan voice, communication broker and capacity builder for not-for-profits in Ontario. Ontario’s 46,000+ nonprofit organizations employ over one million people, comprise15% of Ontario’s total workforce, and have an economic impact of nearly $50 billion. This represents more than 7.1% of Ontario’s GDP, greater than the automobile and construction industries combined. www.theonn.ca.

Press Release: Cathy Taylor to Join ONN as Interim Director

May 24, 2012. The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) is delighted to announce that Cathy Taylor will be joining the ONN team as Interim Director, taking over from Sue Wilkinson who has been working as Director since spring 2011.

“Cathy’s depth and breadth of experience in the nonprofit sector and keen eye for policy and government relations makes her a natural fit as ONN deepens its connections with its networks and positions the sector as a solutions provider for Ontario,” states Tonya Surman, Co-Chair of ONN.

Cathy is the founding Executive Director of the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington, celebrating her 11th anniversary there this July.  Cathy has been an active member of the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) Steering Committee, and has served many terms as Co-Chair.  She has recently led provincial projects on “building stronger organizations through volunteer centre services, and engaging new Canadians as volunteers,” as well as strengthening the relationship between Volunteer Centres and 211.  Cathy comes from the environmental sector and has been active in municipal politics. Cathy also serves on many local advisory and steering committees related to community well-being, leadership, development and community engagement.  She has a passion for collaboration and innovation in the nonprofit sector.

“I’m very excited to be a part of ONN at a time of reflection and renewal. I see this as an exciting challenge to be a part of an organization that has been growing so quickly and stands out as a convener of sector voices” states Cathy.  Jini Stolk and Tonya Surman, Co-Chairs of the ONN express their thanks to the Board of the Volunteer Centre for this partnership, and emphasize the importance of leveraging the success that ONN has already achieved: “Created in 2007 as a loose group of concerned sector leaders, the ONN has had a significant impact on provincial policy and is poised to make an even greater impact in the coming years. As our organization grows and evolves alongside our Network, we are pleased to have Cathy at the helm of ONN to continue to leverage the vitality of our network, forging new initiatives which strengthen the nonprofit sector in Ontario.”

Press Release: The Ontario Nonprofit Network Responds to Drummond Report -Third Sector Important Solution to Public Service Delivery Reforms

On February 15, 2012, the Drummond Commission released its 362 recommendations to the Ontario Government on how to restructure and reinvent the delivery of provincial government programs and services. Many of the recommendations will encourage vital dialogue on the kind of public services Ontarians receive, and the manner in which services are delivered.

The Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), a nonpartisan convener of sector voices, communication broker and coordinator for nonprofits in Ontario, recognizes the fiscal pressures that led to the Commission’s launch in last year’s provincial government budget. “The Report opens the door for a new era of partnerships between the provincial government and the third sector to help transform the current public benefit delivery system for those who need it most,” said Jini Stolk, ONN Co-Chair. “This sector, as stewards of community social and economic well-being, is the driver of innovative solutions, and we expect to be a prominent part of the transformative work ahead,” added Tonya Surman, ONN Co-Chair.

Last November, ONN made several concrete recommendations to the Commission, culled from extensive consultations with sector leaders and front-line workers on ways to reduce overlap and duplications in the current sector/government investment relationship. “We made it clear to the Commission that public benefit programs and services need to focus on results for Ontarians, rather than on unclear and meaningless rules,” said Rob Howarth, ONN Steering Committee member. “We are pleased to see that the Commission listened to us and indicate that key reforms in this area will pave the way for more effective and efficient services to our communities,” he concluded.

Sector leaders confirmed at a recent ONN-led consultation some key considerations that will guide the sector’s fuller response to relevant Commission recommendations and the sector’s pro-active and collaborative work on implementing public service reforms. “We strongly believe that the provincial government must seek nonprofit solutions, rather than attempting to find reform through the privatization of public benefit services,” said Surman. “The province must also look carefully and constructively at generating more revenue to help achieve its fiscal objectives and meet the ‘Do No Harm’ principle for those people who depend most on these services,” concluded Howarth.

ONN has engaged more than 20 sector leaders to study the Commission’s Report and provide more in-depth comments with tangible actions to share with the public over the coming week. Download the full press release (Drummond-Press-Release-Feb.16). Read a backgrounder on the work of ONN and the third sector here (Backgrounder_Feb2012).

Expanded Infrastructure Ontario Loans Program for NFPs

July 12, 2011 – Ontario is expanding eligibility for the Infrastructure Ontario Loan Program to additional segments of the not-for-profit sector.  Eligibility is expanded to:

Not-for-profit organizations that own or operate community hubs where both community health and social services are located together are now eligible for the loan program:

  • Community health organizations include Community Health Centres, Aboriginal Health Access Centres, Community Mental Health & Addictions Centres, Boards of Health/public health units and Supportive Housing;
  • Social service organizations include community agencies that are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services or the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and newcomer settlement agencies; and
  • Not-for-profit sports and recreational organizations providing sports and recreational facilities to communities throughout Ontario are also now eligible. These include sports organizations that promote amateur sports, training, fitness, wellness and sporting competitions and events.

Additional information about criteria, eligibility and the application process is expected to become available from Infrastructure Ontario in the coming period.  Read more…(download press release)