Our Blog


Clockwise starting on the left: Lynn, Kate, Ben, Kim, Liz, Zabeda, Tara, Sarah, Amisha, Cathy

20

Dec 2016

Building traction and being determined for 2017: Thoughts from ONN

As a team on the go, we don’t often make the time to reflect on our work and, instead, we keep moving to the next policy file or the next project task. As I’m sure many in our network also experienced, we had full to-do lists, and lots of reacting to developments in government and more. But as we close 2016, we’re stopping for a moment...

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Time to roll up our sleeves and lead

19

Dec 2016

Time to roll up our sleeves and lead

As with many in the nonprofit sector here in Canada, over the last month our team has watched our US nonprofit counterparts struggle with what the new administration will mean for their organizations, their communities and the role of the nonprofit sector in the country. As public benefit organizations, we are closely connected to communities with an ear to the ground – seeing firsthand when...

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ONN in conversation: Yes, government funding will get easier for nonprofits

07

Dec 2016

ONN in conversation: Yes, government funding will get easier for nonprofits

Funding reform, arguably one of ONN’s most challenging policy files to-date, has the network working closely with government to reform the policies, practices, and procedures for how funding is provided to the sector. Funding, cited as a key barrier facing nonprofit organizations, is not only about the size and stability of dollars, but also the administrative requirements and how the funding flows. This, for now,...

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Five Steps Towards Good Jobs

29

Nov 2016

Five Steps Towards Good Jobs

Our commitment to decent work began many years ago when we committed to being evidence-informed and using data to inform our planning and evaluation processes. This means all data, but in particular data and knowledge that was co-created with community through our community based research program. It became crystal clear to us that bad jobs are making people sick, that pathways to precarious employment are...

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A new advocacy chill? The Election Finances Act

03

Nov 2016

A new advocacy chill? The Election Finances Act

The Government of Ontario recently reintroduced The Election Finances Statute Law Amendment Act (Bill 2 – formerly Bill 201), which changes the rules for provincial election financing. We don’t disagree with Bill 2’s stated intent. To reduce the influence of powerful third-party spenders in elections is a good thing. Democracy can be subverted when there is too much influence from wealthy third parties on politics....

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Who sets the evaluation agenda? Five important discussion questions to make evaluation useful

28

Oct 2016

Who sets the evaluation agenda? Five important discussion questions to make evaluation useful

Too often, an evaluation enters the mindset of a nonprofit as a fully formed process imposed on their organization by someone else. In other words, who sets the agenda? In many cases, nonprofits are told what to evaluate and how to evaluate it, and then are left to their own devices to get it done. As one funder has noted, evaluation should be about accountability...

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Ten things nonprofits want funders to know

17

Oct 2016

Ten things nonprofits want funders to know

ONN has heard a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to funding. Through our policy work, and our outreach and engagement of our network and working groups of nonprofit leaders, we’ve heard from organizations of all sizes over the years from a variety of sectors and parts of Ontario. These ten things keep bubbling up. So, we’re sharing them here to...

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Should nonprofits be reporting evaluation findings to funders?

07

Oct 2016

Should nonprofits be reporting evaluation findings to funders?

We have pointed out in previous blogs that evaluation is less likely to lead to learning or action when it is mandated by an external actor, such as a funder. In this blog, we are going to explore in more depth the relationship between accountability, evaluation, and learning. What is the relationship between evaluation and accountability? What should it be? Can we imagine a sector...

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Office supplies purchasing: There’s more to it than you might think!

07

Sep 2016

Office supplies purchasing: There’s more to it than you might think!

Office supplies – paper, toner, pens, folders, etc. – are one of the few expenses that almost every organization incurs.  No matter if you’re a nonprofit, for-profit, public sector, large or small – odds are you need to buy supplies to support your operations. This widespread and common need has resulted in no shortage of sources for these types of supplies.  You can find a...

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Our 2020 Vision for Nonprofit Evaluation: Let’s Be Bold!

09

Aug 2016

Our 2020 Vision for Nonprofit Evaluation: Let’s Be Bold!

One of the goals of our work to develop a Sector Driven Evaluation Strategy was to think beyond the limits of the system that we have now.  When it comes to the fundamental questions about why evaluation matters and what makes it useful, there really isn’t much disagreement. People find evaluation useful when it helps to answer questions that matter, involves a spirit of collaboration...

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