Our Blog


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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Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

25

Jul 2016

Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

With two comics done, we naturally felt that our third comic should focus on fruit. Indeed, as we note in the first frame, fruit is part of a healthy community. Yet, as with all our comics, this one has many layers. It should therefore not surprise you that this comic isn’t really about fruit, but about measuring what matters. In this comic, we start with...

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What We Learned From Talking Evaluation to Funders

21

Jul 2016

What We Learned From Talking Evaluation to Funders

In recent months, we’ve been talking with funders (including private foundations, public foundations and funders, government, and corporate funders) about evaluation. We’ve learned that, by and large, they are very interested in evaluation and see it as an important tool for learning and action. They understand the challenges that nonprofits face around evaluation and they acknowledge that some of these challenges arise out of their...

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Developing Big Data Analysis for Public Benefit

30

Jun 2016

Developing Big Data Analysis for Public Benefit

Big data is a term for “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze.” [1] The world now has the capacity to use big data for a range of applications. In the nonprofit sector, as well as within government, we are in the early stages of exploring the uses of big data for our work in...

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Championing Decent Work

29

Jun 2016

Championing Decent Work

Decent Work, as championed by ONN and a growing number of its members, provides us with a rallying cry to push back against the fraying of our labour market. In committing to and pursuing decent work, individual nonprofits can make important contributions to countering malpractices of work in our society. This is our opportunity to walk the talk and ensure that the passionate mission-focused objectives...

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ONN in Conversation: Nonprofit workers deserve to retire with a pension plan

10

Jun 2016

ONN in Conversation: Nonprofit workers deserve to retire with a pension plan

In our pensions work, there are a lot of terms and definitions, a lot of moving parts, and a lot of different ideas about what a sector-wide pension plan could look like. That’s why, to make sense of our progress on a sector-wide pension plan, I (Tara, here!) sat down for a conversation with my colleague Liz Sutherland, ONN’s Policy Advisor, to chat about one...

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Whaddaya mean, “evaluation?” — Mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

17

May 2016

Whaddaya mean, “evaluation?” — Mismatched expectations in nonprofit measurement

In Ontario’s nonprofit sector, evaluation is a word that gets used a lot. Different kinds of data gathering approaches with different purposes sometimes get lumped together under the general heading of evaluation. This can lead to miscommunication and unrealistic expectations. To try to clear things up a bit, we have created this resource (Editor’s note: We’ve updated this resource. Click here to see Version 2.0). For...

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