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A new year and new beginnings for ONN

It’s the time of year to wish you health and happiness, and love and fulfillment in the months ahead – and we do wish all that for you at ONN. We also wish you success in your endeavours, and the joy that comes from giving to others and working together to build a better world.

There’s so much reason for optimism. I continue to be amazed at the progress we’ve made at ONN – not only in areas of tangible achievement and wins for our sector, which were many, including improvements to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, changes to anti-spam legislation, and advance access to public benefit lands as a result of Open for Business. We’ve also moved forward on many long-term goals, such as setting the stage for a nonprofit labour force strategy, exploring a procurement plan for the sector, and truly engaging many important decision makers at the Province – including the Premier!- in our work.

But I am equally, if not more thrilled by the way we’ve all pulled together as a sector. The growth in common understanding of our important role as nonprofits, the way in which organizations small and large throughout the province are getting involved through our regional networks, and the growing willingness to work collectively to address issues and opportunities, are so impressive. Of course there’s strength in numbers! Of course we’re stronger together than apart! And we’re finally really acting on it.

I’m getting excited about the new ideas we’re collectively beginning to work on, from the enormous potential of open data, to shared administrative platforms, to the use of evaluation not just for reporting but to discover and share how positive change happens.

We’re incorporating!

ONN is also spreading our wings in 2014. After the tremendous privilege of being an incubated project of the Centre for Social Innovation, which was essential to our growth and development, we are finally moving towards incorporation. In fact, we’re almost there. But every move we’ve taken in this direction has been guided by core ONN values of tapping into our sector’s collective wisdom, speaking truth to power, finding strength through collaboration, doing things differently, and taking pride in our impact and role in society.

We’ll be as creative, courageous and action-oriented as we always were – and as you, our sector colleagues are – in our next phase of work. And a good thing, too: we’ve got a lot of things on our plate for 2014. But with a 7,000-strong network, 5,000 Twitter followers, two new regional networks and partners spanning Ontario – we’re more than up for the challenge.

Thank you all for your generous involvement, your grounded knowledge and experience, your brilliant policy ideas, and your trust. Here’s wishing us all a very happy new year.

Jini Stolk

Steering Committee Chair, Ontario Nonprofit Network


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