Federal Budget

Federal budget

ONN monitors federal policy and financing in relation to the nonprofit sector. Where relevant, ONN tracks key issues and advocates for supports for Ontario nonprofits through the federal budget. Below, you will find our most recent updates, links to previous budgets, and perspectives from across our network.

Federal Budget 2021

ONN’s pre-budget submission

Photograph of the Peace Tower, Ottawa, CanadaAcross Canada the nonprofit sector plays an essential role in job creation, volunteer engagement, and programs and services that support the well-being of Canadians. The sector generates more than 8.1 per cent of Canada’s GDP, employing 2.4 per cent of the workforce – of whom 80 per cent are women. As a sector, nonprofits receive less than half of their revenues from governments. Nonprofits reinvest all surpluses in their missions and leverage government revenues through private grants and donations, the sale of goods and services, and volunteer efforts to create additional value for the communities they serve. Through their job creation and local spending activities, nonprofits generate considerable economic impact above and beyond the extensive social, cultural, and ecological value they provide to Canadians.

Our organizations are a valuable source of knowledge for what’s happening on the ground and trusted leaders in communities whose local infrastructures can function as a strong intermediary. The sector is a critical partner for the Government in rebuilding an inclusive and green recovery for Canada. Our recommendations maximize recovery by engaging and lifting up those most impacted by the pandemic.


Recommendation 1: The federal government stabilize the nonprofit sector to ensure its critical infrastructure remains strong and prepared for the “building back better” that lies ahead:

  • Allocate direct investment in nonprofits and charities in the form of one or more federal granting programs that is available to both nonprofits and charitable organizations and not limited to only social services

Recommendation 2: The federal government partner with nonprofits for an inclusive and green COVID recovery:

  • Use federal transfers to take for-profit delivery out of publicly-funded care programs (child care and long-term care)
  • Procure goods and services from nonprofit social enterprises
  • Tailor the design of the Social Innovation Strategy and the Social Finance Fund to enable scaling up of local and community-led solutions

Recommendation 3: The federal government support the nonprofit sector’s work by providing an enabling legal framework for public benefit nonprofits:

  • Create a distinction in law between public benefit nonprofits and member-serving nonprofits
  • Remove constraints on public benefit nonprofits earning income to reinvest in their missions

Recommendation 4: The federal government advance gender equity through targeted labour market measures to support women-majority sectors, including the nonprofit sector:

  • Include strategies for sectors in which women are overrepresented, like the nonprofit sector, in the National Action Plan for Women in the Economy
  • Prioritize the care economy and ensure care work is decent work in rebuilding the Canadian economy
  • Build a universal child care system rooted in nonprofit business models and decent work
  • Modernize Employment Insurance to reflect current and future labour market realities
  • Expand gendered workforce development programs

Read ONN’s full pre-budget submission here.

Previous federal budget analyses from ONN

Fall 2020 federal economic statement

Fall 2018 federal economic statement