Our Policy Priorities

ONN Policy Agenda 2018-2019


The 2018 provincial election offers ONN, our network, and the wider nonprofit sector a great focus for network-building and advocacy work. But, of course, the election is just one of many opportunities we will make and take over the year in order to drive forward our policy agenda to strengthen the sector and create thriving communities.

The following policy issues are those on which ONN plays a lead role in advocacy with our partners across the Ontario (and in some cases Canadian) nonprofit sector. ONN supports other sector leaders on a variety of other issues not listed below. We also respond to policy opportunities as they open and try to make space to react to emerging issues as well as be proactive.

If you know of an emerging policy issue that affects a range of Ontario-based nonprofits (for example, arts and culture, sports, environmental, faith-based, health and social services nonprofits), please tell us about it. We love to hear about policy advocacy work in the sector and we may be able to spread the word and connect you with new partners.


Our goal is to strengthen and support the nonprofit sector labour force and its diverse and active volunteer base. This will result in the mobilization of a decent work movement in the sector.

1.1 LABOUR FORCE STRATEGY: Build a strategy to strengthen Ontario’s one million-strong nonprofit workforce

1.2. DECENT WORK AND PENSIONS: Champion a decent work movement for good working conditions to better serve communities

1.3. LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION: Advocate for current and comprehensive data and research on the nonprofit sector’s labour market and economic impact

1.4. POLICE RECORD CHECKS: Reduce barriers to employment and volunteering by creating a fair and streamlined process for police record checks



Our goal is to catalyze improvements in the Ontario nonprofit sector’s funding environment by advocating for the reform of the sector’s investment relationship with the government and for the removal of barriers for nonprofits to earn income.

2.1. COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING (FORMERLY CHAMPIONS FOR A DECENT ECONOMY): Advocate for public policy and nonprofit practices that promote community-based investment and financial solutions to growing inequality and financial insecurity

2.2. FUNDING REFORM: Foster a new investment relationship between the Ontario government and the nonprofit sector to support decent work and a partnership approach to addressing community challenges

2.3. SOCIAL PROCUREMENT: Channel the social purchasing power of the public sector and anchor institutions to provide community benefits

2.4. PUBLIC LANDS AND CIVIC SPACES: Maintain and expand community access to public land and ensure critical public infrastructure is operated on a nonprofit basis



Our goal is to ensure that the Ontario nonprofit sector’s legal frameworks – policy, legislation, and regulation – support and empower the sector’s work

3.1. PUBLIC BENEFIT LENS: Advocate for the provincial government to use a “public benefit nonprofit lens” to assess proactively the impact of new legislation, regulations, and policy frameworks on the nonprofit sector

3.2. ONCA: Proclaim and implement the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)

3.3. FEDERAL PRIORITIES: Advocate on critical federal issues that affect Ontario nonprofits

Read more