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Nonprofit advocacy in action

We work to create a public policy environment that strengthens nonprofits so they can do more. This means bringing the voice of the sector to policy makers and civic leaders. We advocate at all levels of government to implement effective policy for Ontario’s nonprofit sector.

ONN encourages nonprofits to engage in advocacy work, share the impact you are having, and talk about the issues your nonprofit and community care about. This page outlines our recent and ongoing advocacy work, and also offers tools and resources for the sector. We’re in this together, and by working together we can shape the future of the sector.

Nonprofit advocacy matters

Many of the issues that nonprofits work to tackle require systemic changes to address the underlying causes –  legislative or policy changes can have an impact on the individuals or communities nonprofits serve. For example, policies related to affordable housing and social welfare can play a key role in addressing food insecurity and impact people who access food banks. 

Nonprofits also play a vital role in fostering an inclusive democracy. As the bridge between our communities and government, nonprofits engage and amplify community voices, provide unique public policy insight, and hold governments and decision-makers accountable. Nonprofits create the conditions for improved quality of life and growing local economies. Our voices matter and need to be heard by decision-makers.

Election Advocacy Toolkit Cover Page. Page has a green background. At the top is O.N.N's logo. At the centre is large text that says, "Election toolkit. A guide for nonprofits to meaningfully engage in elections. Ontario Election 2022." At the bottom are five coloured graphics of humans to depict the nonprofit sector. Advocacy related resources:

Advocacy in action: Letters of welcome to Ontario cabinet ministers

As part of ONN’s advocacy work, we reach out to government officials to keep them up to date on our policy priorities and to seek out their support. When cabinet ministers change portfolios, it’s important to keep the conversation going, sometimes via letters of welcome that not only introduce your organization, but also frame relevant policy asks. For example, in the summer of 2021 and 2019, ONN reached out to new ministers after the provincial government announced a cabinet shuffle. You can read our letters here:

2021 Letters

Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Energy

  • Response from the Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Energy

Honourable Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues
Honourable Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government
Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure
Honourable Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
Honourable Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
Honourable Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism
Honourable Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board

  • Response from the Honourable Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board

Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care
Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services

  • Response from the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services

Honourable Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport