ONN Purchasing Program


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ONN Purchasing Program

Photo of two people with a pen and notepad, with large on the photo that says, "O.N.N Purchasing Program." There's green colour on the left of the image. At the bottom left is the logo of R.T.P.S and at the bottom right is the logo of O.N.N.

Buying better

The sector faces increasing challenges when it comes to cost and spending management. Rising prices, limited resources, public awareness and regulatory changes- nonprofits are subject to pressures on spending like never before.

On the other side, the sector’s collective buying power in Ontario is estimated at $30 billion. As a stable employment provider, and not just in salaries but in services, products and community development, the nonprofit sector is a driver of Ontario’s economy.

So how can we harness this buying power? What strategy does the sector need for the future to support and strengthen its organization? And what are the opportunities for group buying?

Through the ONN Purchasing Program (ONNPP), our goal is to help the sector better understand the potential issues, opportunities and needs of nonprofits in Ontario. As the provincial network for Ontario’s 55,000 nonprofits and charities, we’re in a unique position to develop partnerships with local businesses, social enterprises and other organizations that work with and support the nonprofit sector.


The pandemic has caused fractures in the ability of nonprofit organizations to deliver programming and maintain community contact. One such organization with these experiences is the National Association of Friendship Centres. As the challenges rose for the NAFC’s member Friendship Centres, it became increasingly clear to Jocelyn Formsma, the NAFC’s Executive Director, that new approaches were necessary. The Friendship Centres expressed the need to: reduce social isolation for elders and others in the Indigenous community, provide virtual learning tools for kids for educational success, create access to virtual services/programs, and enable community members for work-from-home opportunities. 

In April, Jocelyn reached out via Twitter asking for help. The ONN and RTPS were quick to respond as one of the preferred vendors in the ONN Purchasing Program, Sky Wireless Communications with TELUS, seemed like a perfect match. The end result? More than 400 tablets and laptops are rolling out to Friendship Centres across the country. Jocelyn had high praise for the ONN Purchasing Program, 

We really did not know how to approach this problem. Both RTPS and the supplier’s account rep helped us to navigate and find solutions that fit our needs. We look forward to the days ahead as we reduce uncertainty, maintain connections and enable our community to flourish.

ONN Purchasing Program Offerings

The ONN Purchasing Program is presented by the Ontario Nonprofit Network and Round Table Procurement Services.

Image of ONN full logo               RTPS logo

More About the Program

With our province-wide, sector-wide insurance program under our belt, we’re ready to put experience and learnings into action with a sector-wide purchasing service. We’re thrilled to have Round Table Procurement Services (RTPS) as our expert partner, and we’ve organized a sector advisory group to help guide development of this service for the sector.

Thank you to our fabulous Advisory Committee! Meet the members:

  • Olinda Casimiro
  • Kabilesan Chandrasekaran, Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Jennifer Churchill, Ontario Asscoiation of Children’s Rehabilitation Services
  • Duane Donnelly, Roundtable Procurement Services
  • Alexandra Djukic, Learning Enrichment Foundation
  • Peter Frood
  • Jane Zhang, TechSoup Canada
  • David Rourke, Roundtable Procurement Services
  • Paul Spark, HUB International

Nonprofits want supplier solutions that not only help save time, money and stress, but also ensure levels of quality and service needed to run organizations- with the strategies, tools and training to implement them. These solutions need to be:

  • Sector-driven
  • Providing the best community impact possible
  • Consistent with sector values, like being locally made, supporting jobs, environmentally sustainable, high quality, and benefiting marginalized groups where possible
  • Respectful of the unique needs of nonprofits when it comes to resources and processes to fulfill their missions

Get support in key areas like these:

  • Support for budget development and cost reduction initiatives
  • Assistance with the Broader Public Sector (BPS) Procurement Guidelines
  •  Advice on dealing with a problem supplier, finding a new one or “firing” a supplier
  • Questions about a contract, vendor or buying group programs
  • Recommendations on how your purchasing process can be more effective
  • Review of purchasing policies and tools to support operations and minimize your exposure to risk
  • Training or workshops for staff, management or Boards on purchasing best practices, trends, tools, etc.
  • Support for a large one-time purchase or project
  • Purchasing policies and tools to support operations and minimize your exposure to risk

Want more info? Contact our partners at Round Table Procurement Services!

Toll free line: 1-877-742-9776  |   onnpp@rtps.ca

Nonprofits in Ontario now have access to free expert advice. Take advantage of this support for your next purchasing activity- whether it’s a new service contract, creating an RFP for a consultant or buying a new computer service.

More Great Resources

In 2014, we did a province-wide study of the sector to better understand opportunities and challenges for sector purchasing, and to find out what could help the sector when purchasing. What we heard is that now is the time to take action to benefit all nonprofits in Ontario through the power of our collective purchasing.