The nonprofit sector - Ontario Nonprofit Network

The nonprofit sector

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


This 2015 guide was a chance for the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) to articulate what’s worked for us, and what we’ve learned from others. We hope it serves as a jumping off point for more learning across networks that do (or could in the future) partner or learn with ONN. For those of you interested in getting more involved in ONN’s work, we hope this serves as a guide to how you can engage. If you’re on your own organizing journey, we hope these ideas are useful for your work, and that you’ll share what you’re learning along the way.

Our voices matter

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 can, and should, advocate for improvements to public policy. For more information on how to influence public policy, see ONN’s tipsheet.

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.





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