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                  June 2017                                                                                

It’s almost the long weekend- hang in there sector friends. Here’s a big sector update, with policy good news, thoughtful reads, funding opportunities and many sector events and resources to support your work. Happy Canada Day!

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Non-profit sector leading the conversation on inclusion

By Anna Kostecka, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

Diversity and inclusion are listed as part of the sector’s core values. But how well are we really doing? Anna Kostecka of TRIEC digs into results from her organization’s recent development program to develop a diverse and inclusive culture in Ontario nonprofit sector workplaces.

More useful evaluation for nonprofits? Yes, we can!

by Ben Liadsky and Andrew Taylor

In their final post, Ben and Andrew reflect on ONN’s two year evaluation project and turn an evaluation lens on the work itself: what did we hear, what did we learn and how did we engage the sector? Identifying the systemic issues of evaluation in Ontario’s nonprofit sector and potential solutions was our goal. So, how did we do? Read on to find out.

ICYMI- No matter how you slice it, workplace legislation matters to us all 

by Cathy Taylor, Ontario Nonprofit Network

Earlier this month the Ontario government announced proposed changes to workplace legislation, including sweeping reforms on minimum wage, paid sick leave, equal pay for part-time workers, and more. These systemic changes have the potential to strengthen a decent work movement for the province, and help the sector champion working conditions and social policies that ensure dignified and supportive work environments.

New webinars!

Get your hands on our brand new report to learn what key skillsets future leaders of the sector need to navigate a changing world and lead a workforce for stronger communities. This is the culmination of the past six months of research and interviews with nonprofits and sector leaders. We’ll share our seven skillset “personalities” in a new infographic and our detailed literature review. You’ll learn key recommendations to address leadership skills and development gaps from the perspective of individual organizations, the sector and systemic changes we can make happen together. Get your questions answered and take away tools you can start applying to assess your readiness and future thinking when it comes to attracting and retaining leadership. Plus, identify skillsets you can develop as your career progresses.  

Date: Wednesday, July 19 2017

Time: 12:00- 1:00pm

Cost: $30 for ONN members/ $60 for nonmembers

Presenters: Peter Clutterbuck and Caryl Arundel, ONN consultants on the leadership research

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ONN Orientation: July 2017

New to ONN? Thinking of becoming an ONN member? Been a member for a while but want to get the most out of your membership? Join us for this free information session to learn what ONN’s work is all about, catch up on the latest news and resources, and hear about the great benefits of an ONN membership. We’ll cover all the perks of being an ONN member and help you get the most out of your awesome member savings and exclusive services.

Feel free to invite others from your team to join us! We look forward to talking with you, and to answer some of your questions.

Date: Tuesday, July 18

Time: 12 - 1pm

Cost: FREE!

Presenters: ONN’s Kim Gignac, Sarah Matsushita, and Kate Browning

Have a question about ONN in the meantime? Kim Gignac, ONN’s Membership Services Manager is here to help! Reach out at: kim@theonn.ca.

New evaluation podcast!

In our third podcast, we chat with Jade Huguenin from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres about the context of evaluation in Indigenous communities, and the importance of empowering voices and using a community-driven approach.

A sad goodbye. And a warm welcome!

Ben Liadsky, our Evaluation Project Lead, is wrapping up ONN’s two-year work on a strategy to change the system of evaluation in the sector. Ben and our resident evaluation expert Andrew Taylor have connected to organizations across the sector to rethink what the sector needs when it comes to evaluation to help us get our work done and help communities. Ben has created a wealth of resources, including a discussion guide to make evaluation useful, key principles of evaluation, matching evaluation approaches to expectations, plus comics, podcast, and much more. We’ll miss his creativity, sense of humour - and uncanny ability to know when new snacks are being brought out at Foundation House! A big thank you to Andrew Taylor, who supported the project and ONN’s learnings. Ben and Andrew are working on an exciting new project this summer, and we’ll share more details in a future ebulletin.

While we celebrate Ben and the project’s successful completion, we are thrilled to introduce our new colleague, Pamela Uppal, who will be leading ONN’s new three-year project on the economic barriers facing women working in the nonprofit sector. This work will be closely tied to ONN’s decent work movement, along with other policy files, to identify barriers and systemic strategies to improve the working conditions for our sector’s workforce. Pamela brings a wealth of experience building diversity and inclusion and cross-sectoral collaboration, most recently as the project coordinator at Peel Diversity Roundtable, and previously worked as front line staff in family services. Look for Pamela at her Nonprofit Driven 2017 session, if you don’t have a chance to meet her before then!

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Don’t miss the savings! Early bird rates end July 31.

Nonprofit Driven 2017 brings together nonprofit leaders and sector allies from across sectors to take action on advancing policy efforts for Ontario’s nonprofits. Together, we’ll tap into the trends and issues, and explore opportunities and strategies to build toward a stronger sector.

This year, we’ve divided breakout sessions by their stage in the advocacy ecocycle- whether it’s exploring new issues, building skills for developing tactics, updating your policy (brain) bank or rethinking issues and approaches when we collectively get stuck.

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Travel subsidies are available for ONN members.

Coming from out of town? We’ve got you covered.

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Connect to nonprofit professionals across Ontario and find that great hire. Did you know? We spread the word about your post far and wide through our social media networks of 12,000+ followers. That’s a lot of eyes on your job posting.

This month, save 15% on all job postings with discount code: summersolstice. ONN members get 1 FREE job posting per year!

Project Manager, Northwest Community Legal Clinic
Northwest Community Legal Clinic is hiring a project manager for a full time contract for the Northern Region Transformation Project. Apply by July 21, 2017.

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ONN Connectors are organizations, corporations and individuals that believe in building a strong and resilient nonprofit sector in Ontario – like you!

ONN Connector Highlight


At Alterna Savings, we not only give back to the communities we serve, we put our members first. Our members are owners and stakeholders, and our mandate is to reinvest our profits in ways that support our members and the communities we serve. That’s why we provide what the big banks don’t – unique products and services designed especially for non-profit organizations; and supported by a specialized team that understands the unique needs of non-profit organizations. Co-operative banking is different. At Alterna, co-operative banking means offering everything you need to manage and achieve your financial goals.  It means profits have a higher purpose because they’re returned to members in the form of great rates, better service, and by giving back to your community through partnerships with non-profit organizations, grants, sponsorship of community events, no fee banking for incorporated non-profit organizations and through our community microfinance program.

Get to know more of the organizations, individuals, and corporations that support our work as ONN Connectors.

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ONCA update

ONN continues to actively advocate for the proclamation of and necessary amendments to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA). Affectionately known as ONN’s founding and forever issue, this legislation will affect all nonprofits registered in Ontario once it is proclaimed. In recent discussions with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ministry acknowledged the importance of this legislation to the nonprofit sector.

A bill will be introduced in the Ontario legislature by the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG) in the early fall to help small businesses reduce red tape and it has been proposed that the bill will include updates to the Ontario Corporations Act (the Act that currently regulates nonprofits in Ontario), as well as the technical amendments required to proclaim ONCA. ONN will continue to advocate for an enabling foundational legislation for the sector and will share more information as we become aware of it.

Said Minister Tracy MacCharles, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, “The necessary proposed legislative amendments to enable the future proclamation of ONCA and proposed amendments to the Corporations Act that may benefit not-for-profit corporations are proposed for inclusion in MEDG’s bill in fall 2017.”

Read ONN’s letter to Minister MacCharles asking for the expedited proclamation of ONCA

Read the Minister’s response

Changing Workplaces Review- Public consultations begin

Have something to say about the new labour legislation proposed? Participate in the province-wide consultation on updating workplace and employment laws. From July 10- 21, 2017 public consultations will be taking place across Ontario. The Changing Workplaces Review report was released in May and now Bill 148 - Fair Jobs & Better Workplaces Act has been proposed with key items including: $15 minimum wage by 2019, providing equal pay for part-time and contract workers (the same as full-time workers), vacation entitlements and paid sick days, to name a few.  

The dates and locations of the consultations are publicly available and interested parties can contact the Clerk’s office (Eric Rennie) to register to present to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Don’t delay and ensure nonprofits have a voice on Bill 148!

Read more about how these developments will impact the nonprofit sector, ONN’s work, including government/funder investment reforms needed, and read responses from the sector.

Accounting Standards advocacy

ONN supported Imagine Canada’s recent submission to the Accounting Standards Board and its position that consistent accounting standards between the public sector and private not-for-profit organizations may not be possible, nor practical, because of the differing financial reporting needs of nonprofits. For example, the average small or mid-sized nonprofit may have several different funders, much of it short term project funding, in addition to earned revenues. This requires active monitoring and planning by organizations to understand current cash/assets and debts/liabilities positions. As ONN stated in our advocacy work in 2009, harmonizing aspects of the guidelines will create additional difficulties for the vast majority of nonprofits. The Accounting Standards Board had already committed to updating accounting standards for nonprofits as necessary to ensure they meet the needs of nonprofits and acknowledging the differing needs of users, an approach which ONN supports. ONN will continue to connect with Imagine Canada on this issue and provide updates to the sector.

ICYMI- Anti-spam advocacy win! Private Right of Action suspended

The sector welcomed the news that the federal government is indefinitely suspending the Private Right of Action (PRA) provisions in Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL). The provisions had put the organizational assets of charities and nonprofits at risk, as well as the personal assets of board members if private parties sued for statutory damages for breach of CASL’s regulations (with damages up to $200 for each contravention to a maximum of $1 million per day). ONN and Imagine Canada had sent a joint letter to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development urging delay of PRA provisions until after CASL legislative review. Our organizations will continue to monitor updates and keep the sector informed. Nonprofits are still subject to the main provisions of the legislation- learn more on the Government of Canada’s FAQ page and ONN’s page.

Other policy updates

Next steps in the community benefits agenda

Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) recently celebrated the community’s success in negotiating job opportunities on the Eglinton Crosstown transit build, resulting in about 300 jobs. Their next step is to ensure that all future major construction developments give good jobs and training and other benefits back to the community. ONN continues to work with partners via Community Benefits Ontario to build out TCBN’s work to the rest of Ontario and will support a submission on community benefits in the provincial government’s upcoming consultation on the Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.

Ontario government survey: Women’s Economic Empowerment

The province is looking for input on the development of a provincial strategy to support the economic empowerment of women. It has released an engagement paper and online survey to gather ideas from across the province. The Strategy will build on previous steps to increase economic empowerment of women and girls, to ensure they have equal access to opportunities in education and skills development, entrepreneurship and employment, and working and learning environments that are free from barriers and discrimination. The deadline to provide feedback is August 15, and the strategy will be launched in fall 2017.

Ontario government consultation: Reducing food and organic waste

The government is seeking public input on its discussion paper, Addressing Food and Organic Waste in Ontario. It is part of the government’s waste action plan, which will support objectives of the Climate Change Action Plan, including regulatory change. Submit your feedback by July 31.

Ontario accessibility reports due December 31, 2017

For all organizations with 20 or more employees, your nonprofit must file a 2017 compliance report by December 31. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is offering free webinars to learn more about the requirements and how to file a report. It also offers support through its AODA Help Desk.

The AODA Directorate is also conducting an online survey to collect feedback for its review of how public and private transit providers can make their services and vehicles more accessible. The deadline to complete the survey is July 19.

First Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreement

The Governments of Canada and Ontario have signed a three-year agreement for children’s development with $435 million for Ontario investments for early learning and child care needs in Ontario. This includes investments in Ontario Early Year Child and Family Centres and the creation of Regional Centres of Excellence for professional development of the sector’s workforce.

Sector-supporting legislation- Rental Fairness Act, 2017

Bill 124 has passed third reading in the Ontario Legislative Assembly with legislation that supports the work of the nonprofit sector, helping transitional housing providers by extending exemptions under the Residential Tenancies Act. This would enable housing providers to better manage their programs to help clients achieve program goals and make the transition to long-term, stable housing.

Federal news for the sector

Thanks to Imagine Canada for keeping us informed!

Check out Imagine Canada’s Early Alerts on June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, with special attention to:

A reminder that the summer is a good time to engage MPs, MPPs and senators who are more accessible as they spend more time at home!

  • Call to action from Imagine to support a Senate study of the sector

  • Recommendation from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for more funding for the community media sector

  • Advisory committee on Homelessness Partnering Strategy announced

  • $2 billion low carbon economy fund launched to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and generate clean growth

  • Consultation on a National Food Policy

  • Online engagement on Indigenous early learning and child care

  • New Feminist International Assistance Policy

  • Stats Can data: how Canadians are volunteering to protect the environment; women in Canada with disabilities; impact of aging on labour market participation rates, wages by occupation for 2016; report on the longitudinal immigration database

  • Bills: Debate on Bill C-344, which would authorize the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to collect info about the community benefits derived from federal infrastructure projects; Bill C-57 introduced with amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act to increase transparency and accountability for decision-making related to sustainable development; Bill C-58 to increase access to government documents, including ministerial briefing notes, which could help organizations with their public policy work

  • New reports: Breaking Point: The Suicide Crisis in Indigenous Communities; LGBTQ+ At Risk Abroad: Canada’s Call to Action

Steering group for Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy

The 15-member group has been announced, which will co-create the strategy with the Employment and Social Development Canada over the next 12 months. Nonprofit leaders are included. We’ll continue to follow updates on the strategy and will be hosting a session at Nonprofit Driven 2017 to get input from the sector on the strategy and potential impact on an Ontario-based version.

2018 Federal pre-budget submissions

The government is focused on increasing productivity and competitiveness and is asking for written submissions and oral testimony on education and training, health, housing and labour market participation and mobility measures that would help Canadians to be more productive in their workplaces and communities, and research, innovation, training and more to help businesses be more productive and competitive. The deadline for written submissions is August 4, and in September 2017 the Clerk of the Committee will extend invitations to selected groups and individuals to appear as witnesses during the pre-budget hearings.

Partners in Climate Action Grants

The Ontario government is funding a grant program to identify and support the development, testing, and evaluation of ideas to speed up Ontarians’ use of low-carbon choices. Funds will support projects up to $200,000 that help people understand how their actions contribute to climate change, provides ways to make behaviour change and evaluate approaches to achieving the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The application deadline is July 19.

Greenbelt Fund- Support for local food initiatives

The Ontario government is providing an additional $1 million through the Greenbelt Fund for the Local Food Investment Fund to support farmers, agri-food business and nonprofits to get more local food on Ontario plates. The deadline to submit a letter of inquiry is August 3.

Ontario Trillium Foundation- Provincial impact projects

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is supporting projects with broad geographical reach and impact with funding of $50,000 to $250,000 per year for 2 or 3 year terms. The deadline to register with OTF is September 6 and the application deadline is September 27.

Social enterprise support

Social enterprises are eligible for funding from the new $4.5 million Starter Company Plus funding from the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to start a new enterprise or expand an existing one. There is no application deadline.

The Ontario government has also launched the new ONE Social Enterprise Partnerships designed to help social enterprises access business supports through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, including regionally focused training, mentorship and business fundamentals.

The Social Enterprise Demonstration Fund is beginning its second round of supports for nonprofit organizations with expertise in supporting social enterprises. Nonprofits will share their expertise to boost opportunities for social enterprises to access capital and resources they need to get their ventures off the ground.

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CPA Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Conference Returns to Toronto November 23

Back by popular demand, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) are proud to announce that their Not-for-Profit Conference will be returning to Toronto on November 23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Designed for professionals working in the not-for-profit sector, this conference offers delegates the opportunity to share best practices, learn new skills relevant to the not-for-profit industry, and network with their peers. Sessions will include plenary and concurrent formats.

Last year’s conference was a success with a sold-out event. This year, they are excited to offer it again at a discounted early bird price. Register before September 22 and save $30 off the registration fee.

Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship nominations open

The Ontario government’s program celebrates people making a positive impact on their community, demonstrating leadership and dedication. Nominations are due by July 17.

Community Legal Ontario Education- legal survey

CLEO is conducting a survey about how community workers can be supported to help people with legal problems. They are especially interested in hearing from front-line staff and volunteers of community organizations. Add your input by July 7.

Trends and Forces Reshaping Nonprofit Organizations

This new resource from Ignite NPF uncovers what’s impacting how nonprofits are governed, resourced and organized to accomplish their mission and connects to key topics in the sector including decent work, shared platforms, revisioning nonprofit overhead, and more.

Advocacy and Social Justice: Measuring Impact- monitoring tools and video

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network has developed further tools to complement its advocacy guidebook launched at ONN’s 2016 conference, with a new video and monitoring tools, including media tracking, alliance mapping, strategic litigation and more.

How to do data ethically

Developed from the recent digital data conference, Transform the Sector 2017, the new video series features principles and practices, including funders and open data, administrative data, data capacity and data ethics. The event is evolving into a nation-wide movement of individuals, nonprofit organizations, funders and government working together to use digital data to increase the sector’s impact.

Ontario Social Enterprise Impact Measurement- Survey

Carleton University’s Centre for Community Innovation is working with the Ontario government and nonprofits to develop an impact measurement standard for Ontario social enterprises. This is based on their new report, Amplifying the impact of Ontario’s social enterprise community. Complete the 20-minute survey and help with next steps related to the data platform, governance indicators and common process.

Networked Change in Canada

The new report from the Broadbent Institute maps out strategies and practices that lie behind successful advocacy campaigns, using a networked approach with examples from Canada and abroad.

13 Ways to Modernize Youth Employment in Canada

This new report from the federal panel includes a focus on the nonprofit sector, and outlines ways for the federal government to take much-needed steps to address this “quiet crisis”. Imagine Canada’s Youth Employment Group successfully advocated for a nonprofit sector lens in the analysis and recommendations.

Five Good Ideas about impactful communication on a shoestring budget

Sevaun Palvetzian, Chief Executive Officer of CivicAction shares five ways organizations driving change can conduct effective communication tactics and build strong partnerships, while not breaking the bank. Includes five great resources on storytelling, presentation design and delivery and free images.

REITs for Good: Nonprofit turns high-dollar investment tool upside down

An interesting article from Non Profit Quarterly about real estate investment trusts (REITs) that allows investors, especially local residents, to buy real estate together and share in the profits and rents.

ONN membership is a win for YOU and a win for US.

Memberships are vital to ONN's work with and for Ontario's nonprofits and charities. Help us remain an independent network advocating for a policy environment where nonprofits can thrive.

Invest in your network.

Highlights from ONN Nonprofit Insurance Program

Group home & auto insurance for nonprofit employees—we’ve got you covered.


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  • Auto

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  • Green Assure Enhancement: In the event of a claim, replaces property with energy efficient and environmentally-friendly products

Get in touch with our HUB Group Home & Auto team for a free quote:

855.582.3022 | ONN.HUBquote.ca

Nonprofits have different insurance needs than for-profit businesses. ONN has done all the homework for you. We created the ONN Nonprofit Insurance Program to ensure nonprofit organizations get the coverage they need.


Ontario Nonprofit Network | @Foundation House | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON, M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786


Ontario Nonprofit Network | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786 | info@theonn.ca
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