Home > The Partnership Project Progress Report 2011

The partnership project: an Ontario government strategy to create a stronger partnership with the not-for profit sector 2011


What's in a name? Defining the Not-For-Profit Sector

In Ontario and across Canada, the sector discussed in this report is most commonly referred to as the non-profit/ not-for-profit sector or the voluntary sector. Some countries, such as England, historically referred to it as the charitable sector, but also refer to it as the third sector. Other jurisdictions, including the European Union, refer to the voluntary sector. In New Zealand, it is referred to as the community and voluntary sector.

The Partnership Project initially used not-for-profit sector to describe the sectors that incorporate not-for-profit, charitable and voluntary organizations, as well as social and civic enterprises, along with the many supportive networks or umbrella organizations.

However, the word not-for-profit is not a descriptive term that all individuals working within the sector prefer. A Partnership Project online survey found that 32% favoured renaming it the “Community Development Sector” and 27% proposed the term “Public Benefit Sector.”

However, the word not-for-profit is not a descriptive term that all individuals working within the sector prefer. A Partnership Project online survey found that 32% favoured renaming it the “Community Development Sector” and 27% proposed the term “Public Benefit Sector.”

Message from the Co-Chairs

Our Government and the not-for-profit sector share so much – especially our commitment to helping people, to lifting people up. Working together, in partnership, we can change lives and build stronger communities that contribute to a more compassionate Ontario.
Dr. Eric Hoskins
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Members of a remote Northern community come together to protect local groundwater. A new Canadian living in a Southern Ontario town receives training and counselling to advance her job search skills. Local residents volunteer to organize a kids’ soccer program in an underserviced rural community. A homeless youth finds hope and a creative outlet in an art program run by former street kids. An elderly woman living alone and isolated in a suburban low-income housing project becomes a volunteer at a local seniors’ centre. A patient’s life is saved thanks to new treatments developed with the funding support of a not-for-profit health organization.

This is Ontario’s not-for-profit sector. It is everywhere. It reaches into every corner of our province, touching people of every age and involving communities from all backgrounds.

When Premier Dalton McGuinty asked us in the Spring of 2010 to undertake a review of the not-for-profit sector in Ontario, it was because he recognized the importance of the sector as a partner in delivering public services. We took up that challenge enthusiastically because we share the conviction that this sector is one that we need to understand better, respect more, and engage effectively as a partner.

Our not-for-profit and voluntary sector is the third pillar of our society and economy, alongside the public and private sectors. It defines who we are and what we aspire to achieve as a province. The sector is a powerful influence on our lives, our culture, our society, our economy and our future. That’s why the work of the Partnership Project is so important. This discussion about the relationship between the Ontario government and the province’s estimated 46,000 not-for-profit organizations focuses on one of the most important, yet underappreciated, sectors in Ontario.

Everyone in Ontario either works with, works for, or receives services from a not-for-profit or charitable organization. These services are everywhere, and they include all of us. That’s what the Partnership Project is about – all of us, working together to make our communities better.
Helen Burstyn
Chair, Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Partnership Project has been informed by eight months of conversation with people representing a wide range of organizations throughout the province. As we spoke with organizations providing vital services to their communities, we were inspired by their dedication, their tenacity and their effectiveness in carrying out their important work. Their communities have benefited immeasurably from their efforts. The not-for-profit sector raises the bar on our collective character and humanity.

communities, we were inspired by their dedication, their tenacity and their effectiveness in carrying out their important work. Their communities have benefited immeasurably from their efforts. The not-for-profit sector raises the bar on our collective character and humanity.

This report reflects what we heard from the sector. It also presents new ideas and best-practices adapted from other jurisdictions. Together, these findings form the backbone of a strategy that will enable important changes in attitude, awareness and understanding, and begin the process of achieving long-term, sustainable change for Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.

Enabling, encouraging and supporting the sector to work better makes social sense and economic sense. The time and resources we give to this effort now are sound investments in our future and are among the most meaningful a society can make. This is a true partnership and an important mission we take on together.

The Partnership Project: An Overview

The Partnership Project is a conversation between Ontario’s not-for-profit sector and the Government of Ontario.

The Partnership Project is a conversation between Ontario’s not-for-profit sector and the Government of Ontario.

On April 22, 2010, the Government of Ontario launched the Partnership Project to seek advice and ideas on ways to renew, streamline and modernize the relationship between the government and Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.

The conversation focused on:

  • Ways to improve collaboration between government and not-for-profits;
  • Policy and legislative frameworks to enhance the effectiveness of the not-for-profit sector;
  • Funding mechanisms and new approaches to financing that would allow not-for-profits greater fiscal security and flexibility; and
  • More effective methods of coordinating policy, research, communication and practice.

Between May and December of 2010, we focused on four channels for engagement:

Regional Roundtables

We hosted in-person roundtable conversations in nine communities around the province. In each community, we sat down with 20 to 30 senior representatives from leading not-for-profits from each local region. Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and Ontario Trillium Foundation staff issued invitations with the goal of achieving a broad cross-section of Ontario’s not-for-profit sector including diversity in organizational size, demographic focus and services provided.

Sub-Sector and Other Roundtables

We also held roundtable discussions with representatives of diverse sub-sector organizations, as well as groups of fundraising professionals, and private and public funders.

Online Engagement

We invited not-for-profit sector organizations, staff, volunteers and clients, as well as members of the public, to share their views online at www.partnershipproject.ca. Over 440 people registered as users on our French and English websites. In addition, we received 15 written briefs, many participated online and three organizations held their own roundtables. Another 456 people responded to an online survey conducted by MASS LBP on behalf of the Partnership Project.

Research Advisory Group

The Partnership Project Research Advisory Group brought together sector experts in a number of fields to review, analyze and advise on best practices in other jurisdictions.

Ontario’s Not-For-Profit Sector: An Economic Force

Ontario’s not-for-profit sector is comprised of more than 46,000 organizations serving every region and demographic in the province. Or so we think. In fact, there is no actual registry of not-for-profit organizations in Ontario. This figure – based on a 2003 national survey by Imagine Canada1 – is an estimate and includes only registered charities and incorporated not-for-profits. The rest – usually small, unincorporated, often volunteer-driven – have never been counted.

The lack of information about this sector is surprising, given the importance of not-for-profits in our society. In Canada, where the not-for-profit sector is the second-largest in the world, every aspect of our society – from health care to sport, from environmental stewardship to education, from human rights to culture – feels the strong influence of the not-for-profit sector.

A Key Economic Contributor

The sector’s human resources are its greatest strength. Approximately one million people – 15 percent of Ontario’s total workforce – are employed in the not-for-profit sector.2 Five times that number are volunteers.3 The total economic impact of the sector is nearly $50 billion4, representing more than 7.1 percent of GDP, a figure greater than the automobile and construction industries combined.5

Ontario’s Spirit of Volunteerism

Each year, more than 5 million Ontarians donate over 820 million hours of their time to worthy causes in their communities. These volunteers govern and work with over 46,000 incorporated not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

Their volunteer time is valued at the equivalent of 400,000 full-time jobs.

Ontario’s volunteers have a strong impact on the quality of life and the economic and social well-being of the province.

They also play a critical role in attracting new investment and jobs to communities by providing a strong recreational, cultural and social infrastructure.

Able to Stretch a Dollar, Meet the Bottom Line

Ontario’s not-for-profit sector achieves that economic impact with great efficiency. Research by the Ontario Trillium Foundation with its grant recipients indicates that every dollar invested by the foundation in the not-for-profit sector returns two dollars more in philanthropic contributions and volunteer time. And as the sector gets bigger, it is also becoming more innovative and more sophisticated, with increased social enterprise, use of technology and professional skills development.

The sector is also becoming more agile and resilient. While more than 75 percent of organizations surveyed by the Ontario Trillium Foundation reported feeling the effects of the recession, most found innovative ways to adapt and respond. Nearly 90 percent developed strategic plans to respond to the new realities and 75 percent reported increased interorganizational collaboration within the sector.

A Skilled and Committed Workforce

Ontario’s not-for-profit sector is filled with talented, effective and hardworking individuals who accomplish so much through their organizations within tight budgets. The sector’s ambitions and influence often outstrip the capacity of its infrastructure and support. Staff and volunteers are being asked to deliver more in increasingly complex situations, often with fewer resources. Delivery models are changing rapidly alongside changing demographics, technology, and the character of the sector’s human resources. There is, however, no shortage of commitment, talent or ingenuity.

The Time for a Stronger Partnership is Now

While the Government of Ontario and the not-for-profit sector share many of the same goals, interests and understandings, we all accept that there are no quick or easy solutions to the many challenges facing the sector. The conversation we have started is an ongoing one. The partnership we have created must be sustained. The result, overtime, will be a better relationship, a more supportive infrastructure and fewer barriers. The Partnership Project is a statement of the importance of the not-for-profit sector, its impact on Ontarians and Ontario’s communities, and the significant role the sector plays in the economy of our province.

The Partnership Project is also an acknowledgement that a great deal of the potential in Ontario’s not-for-profit sector remains untapped. This is due, in part, to missed opportunities by the government to recognize, accommodate and partner effectively with the sector. And it is also due to the sector’s difficulty in effectively positioning itself as a valued partner, as a third sector.

Ontario’s not-for-profit sector is ready for a stronger, better partnership with the provincial government. The sector has emerged and matured from its roots as an informal network of community- and faith-based, volunteer-driven organizations to become a thriving, professionally-run, economic contributor – a third sector – to Ontario’s economic and civic infrastructure.

Partnership project recommendations

The not-for-profit sector is a vital contributor to Ontario’s present and future well-being. For this simple yet critical reason, the Government of Ontario must continue to strengthen and sustain Ontario’s not-for-profit sector. However, to be a leader both in Canada and around the world, we must work together to foster the most ambitious, innovative, and effective sector possible. Therefore, we recommend that the government…

    Promote Respect and Recognition

  1. Promote a culture of respect and recognition within government and across the province.
    • Appoint a minister to be responsible for, and accountable to, the sector.
    • Issue an annual report on the state of the not-for-profit sector and progress made in strengthening the sector and its relationship with the government.

    Foster Coordination and Collaboration

  2. Provide the not-for-profit sector with an identifiable, central and authoritative point of contact within government.
    • Create a coordinating body within government for the not-for-profit sector to act as a central point of contact for the sector and to coordinate inter-ministerial collaboration.
    • Establish an advisory board, drawn from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, to guide the ongoing work of the coordinating body.

    Build Sector Capacity

  3. Address the funding, operational and capacity challenges facing not-for-profit organizations by adopting an approach – across all ministries – that provides similar supports, consideration and recognition received by for-profit organizations in Ontario.
    • Enhance communication with the sector.
    • Develop avenues for greater collaboration in policy development and legislative and regulatory oversight.
    • Work with the sector to develop new approaches to funding, as well as appropriate performance and accountability measures.
    • Invest in projects that support intra-sector cooperation, communication and networks.
  4. Support new ways to reinvigorate Ontario’s tradition of volunteerism.
    • Convene a forum on the future of volunteerism in Ontario to mark the ten-year anniversary of the International Year of the Volunteer and further strengthen, support and acknowledge volunteerism.
    • Encourage volunteerism among all Ontarians, including youth, newcomers and seniors, through social media and recognition awards.

    Modernize, Standardize and Streamline

  5. Leverage technology to break down silos, increase transparency, and share information.
    • Establish an online portal which will act as a one-stop-shop for information on new laws, new programs, available sources of funding, consultation opportunities and sector-related resources and information.
    • Create a province-wide database to streamline applications for funding, amalgamate and disseminate information on not-for-profit organizations, and better coordinate ministries and agencies.

    Invest in Social Innovation

  6. Invest in social innovation.
    • Work with the Government of Canada and Canadian financial institutions to address regulatory and legal barriers to social innovation, and make a range of social financing tools available to Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.
    • Identify new resources and vehicles for encouraging innovation and collaboration within the not-for-profit sector.

What we heard

Over the course of eight months of discussion, we met with more than 400 representatives from more than 340 not-for-profit organizations, conducted a survey of 456 senior sector leaders, and were joined by over 440 online registrants. We held face-to-face discussions in Grimsby, London, Minden, Mississauga, Newmarket, Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Toronto. Many of the people we met with are employed by or volunteer with small, local not-for-profit organizations. Others are CEOs of major organizations, such as the YWCA and the YMCA, or are funders of not-for-profits, such as the United Way, Maytree Foundation, private corporations and family foundations.

While each participant brought her or his own personal and professional experiences to the discussion, many of the same themes, challenges and ideas came up at each session. They fell into three main areas:

Capacity: The not-for-profit sector as a whole struggles with its capacity to provide services to Ontarians. Due to these limitations, not-for-profit organizations find it difficult to devote the time and resources necessary to engage in and capitalize on dialogue and involvement with the Government of Ontario.

Approaches from Across Canada: British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador

British Columbia:

The British Columbia Government and the not-for-profit sector enacted the Government/Non-profit Initiative (GNPI) in 2008 and extended and refined the terms of that agreement with the Commitment for Collaboration a year later. Working through a secretariat in the Ministry of Housing and Social Development, the government has committed to making every initiative collaborative, matching ambitions and plans to the available resources.

Newfoundland and Labrador:

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Voluntary and Non-Profit Secretariat (VNPS) focuses on three strategic objectives: capacity building, policy advice and promotion/recognition. Each objective has specific measures and indicators. While working to avoid pitfalls like becoming a “lobby group” or “appeals court” for the sector, VNPS pursues a limited number of tactical goals including providing training and capacity building opportunities for the sector, exploring the provision of basic insurance and employee benefits for community-based organizations, and enhancing support services to the sector at the local and regional levels.

Voice: More needs to be done to ensure that there is sufficient respect for and recognition given to the not-for-profit-sector, by both the public and the Government of Ontario, so that the sector has a more salient voice in local, regional and provincial conversations.

Our relationship with government is a lot like a marriage. We need to hear from government and other funders that we are in a committed relationship. We need to hear their commitment of support for our great work.
- Minden roundtable participant

Process: Dialogue, collaboration and cooperation between the Government and the not-for-profit sector can be further enhanced by putting in place streamlined procedures, consistent practices and accountability measures, and mechanisms to include the sector in policy development.

This section provides an overview of what we heard and the recommendations we believe should be implemented to achieve the above goals.

We present our recommendations under five core themes:

  1. Promote Respect and Recognition
  2. Foster Coordination and Collaboration
  3. Build Sector Capacity
  4. Modernize, Standardize and Streamline
  5. Invest in Social Innovation

Alberta Non-profit Voluntary Sector Initiative (ANVSI)

In 2008, through the work of a Leaders Council composed of not-for-profit sector and government representatives, Alberta unveiled the ANVSI Framework for Collaboration. Its purpose is to ensure a strong, sustainable not-for-profit sector and to guide and monitor the relationship between government and the sector.

Alberta’s Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit, through a secretariat and a broad inter-ministerial committee called the Collaboration Committee, is responsible for implementation. Its current initiatives include a Funding Practices Project and the possible establishment of a Not-For-Profit/ Voluntary Sector Think Tank. In addition, the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations has initiated a year-long project to develop the first Alberta Non-profit State of the Sector Report, in partnership with the CanadaWest Foundation and other sector stakeholders.

Promote Respect and Recognition

Respect and recognition were two key words that came up at every consultation. Although the provincial government relies on not-for-profit organizations to deliver many of its services and programs to the public, there is little public recognition of the sector’s importance as a delivery agent. Furthermore, while some not-for-profit organizations enjoy strong working relationships with government, there is a general perception among many that they are perceived as supplicants, coming to government only for the purpose of funding. Many people working in the sector feel there is a significant power imbalance between the funders and those who are funded and that this imbalance has implications for the daily interactions and decisions on both sides of the relationship.

A strong foundation for partnership requires a change in attitude and perception from both sides. The Government of Ontario needs to recognize, both in words and actions, the importance of the not-for-profit sector. This needs to happen at both the macro and micro levels – from broad policy decisions and directives, to changes in processes and forms, to the daily interactions between government and the sector. At the same time, the not-for-profit sector needs to continue to change its image from the inside out, by repositioning itself as a social force, a business partner and a service delivery agent. It also needs to learn how to navigate government more effectively and be able to take more ownership of the partnership opportunities presented by government programs and initiatives.

Our partners told us:

Actions speak louder than words. Show us you are sincere about building a partnership by starting with a small number of concrete goals (clear, specific, measurable and timed) that will effect positive change in government/not-for-profit sector relationships.

There is a disconnect across ministries and departments in terms of their appreciation for and understanding of the not-for-profit sector and the volunteer sector.
- Toronto roundtable participant

Appoint someone to talk to us and for us. Assign a minister to advocate for the not-for-profit sector within government and to serve as the point of accountability for the government’s interactions with the sector. Report on the government’s efforts to support the sector and its work.

Be public. Recognize the importance of Ontario’s not-for-profit sector by, for example, issuing a meaningful statement in the House and committing to annual recognition in the Legislature for the accomplishments and progress of Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.

Open the lines of communication – and keep them open. Ensure the conversation continues between elected officials, the public and private sectors, and members of the not-for-profit sector. The minister responsible for the not-for-profit sector should meet regularly with representatives of the sector to discuss, advise and report on the relationship between the government and the sector.

Count us in. Conduct a survey of the sector to build a baseline understanding of the sector’s size, composition and focus areas. Build a consistent monitoring and reporting framework to enhance the government’s knowledge of, and its accountability to, the not-for-profit sector.

Build bridges. Create opportunities for government staff to better understand the sector through direct experiences and exposure. Encourage project officers to make site visits, attend annual general meetings and participate in events to see the impact of the not-for-profit sector’s work.

Tap into the sector’s expertise. Develop formal and informal channels to share information, explore ideas and capitalize on the expertise of not-for-profit organizations, much as the government already does with other sectors.

Demonstrate the power of the sector. The government should lead a multi-sector awareness raising campaign. It could convene a sector council to tell the story of the not-for-profit sector, celebrate what it does, and reinforce how significant the sector’s work is to the lives of Ontarians.

Recommendations: Promote Respect and Recognition

Promote a culture of respect and recognition within government and within the public.

  • Appoint a minister to be responsible for, and accountable to, the sector.
  • Issue an annual report on the state of the not-for-profit sector and progress made in strengthening the sector and its relationship with the government.

Community Organizations in Action

Building Strong Communities, One Person at a Time: YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCAs and YMCA-YWCAs across Ontario are dedicated to improving the health of children and youth by offering accessible programs and services tailored to the needs of communities. As part of the federation of Canadian YMCAs and the World Alliance of YMCAs, they reach more than 1.2 million Ontarians through early learning and care, youth leadership and support services, newcomer settlement, employment services and healthy active living. YMCAs build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

Here’s what one YMCA means to one child and his family, in the words of his mother: “Thanks to your help, flexibility and extra care, Alex adapted easily and made new friends at the Y. This would not have been possible without the continuous support and considerations that you have given us. From accommodating Alex’s special dietary needs, to welcoming his therapists to the centre, to securing the financial assistance and facilitating play dates and birthday party information exchange, the staff at the Y have been absolutely wonderful! The summer club was a huge step forward for us as it proved that Alex can function well in a typical environment and integrate with minimal support. This milestone gave us hope for the future that we couldn’t even dream of when Alex was first diagnosed.”

Foster Coordination and Collaboration

One of the most consistent messages heard throughout the Partnership Project process was that the government and the not-for-profit sector need new and enhanced strategies and mechanisms for communication, partnership and collaboration.

It needs to become a given that consultation with the sector will naturally happen. – Local volunteer organization

Not-for-profit organizations find government difficult to navigate. They do not know where to go or who to ask for information. Smaller, nascent organizations feel left out of the grant process and rely on the grapevine to find out about new programs and funding opportunities. Many are confused by what they perceive as program duplication among some ministries serving similar needs and gaps where no ministry seems to be responsible. Many consultation participants used terms like “silos” when describing government and expressed considerable frustration concerning the amount of time they spend dealing with multiple ministries that do not seem to communicate with each other.

For many smaller organizations, as well as some of the larger ones, understanding the implications of new legislation or policy changes is often beyond the scope of their expertise and too time intensive, given their limited human resources. Representatives of the not-for-profit sector told the co-chairs that they do not feel consulted enough or at all when broad legislation is being considered. When they are approached for direct input on specific initiatives or legislation, most not-for-profits lack the capacity to set aside their daily work to provide thoughtful feedback.

Despite significant capacity challenges, many participants called for a greater awareness and readiness in government to consult with the not-for-profit sector on a broad range of public policy issues and research.

Grassroots, frontline involvement is the key. Government needs to talk to the people who are actually delivering the services.
Minden roundtable participant

Finally, the overlap among levels of government and areas of responsibility is particularly overwhelming for not-for-profit organizations. One consultation participant described a reforestation project her organization led. Because the land in question included several different resources and environmental features, her group had to work with 11 different government departments and ministries from all three levels of government – just to plant some trees.

Our partners told us:

Create a coordinating body for the not-for-profit sector within government. Establish and maintain a coordinating body, such as an office or secretariat, to act as an identifiable, central and authoritative point of contact within government for the sector and to break down silos between ministries. This office could also play a critical cross-ministerial liaison role to eliminate duplication and encourage collaboration and coordination within government.

Create a one-stop shop to act as a central point of contact for the not-for-profit sector. The sector needs one place where it can access information about government programs, access accountability mechanisms, and provide input to policy and legislative processes. The office could:

  • Coordinate the development of government-wide guiding principles for streamlined interaction with the not-for-profit sector;
  • Provide a central resource for research, forms and compliance requirements;
  • Work towards a registry of Ontario’s not-for-profit organizations;
  • Push bulletins and critical information out to not-for-profits;
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for government funding programs;
  • Provide a repository of training, professional development and best-practices resources;
  • Act as a convenor that ensures that knowledge and experience are shared across the sector;
  • Ensure that ministries coordinate their work and programs with the not-for-profit sector; and
  • Advocate on behalf of the sector within the Ontario government and with other levels of government.

Guidestar: A Public Database of 1.8 Million U.S. Non-profits

Founded in 1994, Guidestar is an online portal focused on gathering and publicizing information about non-profit organizations in the United States, including their mission, programs, leaders, goals, accomplishments and needs. It enables non-profits to share information about their organizations, and to connect non-profits with current and potential supporters. The Guidestar portal includes a database of more than 1.8 million registered tax-exempt organizations, information on hundreds of thousands of granting programs, as well as online donation capabilities – all focused on providing the best possible information for donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies and the media. A registered charity, Guidestar is funded through private donations, foundations and granting organizations. It also generates revenue through subscriptions and licensing fees for its products and services.

In two years, I would like to see a mechanism for ongoing consultation with groups across Ontario… a regular forum, like a Minister’s advisory council, but with representatives chosen by and from the sector.
– Arts subsector roundtable participant

Establish a formal mechanism for consultation. Create a sector advisory board with membership drawn from a range of not-for-profit organizations.

Include everyone in the discussion. Provide targeted support for rural and remote areas, as well as for Aboriginal and Francophone organizations. Being aware of and being prepared to accommodate the distinct challenges faced by specific organizations will reduce marginalization, increase participation and enhance effectiveness. This includes understanding the challenges associated with travel and other costs to attend meetings or participate in training opportunities.

Recommendations: Foster Coordination and Collaboration

Provide the not-for-profit sector with an identifiable, central and authoritative point of contact within government.

  • Create a coordinating body for the not-for-profit sector within government to act as a central point of contact for the sector and to coordinate inter-ministerial collaboration.
  • Establish an advisory board, drawn from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, to guide the establishment and ongoing work of the coordinating body.

Community Organizations in Action

Celebrating Francophone Culture: La Nouvelle Scène

Home to four theatre companies, Ottawa’s La Nouvelle Scène is the largest centre for French-language theatre outside Québec after the Théâtre français of the National Arts Centre. In addition to classic and modern plays, La Nouvelle Scène hosts musical performances, visual arts exhibits and an annual African cinema week. The theatre companies perform in Ottawa and tour across Canada with one of their performances playing, on average, every 32 hours!

La Nouvelle Scène is a key point of entry for Francophone students who are seeking a career in theatre. Each year, it welcomes 10 to 15 interns from Ottawa area high schools, colleges and universities.

While some spend a few days learning the ropes of theatre life, others spend up to seven weeks working on every aspect of theatre production, from lighting and sound, to administration and event promotion. In fact, most of the current technical team started as interns.

Build Sector Capacity

Capacity building is a key challenge facing the not-for-profit sector. Although this sector is a critical component in our daily lives, and something that all Ontarians rely on, it is frequently overlooked and undervalued. Roundtable participants were unanimous in their articulation of the need to formally recognize the existence and importance of the sector and to commit to planning for and building capacity in this area among all its constituents.

The not-for-profit sector is fragmented at two levels – in terms of how it responds to government policy around social and community issues, and within the sector itself. Resources should be devoted to building infrastructure for the sector and enabling it to become an effective advocate. It may need government help to get there; it won’t get there on its own.
Non-government funder

Many not-for-profit organizations, particularly those in the health and social services arena, were born out of faith-based organizations or local, volunteer-driven community initiatives. For some, their capacity was ensured by a guaranteed labour force, such as those run by religious orders, while others relied on community goodwill and a spirit of volunteerism. As society changed, these organizations transitioned into not-for-profit organizations run by professional staff, but still heavily reliant on volunteers. In many cases, this model has not changed substantively despite shifting demographics and evolving community needs. As one consultation participant noted, “The challenge facing all of us today is that not-for-profits are running twenty-first century systems on nineteenth century hardware.”

Quite simply, Ontario’s not-for-profit sector needs capacity to devote to building effective partnerships while also providing core services. Building sector capacity is an essential prerequisite to establishing more effective partnerships and is a crucial step in allowing the sector to partner with the province to deliver services, fulfill their own missions and operate their organizations effectively. In fact, not-for-profit organizations have the same needs as other businesses, including overhead and space, back end functions (such as human resources, accounting and legal), as well as training and professional development. They face the added challenge of recruiting, training, and managing volunteers.

Government must acknowledge that we are not just about services, but a key part of society’s social infrastructure, and this includes the administrative and people costs of running it.
Social Planning Toronto roundtable

Capacity building includes addressing some of the key human resource challenges facing the not-for-profit sector. Less competitive salaries, job insecurity and the absence of pension and benefits plans mean that organizations are becoming less able to recruit and retain the talent they need. As the population ages, there are further concerns about a looming leadership deficit for senior positions. The not-for-profit sector is also facing the same challenges as other sectors, including a lack of diversity in its workforce and the need to integrate a new generation of younger workers.6

Our partners told us:

Operating costs are program costs. Take into account the needs of organizations to pay staff and cover operating costs. Programs cannot be delivered without people, lights, and technology.

The sector is starting to “bowl together” rather than go it alone. The government should be on that team.
Non-government funder

Capital funding is needed. The not-for-profit sector needs capital funding to improve and build physical infrastructure.

Invest in people. Professional development dollars and training grants for volunteers are vital to enabling the sector to train and retain staff. Reserve one or two seats at ministry training sessions for not-for-profit partners and stakeholders. Work with not-for-profits to develop capabilities in areas such as proposal writing and risk management. Foster educational opportunities for sector leaders to develop their management skills through new learning avenues such as Ontario’s virtual university initiative, the Ontario Online Institute.

Don’t give with one hand and take away with the other. While many government and non-government funding organizations have built-in mechanisms to reward not-for-profits for developing private and corporate sources of funding, they sometimes pull back that funding when the corporate dollars are too high. This give-and-take undermines the stability and sustainability of organizations.

Treat not-for-profit sector organizations like the businesses they are. Capitalize on the existing services offered to small businesses, such as small business centres, by extending their reach to the not-for-profit sector. Ensure that funding practices reward sound business practices in not-for-profits, such as solid reserve funds.

Collaborate to innovate. Support shared spaces, shared services and other forms of collaboration to encourage innovation and synergies in the not-for-profit sector

Champion best practices. Support the distribution of best practices, information and resources to the sector in areas such as service delivery, marketing, volunteer management, training, public relations and advocacy.

We need the Ontario government to recognize volunteerism as a core program. Organizations need to be supported in finding, training and retaining those volunteers.
Ottawa roundtable participant

Build sector capacity by leveraging the work of existing networks within the not-for-profit sector. Many organizations rely on memberships in sub-sector organizations, umbrella groups or networks to influence policy, explain legislative changes and advocate on their behalf. But most of these network organizations are not well-funded and many not-for-profit sector members lack the financial and human resources to benefit from membership.

Go beyond program funds to build capacity and promote innovation. Allocate financial support for areas such as long-term research, infrastructure, projects that involve a reasonable amount of risk, multi-year projects and collaborative ventures.

Support volunteers and volunteerism. At a time when the traditional demographics of volunteering are changing, the Government of Ontario should work with the sector to encourage volunteerism – especially among youth, newcomers and seniors.

Third Sector New England (TSNE)

Founded in 1959, U.S.-based TSNE focuses on building the capacity of non-profits, so they can better help communities leverage resources, solve problems, identify opportunities and become more effective. They offer training, management consulting and grantmaking programs and services, and provide grassroots organizations with well-honed management and administrative systems, so that they can focus on achieving their missions. TSNE also promotes wider recognition of community-based organizations as the primary stewards of core societal values in the New England region.

Ontario Trillium Foundation: Setting the Bar High

Throughout the Partnership Project, we heard examples of government getting it right. During almost every discussion, the Ontario Trillium Foundation – an agency of the Government of Ontario – was held up as a model to be emulated.

With an annual budget of $120 million, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest grant-making organizations. For the past 28 years, OTF’s mission has been to build healthy and vibrant communities throughout Ontario. Its 300 community volunteers and more than 100 staff keep on top of approximately 1,500 new grants a year. As it provides many multi-year capacity building grants, OTF normally has 3,500 to 4,000 grants under management at any time.

Through its grant-making, OTF has developed expertise in creating, measuring and understanding the impact of those grants on communities. Over the years, it has evolved to meet the needs of the not-for-profit sector by becoming more responsive to the challenges facing communities. It has adjusted its governance model, policies, processes, accountability measures and skills base to reflect a changing Ontario. And it has become both a partner and a convenor of funders and community organizations.

Today, OTF is on the cutting edge of supporting the development of sector networks, stimulating innovation and fostering collaboration within the not-for-profit sector. Grants from its relatively new and very nimble Future Fund as well its Province-Wide and Community grants are used to support both local and multi-region initiatives across the province. OTF has provided seed funding for networks such as the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and PILLAR, for innovative initiatives such as Pathways to Education, and for high-impact collaborative ventures such as the Lieutenant Governor’s Literacy Summer Camp.

Approaches from Abroad: England, Estonia and New Zealand


The landmark 1998 Compact on relations between Government and the Third Sector in England led to the Strategy for Volunteering Infrastructure (2004), Volunteering: Compact Code of Good Practice (2007) and a refreshed version of the original compact (2009). Following a change of government in 2010, the Office of the Third Sector was renamed the Office for Civil Society. The Minister for Civil Society is now a parliamentary secretary role, rather than a minister of state.

Volunteering England and the Office for Civil Society – which is housed in the Cabinet Office – both play key roles in working with the not-for-profit sector, administering charity law and regulations, supporting social enterprise, and developing volunteering and giving.


When Estonia launched the Estonian Civil Society Development Concept (EKAK) in 2002, it was the third country in the world to develop such a framework work. The 2007-2010 Civic Initiative Support Development Plan has since superseded EKAK as an activity plan that has been adopted, in part, to standardize all ministries’ approaches to nurturing the not-for-profit sector. The USAID Index has identified the current development plan as one of the most sustainable in Europe.

New Zealand:

New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development is home to the 2010 Kia Tutahi Standing Together Steering Group which works to achieve five main outcomes: building capacity, building knowledge, overcoming policy barriers, building good practice and encouraging participation and volunteering. One of the keys to New Zealand’s success is recognizing that neither government nor the sector are homogenous and unified and that programs and consultation must reflect the inherent complexity of each partner.

Recommendations: Build Sector Capacity

Address the funding, operational and capacity challenges facing not-for-profit organizations by adopting an approach – across all ministries – that provides similar supports, consideration and recognition received by for-profit organizations in Ontario.

  • Enhance communication with the sector.
  • Develop avenues for greater collaboration in policy development and legislative and regulatory oversight.
  • Work with the sector to develop new approaches to funding, as well as appropriate performance measures and accountability requirements.
  • Invest in projects which support intra-sector cooperation, communication and networks.

Support new ways to reinvigorate Ontario’s tradition of volunteerism.

  • Convene a forum on the future of volunteerism in Ontario to mark the ten-year anniversary of the International Year of the Volunteer and further strengthen, support and acknowledge volunteerism.
  • Encourage volunteerism among all Ontarians, including youth, newcomers and seniors, through social media and recognition awards.

Community Organizations in Action

Promoting Aboriginal Arts and Culture: Ojibwe Cultural Foundation

In 2010, the National Gallery of Canada mounted a major retrospective of the work of the late Carl Beam, who made Canadian art history as the first artist of First Nations ancestry (Ojibwe) to have his work purchased as contemporary art by the National Gallery of Canada. He was among the many Anishnaabe artists who honed their artistic talents at an arts camp operated by the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation from the mid- 1970’s through the 1980’s. Founded in 1974 on the M’Chigeeng First Nation as the dream of a core group of determined Anishnaabe cultural and language activists, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation seeks to foster and maintain the Ojibwe language and cultural heritage of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potowatomi Nations.

Today, the Foundation’s Ojibwe Cultural Centre is a cultural resource and a force for tourism development on Manitoulin Island. Its 11,000 square foot facility includes an elders’ room, retail outlet, museum, art gallery, healing lodge, classroom and presentation area, AV studio, resource centre, amphitheatre, arts theatre and an artisans’ market. Perhaps most notably, the centre is nurturing the next generation of artists by bringing back world-renowned artists and camp alumni to instruct and mentor a select group of aspiring artists in traditional and contemporary arts.

Modernize, Standardize and Streamline

At every turn, we heard that government services, particularly those related to funding policies and practices, need to be standardized and streamlined.

Roundtable participants spoke of the challenges associated with seeking and securing funding, and the administrative and accountability red tape they face. They talked about the lack of consistent forms and processes across ministries, the diverse accountability requirements, and the redundancies embedded in every application for funding. Small organizations in particular can be reluctant to pursue government funding because they lack the capacity to meet application and reporting requirements.

Timeframes were also a challenge. A number of organizations reported examples such as planning for and starting a 12-week program only to discover mid-program that full funding was not available. Others talked about cash flow and employee retention challenges that result in, for example, letting pilot-program staff go at the end of the program, only to try to rehire them a few weeks or months later after the receipt of follow-on funding.

At the same time, participants were eager to share examples of where government is getting it right. For example, many applauded the multiyear funding model applied in programs at the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. This model provides stability and enables organizations to plan, retain staff and have a reasonable amount of time to measure outcomes. It also sends a message about the level of trust and respect between the agency and the ministry.

At many roundtable sessions, participants identified technology as one key to modernizing and streamlining the system. Many participants mentioned the success of CADAC (Canada Arts Data), a database of arts organizations and funders across Canada that collects, disseminates and analyzes financial and statistical information.

Centre for Effective Philanthropy (CEP): Assessing the Performance of Not-For-Profits

Founded in 2001, CEP is a non-profit organization focused on the development of comparative data to enable funders to better define, assess and improve their effectiveness and impact. CEP produces research reports, as well as data collection and assessment tools, to support foundation performance assessment in the areas of strategy, governance and foundation-grantee relationships. To date, more than 200 foundations across the United States and Canada have used CEP’s assessment tools to improve their performance.

Our partners told us:

Leverage technology. Create a web portal to connect the government and the not-for-profit sector. One good example is www.settlement.org which was created through a partnership between the Province of Ontario, OCASI, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Make risk management measures scalable. Smaller value contracts, grants, and agreements should not be subject to the same risk mitigation measures as larger entities.

Plan beyond pilot projects. Funding that supports pilot projects should also include clear avenues to access funding beyond the pilot phase to ensure the ongoing success of the initial effort.

Be flexible. Take a client-centred approach by accommodating proposals and initiatives that reach across traditional government portfolios. Accommodate the complete spectrum of not-for-profit organizational profiles: urban-rural, large-small, staff driven-volunteer driven, and others.

Reduce the administrative burden. Ease the administrative requirements placed upon not-for-profit organizations by instituting standardized applications, forms, timelines and accountability and reporting requirements across ministries, and moving as much of it as possible online

Size matters. Application, monitoring and evaluation requirements should be scalable according to the size of the project and the organizations involved.

Offer more two-step application processes. A more user-friendly two-step application process for funding would start with a letter of intent to allow the funder to determine whether a more robust application is justified. If it is, then the applicant would be contacted and encouraged to complete a full proposal.

Include reasonable timelines for applications and funding. Ensure that all funding decision timelines provide reasonable accommodation for program start-up, such as building in enough lead time to hire new staff. Timeline targets would be a good first step. Funds should be received before new programs start.

Create a centralized two-way funding information resource, like CADAC. The system should be a central, online grants/funding management system that connects to, and is adaptable to, the needs of each government ministry, as well as the not-for-profit sector itself.

Recommendations: Modernize, Standardize and Streamline

Leverage technology to break down silos, increase transparency, and share information.

  • Establish an online portal for the sector which will act as a one-stop-shop for information on new laws, new programs, available sources of funding, consultation opportunities and sector-related resources and information.
  • Create a province-wide database to streamline applications for funding, amalgamate and disseminate information on not-for-profit organizations, and better coordinate ministries and agencies.

Canadian Arts Data / Données sur les arts au Canada (CADAC)

Launched in 2008, CADAC is a joint initiative of arts funders across Canada. This web-based application is dedicated to the collection, dissemination and analysis of financial and statistical information about Canadian arts organizations. Arts organizations applying to multiple funding agencies submit their financial and statistical information in a single format, to a single source. They have access to their own historical data and to reports on their own organization, as well as comparisons to all similar organizations in the database.

Public sector funding agencies have immediate access to current and consistent data for all the arts organizations they fund. Aggregate data across CADAC is also accessible, allowing for reliable and consistent analysis of the Canadian arts sector. Individually and collectively, funding agencies will be able to report on the health of the field and the impact of the arts in their communities. (Source: www.lecadac.ca)

Community Organizations in Action

Supporting Women and Children: Women’s Rural Resource Centre

The Women’s Rural Resource Centre in Strathroy helps women like Katie change their lives. After two visits to the shelter, Katie gave her partner another chance while remaining in contact with the WRRC Transition Advocate staff. When crisis brought Katie back to the shelter for a third time, she dealt with uncertainty, fear and shame. She spent hours talking with frontline staff, all the while questioning herself for returning to her abusive relationship, feeling guilty for wanting her son to have a relationship with his father, and allowing them to live in an environment that was not safe.

Through counselling, Katie began to regain her confidence and understand the “cycle of abuse.” She set goals for herself and pursued them, including beginning the process of completing her General Educational Development test. With the support of community agencies, friends and family, she found independent housing, signed her son up for counselling with the WRRC’s Child Advocate and set out on a new path. The most encouraging sign is that Katie has not returned to the shelter and continues to be supported by the transitional counsellor and children’s advocate.

Invest in Social Innovation

Not-for-profit organizations are innovative because they have to be. They know how to stretch a dollar, maximize a resource and meet an unfunded need. That innovation often materializes as a new mode of service delivery, a new approach to an old problem, a special collaboration between multiple agencies, or a new venture.

Social financing is a key factor in the ability of not-for-profits to innovate. At the core, it is about using forms of borrowing that are traditionally employed in the for-profit sector for funding diversification in the not-for-profit sector. Emerging social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations with for-profit operations are looking to lenders to help them boost activities that advance their missions, their operations and their growth.

Another important component of innovation is social enterprise. Many not-for-profit organizations have innovative skills, products and programs that can be marketed and converted into new streams of revenue. This is not a new idea. Gift shops, catering services and workshops are traditional examples of how not-for-profits have generated, and continue to generate, revenue. The challenge for these organizations is how to become entrepreneurial – to make their innovations marketable and to generate revenue from those innovations – without jeopardizing their funding and their not-for-profit or charitable status.

United States Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation (SICP)

Created in 2009, the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation (SICP) is housed within the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. It is focused on doing business differently by:

  • promoting service as a solution and a way to develop community leadership;
  • increasing investment in innovative community solutions that demonstrate results; and
  • developing new models of partnership.

These three mission areas together comprise the White House community solutions agenda.

SICP was instrumental in the creation of the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Invest in Innovation Fund at the Department of Education. It is also leading a number of public-private partnerships focused on innovation.

Government at all levels has a role to play in nurturing innovation. The Government of Ontario has an opportunity to initiate dialogue on behalf of the not-for-profit sector to effect changes in federal legislation and programs that would minimize the regulatory burden on not-for-profit organizations and enable them to generate additional, diverse sources of funding.

The provincial government could also promote innovation by acting as a convenor of the sector, the business community and funders. There is an untapped wealth of knowledge, expertise and resources that is not moving between the not-for-profit and private sectors, and there is a strong appetite to work together to achieve better outcomes for our communities.

There are widely divergent levels of understanding about social financing and social enterprise among not-for-profit organizations. For many, there is some level of awareness of these opportunities but most have no idea where to start. Many organizations have board members who are risk-averse and afraid to take on debt or venture beyond traditional activities. On the other hand, there are some organizations that are involved in high degrees of social enterprise.

What is Social Finance?

Social finance refers to capital that is used to finance social enterprise and social enterprise activities. It runs the full gamut of traditional capital market tools (such as loans, debt financing and microlending) to support activities and initiatives that aim to achieve a positive social or environmental impact, while yielding a return on investment. These investment options are alternatives and supplements to traditional sources of funding for the non-profit sector. Social finance also marks a shift in investor focus from solely a rate of return to considerations of social return. Financial products in this zone can include options traditionally made available to private enterprise.

Our partners told us:

Listen and be a convenor. The Government of Ontario should continue to listen to and convene sector experts to facilitate dialogue, support capacity building efforts and conduct required research.

Help us connect. Connect the not-for-profit sector with existing and emerging social financing initiatives.

Educate us. Use outreach to educate the not-for-profit sector, government agencies, funders and the financial sector on social financing issues as they develop. Include a specific approach to not-for-profit sector boards and directors so that they are prepared to evaluate and accept the risks and rewards of non-traditional financing models.

Engage the financial sector. Work with the not-for-profit sector and the financial sector to enhance cooperation on important community initiatives.

Remove regulatory barriers to social enterprise. Work with the federal government to develop incentives and models for social financing and social enterprise and allow not-for-profit sector investment funds to become an RRSP-eligible investment.

Establish a not-for-profit sector innovation fund. This fund could nurture new ideas that cross or fall outside existing funding envelopes and support creative ways to collaborate and find efficiencies among multiple organizations. It could provide new resources, forums and vehicles for encouraging innovation within the not-for-profit sector.

Expand eligibility criteria for infrastructure programs. Modify Infrastructure Ontario’s eligibility criteria to allow a broader range of community-based and not-for-profit organizations and initiatives to access this financing provider.

The City of Toronto Office of Partnerships pulled together everyone I needed to make a sponsorship idea happen. The office provided a central point of contact for me and brought everyone to the table.
Private sector funder

Retain community assets for public service. Revise the existing policy to grant first-right-of-refusal to the not-for-profit sector on the purchase of public lands and other assets.

Expand eligibility criteria for existing procurement and investment programs. This could provide not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises with access to diverse funding streams.

Reduce the limitations placed on registered charities. Re-examine existing limitations on social enterprise to encourage sustainability and capacity building in the sector.

Be a locus for partnership. Many businesses would like to partner with government and the not-for-profit sector but don’t know where to start. Government has a role to play in convening all partners – funders, regulators, service providers and others – around a specific need and developing a response.

Provide a clearinghouse. Many funders don’t have adequate resources to screen or test organizations for sustainable funding so that they may qualify. The challenge faced by most private sector funders is where to invest their dollars to have the most impact. An endorsement of the organization or the initiative from government would be helpful in identifying opportunities and mitigating risk.

Make a range of social finance tools available. Community bonds, social impact bonds, interest-free loans and other social finance vehicles can contribute to a sustainable not-for-profit sector.

Recommendations: Invest in Social Innovation

Invest in social innovation.

  • Work with the Government of Canada and Canadian financial institutions to address regulatory and legal barriers to social innovation, and make a range of social financing tools available to Ontario’s not-for-profit sector.
  • Identify new resources, forums and vehicles for encouraging innovation and collaboration within the not-for-profit sector.

Task Force on Social Finance: Unlocking New Sources of Capital for Public Good

The December 2010 report of the Social Finance Task Force identified seven recommendations to assist Canada’s charities, non-profits, and social purpose businesses to escape from the cycle of short-term subsistence funding and open new sources of financing.

The Task Force’s recommendations address three main challenges:

  • unlocking new sources of capital for public good;
  • using the tax and regulatory environment to make it easier and less onerous for charities and non-profits to start enterprises to generate revenue; and
  • providing social entrepreneurs and enterprising non-profits with the needed business training to open, operate and scale their business ideas.

The recommendations are targeted at all levels of government, as well the financial services sector. (Source: www.socialfinancetaskforce.ca)

Community Organizations in Action

Building Strong Communities: Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office

In 2008, Sabina, a teacher from India, arrived in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood with her husband and four children. Three days later, she approached a group of women sitting in the local park, and began a conversation that culminated in the creation of the Thorncliffe Women’s Committee.

Thorncliffe Park is a neighbourhood of huge apartment buildings, home to over 30,000 residents, most of whom are new Canadians. With an average occupancy of two people per room, many of these households are headed by women. Over the past two years, the Thorncliffe Women’s Committee has become an active advocate for community members and has gone beyond traditional and cultural barriers to strengthen its community. It operates a bazaar with entertainment for children and vendors selling South Asian goods as well as food prepared by women from the community at a communal kitchen.


Appendix A – Acknowledgements

The Partnership Project itself was a unique partnership – a collaboration between a ministry and an agency. We would like to thank all of the people who came together, from within our organizations and across the sector, to make it work.

Our Research Advisory Group included leading experts and thought leaders:

  • Cathy Barr, VP Operations and Research, Imagine Canada
  • Dan Clement, VP Learning, United Way Canada
  • Lynn Eakin, Metcalf Foundation Fellow and Network Director (Interim), Ontario Nonprofit Network
  • Allyson Hewitt, Director, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation Generation
  • Hilary Pearson, CEO, Philanthropic Foundations Canada
  • Michael Shapcott, Director, Affordable Housing and Social Innovation, Wellesley Institute
  • Paula Speevak-Sladowski, Director, Applied Research + Public Policy, Volunteer Canada

Thank you for volunteering your time, sharing your insights and helping us identify the best opportunities for strengthening the not-for-profit sector.

Thank you to Deputy Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, Assistant Deputy Minister Katherine Hewson, Elliot Pobjoy, Acting Chief of Staff to the Minister, and the staff at the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration for their support and guidance throughout this process.

We gratefully acknowledge the outstanding contribution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which included giving the Partnership Project a physical “home” and for hosting our website. Special thanks to CEO Robin Cardozo, CFO Anne Pashley and the Toronto OTF staff for their support, and to the OTF team across Ontario for being our arms and legs in each of the communities we visited.

Finally, we would like to thank the members of our joint working group, who formed a tight, focused team that enabled us to have real discussions with real people: Sandra Cruickshanks, Viola Dessanti, Blair Dimock, Patricia Else, Justine Greenland Duke, Richard Mortimer and Marilyn Struthers from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Mazlin Darsi, Georgia Kapelos, Carrie Moody and Rose Van Rotterdam from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Our special thanks to Brian Beattie and Karen Rosen for co-leading this initiative in the true spirit of partnership

But, most of all, thank you to the many individuals representing Ontario’s not-for-profit sector, who took the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us, submit their thoughts, and who provided the inspiration, guidance and wisdom needed to inform this project.

Appendix B – Partnership Project Terms of Reference

 On March 8, 2010 in the Speech from the Throne, the government recognized the work of Ontario’s 46,000 not-for-profit organizations. Through the Open Ontario plan, the government further identified that new ways are needed to strengthen the not-for-profit sector.

On April 22, 2010, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced that he, along with the Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, had embarked on the Partnership Project: Stronger Partnership, Stronger Sector – an initiative to build a stronger partnership with the not-for-profit sector by seeking advice on ways to renew, streamline and modernize the relationship between government and the not-for-profit sector.

The Project engaged in a series of consultations and research activities including roundtable discussions with not-for-profit organizations, meetings with funders and the private sector, consultation with government ministries, research on best-practices, and broad public input through the Project website.

Appendix C – List of Roundtables

All consultations are regional consultations except where noted.

Monday, May 17
MacDonald Block, Queen’s Park

Friday, May 28
Ontario Trillium Foundation Offices

Monday, June 7
Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Monday, June 14
Ontario Trillium Foundation Offices

Thursday, June 24
Grimsby Museum

Tuesday, July 7
Centre for Social Innovation

Wednesday, August 4
Pope John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre

Thursday, August 5

Friday, August 6
Cambrian College

Tuesday, August 10
2 Carlton Street

Wednesday, August 11
German Canadian Club

Thursday, August 12
Minden Community Centre

Thursday, September 16
RA Centre

Thursday, September 23
Magna Recreation Centre

Tuesday, September 28
Centre for Social Innovation

Wednesday, October 20
Lillian H. Smith Library

Monday, October 25
Manulife Financial

Tuesday, October 26
MAYTREE Hart House

Appendix D – Roundtable Participants by Organization

100% Actifs
2010 Change The World Youth Advisory
ACFO London-Sarnia
Action for Neighbourhood Change
Activity Haven Seniors Centre
AliasAtlas Consulting Services
Arts & Heritage Alliance
Arts Council Haliburton Highlands
Arts Council of Sault Ste. Marie
ArtsBuild Ontario
Association des Francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario
At^Iohsa Native Family Healing Service, Inc.
Atikokan Economic Development
Atikokan Intergenerational Centre for
Arts & Alternatives
ATN Access Inc.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha
Boys & Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay
Boys and Girls Club Cornwall
Brain Injury Services of Northern Ontario
Brampton Arts Council
Brampton Community Foundation
Camp Kawartha & Kawartha Outdoor
Education Centre
Canadian Association of Physicians
for the Environment
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Canadian Community Arts Initiative
Canadian Community Economic
Development Network
Canadian Dance Alliance (CDA)
Canadian Education Association
Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
Canadian Hearing Society
Canadian Heritage
Canadian Institute for Environmenmtal
Law and Policy
Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Multicultural Links Association
Canadian Red Cross – Ontario Zone
Canadian Women’s Foundation
Carefirst Seniors & Community Services
Carousel Players
Catholic Cross Cultural Services
Cathy Mann & Associates
Centre Communautaire Le Griffon
Centre de Santé Communautaire
Centre de services de Santé Peel-Halton Inc
Centre for Social Innovation
Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies,
Ryerson University
Centre Français Hamilton Inc.
Child Care Resources
Children and Youth Advisory Network
for Haldimand and Norfolk
Children’s Aid Society of London
and Middlesex
Chinese Canadian National Council
-Toronto Chapter
CICS (Centre for Information &
Community Services)
Cinefest Sudbury
Cisco Systems Canada Inc.
City of Toronto
CivicAction (formerly Toronto City
Summit Alliance)
Clean Air Foundation
Clean Air Partnership
Club Alouette de Niagara
Community Environment Alliance
Community Foundation of Ottawa
Community Foundation of Greater
Community Living Dufferin
Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and
West Lincoln
Community Living Mississauga
Community MicroSkills Development CentreCommunity Opportunity & Innovation
Network (Peterborough) Inc.
Community Outreach Canada
Community Resource Centre (Killaloe)
Composting Council of Canada
Conservation Council of Ontario
Creative Trust
Dance Ontario
Direct Energy
Documentary Organization of Canada
Ducks Unlimited
Durham Region Soccer Association/Soccer Canada
Earth Angels
Earth Day Canada
Ecosource Mississauga
Elgin Street Mission
Employment Sector Council of
London – Middlesex
Environment Hamilton
Environmental Defence
Factory Theatre
Family Service Toronto
Family Transition Place
Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan
Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre
Freeform Solutions
Front Line Partners with Youth Network
Fuerza Latina Community Services
Fusion Youth Activity and Technology Centre
Gallery TPW
Gamiing Centre for Sustainable
Lakeshore Living
Gateway Centre for New Canadians
George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
Georgina Mobility Transit
Ginder Consulting
Ginoogaming First Nation
Girls Incorporated of York Region
Gordon Foundation
Grassroots Youth Collaborative
Green Enterprise Ontario
Green Venture
Guelph Inclusiveness Alliance and Local
Immigration Council
Haliburton County Development Corporation
Haliburton Highlands Land Trust
Hallett Horlor Inc.
Halton Environmental Network
Halton Learning Foundation
Halton Multicultural Council
Hamilton Community Foundation
Hamilton Executive Directors of the
Aboriginal Community (HEDAC)
Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction
Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Heritage Mississauga
Highstreet Asset Management
Hirgi + White Consulting
Hospice of London
HR Council for the Non-profit Sector
Humber River Regional Hospital Foundation
Ideate Philanthropy
Imagine Canada
Imperial Cotton Centre for the Arts/
The Cossart Exchange
Independent Living Resource Centre Corp.
Information Markham and Volunteer Centre
Information Niagara
John Howard Society
John Howard Society of Kawartha
Lakes & Haliburton
John Howard Society of Thunder Bay
Jonquil Eyre Consulting
Just Food
Kawartha Lakes Community Futures
Development Corporation
KCI Ketchum Canada Inc.
KidActive / Paddler Co-op
Kids Help Phone
Knowledge Ontario
KPMG Foundation
La Passerelle
Ladies of the Lake Conservation
Laidlaw Foundation
Lakehead Fundraising Association
Lakehead Social Planning Council
LAMP Community Health Centre
Law Foundation
Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS)
Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury
Let’s Talk Science
Lindsay Concert Foundation
Literacy Link Niagara
Live Work Play
Local Food PLus
London Fringe
London Heritage Council
London Regional Children’s museum
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young
People (LKTYP)
Luke’s Place
Mainstreet Management Committee
-Bancroft and North Hastings
Manulife Financial
Markham African Caribbean Association
MaRS Discovery District
Massey Area Museum
Maytree Foundation
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mississauga Arts Council
Mississauga Sports Council
Miziwe Biik
Montage Support Services
MS Society of Canada
Multicultural Inter-Agency Group of Peel
Music and Film in Motion
National Capital Environment Network
Nature Conservancy of Canada
New Canadians Centre of Peterborough
Niagara Community Foundation
Niagara Research and Planning Council
Niagara Resource Service for Youth
Niagara Workforce Planning Board
North Durham Social Development Council
North Hastings Community Integration
North Superior Workforce Planning Board
Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
Oak Ridges Moraine
Oakville Arts Council
Oakville Community Foundation
Office of Provincial Advocate for Children
and Youth
Ontario Arts Council
Ontario Association of Art Galleries
Ontario Community Support Association
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving
Ontario Immigrant Network
Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN)
Ontario Network of Employment Skills
Training Projects
Ontario Nonprofit Network
Ontario Sustainable Energy Association
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Open Policy
Opera Atelier
Opportunities Waterloo Region
Orchestra London
Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
Ottawa Community Loan Fund
Ottawa Festivals
Ottawa Museum Network
Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre
Oxford County United Way
Palliative Care Network for York Region
Parks and Recreation Ontario
PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise/PARO
Centre pour l’entreprise de femmes
Parya Trillium Foundation
Peel Environmental Youth Alliance
Peel Multicultural Council
Peel Newcomer Strategy Group
Peterborough Green-Up Association
Philanthropic Foundations Canada
Pillar NonProfit Network
Pollution Probe
Pope John Paul II Polish Community Centre
Pride London Festival
RBC Foundation
ReStructure Non Profit Consulting
Riverdale Housing Action Group
Royal Bank of Canada
Salvation Army of Sudbury
Salvation Army of Thunder Bay
SARI Therapeutic Riding
Settlement and Integration
Services Organization
Shaw Festival
Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre
Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon
Skills for Change
Social Enterprise for Canada
Social Planning Council of
Social Planning Council of Sudbury
Social Planning Network of Ontario
Social Planning Toronto
Social Services Network
Solidarité des Femmes Immigrantes
Francophones du Niagara (Sofifran)
South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre
Southern First Nations Secretariat
Sport Alliance of Ontario
Sport Hamilton
Square One Older Adult Centre
St. Joseph Immigrant Women’s Centre
St. Stephens
Sudbury & Manitoulin Workforce
Planning Board
Sudbury Action Centre for Youth
Sudbury Canoe Club
Sudbury Multicultural Folk Arts Association
Sustainability Network
T.R. Meighen Family Foundation
Talbot Teen Centre
Tarragon Theatre
Technology Alliance Group for Kawartha Lakes
The Culver Group Inc.
The Donner Canadian Foundation
The Indian Friendship Centre of
Sault Ste. Marie
The People Project
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
The Royal Conservatory
The Salvation Army
Theatre Direct Canada
Théâtre Français de Toronto
Thunder Bay Art Gallery
Thunder Bay Community Foundation
Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre
Times Change
Toronto Alliance for the Performing
Arts (TAPA)
Toronto Arts Council Foundation
Toronto Community Foundation
Toronto Drop In Network
Trent University
Trillium Health Centre Foundation
Trinity Square Video (TSV)
United Way of Greater Toronto
United Way of Bruce Grey
United Way of Burlington & Greater Hamilton
United Way of Canada
United Way of Guelph and Wellington
United Way of Middlesex-London
United Way of Niagara Falls
United Way of Thunder Bay
United Way of York Region
United Way/Centraide of Windsor Essex
University of Ontario, Institute of Technology
Vanier Children’s Services
Vaughan African Canadian Association
Venture Niagara/Entreprise Niagara
Volunteer and Information Quinte
Volunteer Canada
Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington
Volunteer Centre of North Simcoe
Volunteer Hamilton
Volunteer MBC
Volunteer Sudbury
Volunteer Thunder Bay
Volunteer Toronto
Walter and Gordon Duncan Foundation
Wawatay Communications
Wellesley Institute
Wellington Dufferin Guelph In Motion
Wellspring London and Region
White Water Ontario
WIL Employment Services
World Wildlife Fund Canada
WRIEN – Waterloo Region Immigrant
Employment Network
YMCA of Greater Toronto
YMCA Canada
YMCA of Belleville and Quinte
YMCA of Hamilton
YMCA of Niagara
YMCA Western Ontario
York University
Young Social Entrepreneurs of Canada
Youth Action Network
Youth Challenge Fund
Youth Employment Assistance
Headquarters (Y.E.A.H.)
Youth Serving Agencies Network
YWCA Canada
YWCA Sudbury


Appendix E – Endnotes

1 Cornerstones of Community: Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations,
Statistics Canada 2003. p. 20
2 The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector in Ontario: Regional Highlights of the National Survey of Nonprofit
and Voluntary Organizations, pg. vii
3 Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians: Highlights from the 2007 Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering
and Participating, pg. 69
4 The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector in Ontario: Regional Highlights of the National Survey of
Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, pg.vi
5 The Satellite Account of Non-profit Institutions and Volunteering 2007, pg. 9
6 Implementing a Labour Force Strategy for the Nonprofit Sector in Ontario. A Submission to
the Ontario Partnership Project Prepared by Novita Interpares Limited on behalf of the Ontario
Nonprofit Network