The State of Ontario’s Nonprofits

Since the health and economic crisis began,  nonprofit organizations across Ontario have been on the frontlines in supporting their communities and working closely with grassroots groups and local networks. They are, however, also facing massive financial challenges in continuing their work.

The Ontario Nonprofit Network and the Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario have released a report examining this, Risk, resilience, and rebuilding communities: The state of Ontario nonprofits three months into the pandemic. It is based on a June 2020 survey of 1,131 nonprofits and charitable organizations.

In addition to financial challenges, they are facing COVID-related mental health needs, increased intimate partner violence, and the disproportionate impact of the crisis on  low-income households and racialized communities.

Key recommendations include:

  1. The Ontario government must create a nonprofit sector stabilization fund to backstop massive revenue losses, prevent permanent job losses and closures, support the sector to “re-tool” to post-pandemic conditions, prepare for a second wave, and ramp up quickly in response to renewed demand for services.
  2. The Ontario government should accelerate the deployment of pandemic pay, and other supports, which took too long to reach front-line organizations.
  3. The Government of Canada should ensure the federal emergency wage subsidy program is more flexible and responsive to nonprofit business models.
  4. Both levels of government must invest in rural broadband to help both nonprofits and small businesses thrive in small communities across Ontario.
  5. Both levels of government must create a nonprofit sector advisory table to inform planning for the economic recovery, with representation from all nonprofit sectors.

Read the report here.