< Agenda | Social Procurement & Anchor Institutions
Social Procurement & Anchor Institutions
Building purchasing power

Unlike many corporations that come and go from communities, anchor institutions are public and nonprofit institutions that stay put. We can spend our resources and procure services in ways that create opportunities for people who live on the economic margins.

The founding members of AnchorTO are the Atkinson Foundation, City of Toronto, Centennial College, George Brown College, Metrolinx, Ryerson University, Seneca College, Toronto Public Library, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Community Housing, United Way Toronto and York Region, and University of Toronto University of Toronto Scarborough.

We’re backers and founding members of AnchorTO, a network of 18 public sector institutions, including four provincial ministries and an agency, eight colleges and universities, two funders and four City agencies and corporations. They’ve been working together since 2015 on social procurement strategies to achieve their organization’s mission and to maximize benefit for Toronto’s low-income communities.

The group represents over $17 billion in combined annual collective procurement spend. The City of Toronto coordinates the network, leveraging the City’s experience in developing and implementing its own Social Procurement Program.

Over the last two years, the work of the network has gained significant momentum, moving members from a place of learning to action and receiving national and international recognition. This next phase of this work will be on sustaining progress and growing the base of support for this work.

Anchor Institutions
This 2015 research on social procurement and anchor institution strategies is informed by interviews conducted with 17 senior executives at 13 different organizations, including anchor institutions, foundations, research centres and community organizations in the US, Canada and the UK.
A 2018 update on the work of Toronto's anchor institutions.