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The importance of practicing decent work, especially in times of crisis

ONN’s commitment to equity and reciprocity means that we care deeply about the impact of hate, racism, and polarization on the nonprofit sector, our people, and the communities we serve. As many others have in our network, ONN has struggled with what to say and do as we’ve witnessed the escalating humanitarian crisis in Palestine and Israel. We hold our network colleagues that are deeply and personally impacted by these events and crises in our hearts. 

Talking about Israel and Palestine is not easy, but as part of supporting decent work practices in the nonprofit sector, ONN is committed to learning and understanding how nonprofit work in Ontario can be impacted by global issues. Over the past several weeks, ONN has heard from our nonprofit colleagues about their worries in navigating this particular humanitarian crisis and how to build safe, inclusive spaces for differing points of view in the sector. We encourage nonprofits to ensure staff have the ability to share how they are feeling and how the crisis may be impacting their work. Implementing flexible work cultures that provide for time off to support health and wellness, and reminding staff about resources, like employee benefits or employee assistance programs, is vital at times like these. 

In addition, many Ontario nonprofit organizations serving equity-deserving groups and communities are continuing their service provision while facing various significant crises, from local to global, and an ever-increasing and very concerning rise in hate and racism. ONN denounces all forms of hate and racism and recognizes that anti-racism work is vital to ensuring a robust, collaborative, and secure nonprofit sector. 

ONN  is committed to supporting Ontario’s nonprofits using our network capacity to share resources that focus on the wellness of the staff and volunteers who ensure nonprofits remain a source of care, comfort, and assistance during difficult times.

The resources below may support organizations and staff as they navigate current challenges. Please feel free to share suggestions for resources with us.


  • Make a donation to support humanitarian work through Canada Helps or the Humanitarian Coalition
  • Information about Decent Work for staff and volunteers.
  • Resources about Truth and Reconciliation, racial justice, and equity.
  • Learn more about trauma-informed workplaces and supporting mental health in the workplace.
  • Mental health resources for employers and employees. 
November 1, 2023 at 11:57 am
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