A new ONN era begins with the launch of Nonprofit Law Ontario

ONN is so excited to share that Nonprofit Law Ontario is now a project of ONN. The timing couldn’t be better as ONN celebrates our tenth anniversary of incorporating as a nonprofit organization on February 11, 2024!

This story begins when the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) was first introduced. We often refer to it as our “founding and forever” issue. ONCA was the burning platform that created the spark for ONN – a cross-sectoral issue that affected all nonprofits incorporated in Ontario and had the potential to truly impact how we worked.

Our priority when ONCA was passed into law was to ensure ONCA would meet the needs of the sector, and that there would be support for the sector to transition to the new law. It was clear that as a small emerging network, ONN did not have the legal expertise to support the transition to ONCA. We also wanted to make sure that we were able to continue to advocate for improvements to ONCA and its regulations by staying at arms-length from provincial funding for ONCA transition support. 

With our first grant from the Law Foundation of Ontario, ONN focused on policy improvements and began considering how to support the sector in implementing the new law. 

Beginnings of a long-lasting partnership

In 2013, we developed a partnership with Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) that has been one of our longest standing relationships! CLEO led the “Get Ready for ONCA” project that lasted more than ten years as a result of the delay in proclamation of ONCA. Finally proclaimed in October 2021, CLEO kicked into high gear with workshops and webinars, template bylaws, and FAQs now branded as “Nonprofit Law Ontario.” This helped the sector navigate the new law and provided them with as much plain language information as possible to understand the implications and opportunities ONCA presented.

Recently, both ONN and CLEO entered a period of internal strategizing and planning, and, with ONCA’s transition period coming to a close later this year, it was clear that it was time to re-think our roles. We are thrilled to take on Nonprofit Law Ontario as an ONN project, and both steward and grow it as a social enterprise initiative! 

We are incredibly grateful to CLEO for their stewardship of this amazing project and its vital resources, as well as for their leadership in supporting the nonprofit sector for more than a decade, and for their continued partnership. ONN is committed to growing the educational mission and innovative approaches to continue serving the legal needs of the sector. 

We are also grateful to the funders of Get Ready for ONCA and Nonprofit Law Ontario that made this project possible, including: Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery, Law Foundation of Ontario, and the Lawson Foundation.

What the future holds with Nonprofit Law Ontario

Our network can look forward to more ONCA related support, as well as legal education on other topical and priority issues facing the sector, such as advocacy rules, employment law, funding agreements, and more. 

Bookmark our new Nonprofit Law Ontario webpage, which includes vital links and a list to the training sessions available to network groups. And, minor updates to the NPLO main site will also be made to reflect ONN’s leadership.

I am personally so grateful for the remarkable partnership ONN has enjoyed with CLEO and a special thanks to Julie Matthews, Brenda Doner, and Benjamin Miller for their commitment, leadership and camaraderie along the way.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our ten-year anniversary!

February 6, 2024 at 4:04 pm
Cathy Taylor
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