ONN greets new nonprofit legislation as a welcome step in the right direction

For the Ontario Nonprofit Network, Bill 65 – the recently updated corporate legislation for Ontario’s nonprofit sector - is a step in the right direction towards a statutory framework, which recognizes the corporate distinctiveness of the non-profit sector. However, additional improvements are needed to strengthen the sector’s accountability to communities and to support effective and established nonprofit governance practices. Bill 65, The Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, the first update to legislation for the nonprofit sector in fifty years, received third reading on Tuesday, October 19 2010 in the Ontario Legislature.

The Ontario Nonprofit Network is pleased that the bill formally recognizes the longstanding practice of not-for profit organizations engaging in commercial activities. Nonprofit organizations have always worked to provide services and products to their communities while reinvesting earned revenues in their missions and local communities. 46,000 organizations are covered by this legislation, operating in every community and touching everyone in Ontario. They provide a wide range of services from children’s sport programs, to elder care. They build and operate social housing and community centers. They clean up our waterways and research toxins in our foods; support people with disabilities; run museums; create dance, theatre and art.

"With Bill 65, we have the opportunity to create legislation that truly supports our work in communities. We expect to continue working with our partners in government to design the legislative and regulatory framework needed to ensure that Ontario nonprofits are the most creative and productive in Canada. Our communities deserve no less." Tonya Surman, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation and ONN Steering Committee Co-Chair.

Of the 46,000 nonprofit organizations in Ontario, 40,000 provide public benefit in their communities. The remaining organizations serve their memberships.
The difference between for-profit and nonprofit organizations is not their ability to earn revenues but what they do with those revenues. Nonprofit organizations use excess revenues to achieve their mission and build community.
45% of revenue in the core nonprofit sector comes from earned income, 29% from government funding and 22% from donations. (“Core” nonprofit sector excludes hospitals, colleges and universities.)
Of the 40,000 organizations providing public benefit, 52% are registered charities and 35% are nonprofit organizations without charitable status, which rely primarily on earned revenues.

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For more information, contact:
Tonya Surman, ONN Chair

Lynn Eakin, ONN Network Director

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