A lot is happening in the not-for-profit sector that is new and different these days. Social entrepreneurs are everywhere (a good thing) and there is much talk about how charities and existing organizations can generate revenues and support in new and different ways. Included in these discussions are conversations about new corporate structures and other new initiatives required. These discussions are being carried out across the country and at different levels of government. All of this is very exciting and indicative of the fact that change of some nature is in the offing.
The Ontario government has recently entered into this discussion. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Dr. Eric Hoskins, and Board Chair of Ontario Trillium Foundation, Helen Burstyn, announced together a new government initiative to develop a comprehensive long term strategic action plan for its partnership with the not-for-profit sector.
This initiative is being touted as a first of a kind approach for Ontario. It is hoped that these discussions will lead to recommendations that will improve the working relationships for government, not-for profit and volunteer organizations.
How will this work? We are advised that the discussions will review the structural and legislative framework within which Ontario’s not-for-profit sector operates, explore how to better coordinate the government’s approach to the sector and research government/not-for-profit sector partnerships in other jurisdictions.
Organizations in Ontario may ask how to participate? For those interested, the Ontario Trillium Foundation will over the summer and fall of 2010 open a consultation website where advice and insights can be submitted on how to renew, streamline and modernize the relationship between government and not-for-profits.
The Miller Thomson Newsletter will keep readers posted on the development of the website and the consultation process as the Ontario government proceeds. Obviously sector involvement in this process will be critical to ensure that the final recommendations and outcomes reflect what changes are needed to ensure that the high quality of life available to those living in Ontario is maintained.