We are pleased that the Ontario government is making transfer payment reform a priority through its transfer consolidation initiative. This is an important opportunity to modernize funding agreements so that both non-profit organizations and the government spend less time on management and more time providing services that support Ontarians. The ONN and the voluntary sector have been committed for many years to a reform of the transfer agreements. Non-profit organizations spend too long asking for funding, waiting for agreements and reporting on public investments in the program. This is especially true for non-profit organizations that must manage more than one agreement and report on their spending in different budget categories in different programs and departments. Across the non-profit sector, there is a clear consensus that transfer agreements should be based on the principles of trust, mutual respect and accountability and be managed in a simple, proportionate and flexible manner. There are about 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that currently have agreements with several provincial departments, but each is administered separately. The number of transfer contracts could be immediately reduced by 14 per cent – without cuts to services or jobs – simply by framework contracts. Optimized, results-based agreements can reduce administrative costs for both public and non-profit organizations. It is important that our two sectors (government and not-for-profit organizations) work together to modernize service delivery and behind-the-scenes funding agreements. The experience of our sector on the ground, directly in the communities, brings critical perspectives that are needed such as government plans for and implementation of changes around the table. Learn more about the NSOS`s perspective on transfer reform.

Every hour a non-profit organization spends filling out complicated application forms or trying to integrate its budget numbers into program models that differ from one to the other is a time when they do not spend services to individuals. The ONN looks forward to convening non-profit organizations to advance this agenda in partnership with the Ministry of Finance secretariat and departments that have financial relations with the sector. These services are essential to our quality of life in Ontario and also provide good jobs and volunteerism in the communities where people live.