Partnership Investments

A diverse group of people connecting puzzle pieces.

Let's work together

The Ontario Trillium Foundation's (OTF) Partnership Investments program connects the non-profit, public, and private sectors to build a stronger non-profit sector in Ontario.

The program's mission is to mobilize relationships and resources in communities to build the capacity of the non-profit sector to innovate and deliver better outcomes for Ontarians.

For more information on how to participate in this program, review the Partnership Investments Policy.

How we do it

OTF partners with organizations, institutions, corporations, and across governments to invest in non-profit infrastructure and intermediaries that support, strengthen and build the capacity of non-profit organizations.

What are intermediaries?

We broadly define them as organizations or groups that connect or facilitate networks, resources and/or people.

What is non-profit infrastructure?

We broadly define it as spaces, programs, services, networks and opportunities for non-profits to learn, innovate and try new ways of working.

Our Strategic Priorities

Through our investments, we are enabling the non-profit sector to better serve the needs of communities, have greater impact, and allow us to advance our four Strategic Priorities:

Community-led research and development​

Through our partnerships, we invest in new ideas with the goal of developing new or improved products, services, or processes. Our partnerships also support the capacity of the non-profit sector by investing in models, structures or platforms, for example labs, incubators, and digital platforms, that enable research and development practices to advance the work of non-profits across Ontario.

New sources of capital

Our partnerships enable non-profits to access and leverage new sources of capital so they can become more resilient and sustainable. Examples of new sources of capital include: community loan programs, community bonds, social enterprises, social procurement, and impact investing.

Measurement and evaluation

We invest in measurement and evaluation frameworks, approaches and tools that will help non-profit organizations better understand, increase, and demonstrate their impact. Our partnerships make measurement and evaluation easier and more useful, and increases the non-profit sector’s awareness, skills and knowledge.

Data and learning

Turning data into useful knowledge helps non-profit organizations and the non-profit sector learn and take evidence-based action. Our partnerships enable the non-profit sector to make better use of data and evidence to achieve greater impact. We invest in models, platforms and approaches that help non-profits access, collect and use data.

Our guiding principles

Our partnerships work is grounded in a set of guiding principles. We strive to ensure that these principles strengthen our partnership projects.

Be inclusive We commit to inclusive decision making and leadership with all our partners. Diverse perspectives are welcomed, and we seek to understand how our work can be more inclusive.
Be collaborative We work collaboratively with others, bringing our knowledge, experience, and dedication to achieve greater impact.
Invest with others We jointly invest our time and resources to advance our shared goals.
Work with multiple stakeholders We work with, and bring together, different partners across sectors and communities.
Make informed decisions We make investment decisions informed by knowledge and evidence. We commit to listening to the non-profit sector and communities to further inform our decisions.
Learn together We commit to learning with our partners and share what we learn with others.

Why partner with OTF?

  • Leverage your investments in the non-profit sector with OTF's funds, experience and community networks to advance innovation and the good use of measurement, evaluation and data
  • Increase awareness, skills and abilities within the non-profit sector to innovate and demonstrate greater impact
  • Get together for learning and knowledge sharing opportunities
  • Co-create and/or co-invest in initiatives that achieve common outcomes

Contact us for more information about how we can work together for the benefit of Ontario's communities.

Please note that our Partnership Investments program does not accept proposals for funding.

Partnership Learning Network

In 2021, a Partnership Learning Network was piloted to support the Partnership Investments program. Leaders from various sectors, fields of expertise and backgrounds were invited to participate in discussions relevant to the program’s learning needs.

The perspectives and expertise of this group were critical in deepening the understanding of trends and opportunities within the non-profit and social impact sectors in Ontario. The discussions fostered new and more diverse connections and inspired ideas on how we could contribute to a stronger non-profit sector in Ontario.

The Partnership Investments program will use this experience to:

  • shift its approach to sector learning and knowledge sharing, and work towards building portfolios of partnerships.
  • rethink its understanding of what sector intermediaries look like in local eco-systems. 
  • consider ways that boards can be supported to be leaders of systems change.
  • explore the program’s role as eco-system builders by connecting smaller complementary projects. 
  • invest in thought leadership and foster more opportunities for sector leaders to connect.

Thank you to the following network members for volunteering their time and expertise:

  • Aaron Franks, Senior Manager, OCAP and Information Governance, First Nations Information Governance Centre
  • Arlene MacDonald, Charitable and Nonprofit Sector Leader, Strategist, and Policy Advisor
  • Benoit Hubert, Président directeur-général, PGF Consultants
  • Jeffrey Cyr, Managing Partner, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners
  • Lisa Lalande, Chief Executive Officer, Century Initiative
  • Paulette Senior, CEO and President, Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • The Honorable Rob Black

We look forward to continued conversations and connections on issues that matter to communities with groups of thought leaders, practitioners, community leaders, and funders.