Advocacy & Awareness


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Pillar Nonprofit Network Public Policy Priorities & Networks 2020 - 2021


Preamble: The following represents Pillar Nonprofit Network’s current focus in terms of proactive policy advocacy.


Our Board and Executive Director set public policy direction and priority areas. Our key policy priorities are sector-focused, rather than issues-focused. We recognize other sector-focused priorities may emerge in this timeframe.




Pillar Nonprofit Network (Pillar) provides a leadership role in sector-focused municipal public policy.


Diversity & Inclusion

Area of Focus: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Our Director of Diversity & Governance, Dharshi Lacey, sits on the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership - Inclusion and Civic Engagement Sub-Council.


Our Director of Diversity & Governance, Dharshi Lacey, sits on the following committees:

·     Respect and Social Inclusion Task Force - Age Friendly London

·      Planning Committee - Life as a Refugee Conference

·      Steering Committee - Network for an Inclusive Community

·     Application submitted to join Implementation Body - London Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Diversity Equity Inclusion Community of Practice - Federation Canadian Municipalities


Economic Development and Inclusive Innovation

Areas of Focus: Social Enterprise & Social Finance and Cross-Sector Collaboration

Our Director Social Innovation and Executive Director, Michelle Baldwin are Co-Chairs for Inclusive Economy London.


Our Social Enterprise Manager, Rachel Berdan, participates in Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Coffee Meetings and the #LondonCan committee.


Social Enterprise Procurement

Area of Focus: Social Enterprise & Social Finance

Our Director of Social Innovation, Andre Vashist, is monitoring opportunities for community benefits agreements and social procurement with the City of London.


Municipal City Council

Areas of Focus: Nonprofits and Cross-Sector Collaboration

Our Executive Director, Michelle Baldwin, and Interim Executive Director, Lore Wainwright, along with Pillar Board members, meet with City Councillors and the Mayor to discuss the nonprofit sector and social enterprises as both economic and social drivers.


The City of London 2019-2023 Strategic Plan consultation was hosted at Innovation Works for feedback from Innovation Works co-tenants, Pillar members, and community members.


London and Area Association for Volunteer Administration

Area of Focus: Volunteerism

Pillar is a member of London and Area Association of Volunteer Administration (LAVA). Our Network & Support Services Coordinator, Mitra Cameron, is a member of LAVA and serves as Secretary. LAVA has a mandate to influence public policy related to volunteerism.
For more information, visit:





Ontario Nonprofit Network

Area of Focus: Nonprofits and Social Enterprise & Social Finance

Pillar is a member of Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and contributes to its public policy advocacy. Pillar’s Executive Director, Michelle Baldwin, is ONN’s Vice-Chair and incoming Chair. Pillar’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, Kayley MacGregor serves on the Decent Work for Women Advisory Committee.
To review ONN’s public policy priorities for 2018-2019, visit:


Ontario Social Economy Roundtable

Area of Focus: Social Enterprise & Social Finance

Pillar has contributed to public policy advocacy through Ontario Social Economy Roundtable (OSER), with a focus on advocating on behalf of social enterprises. Our Director of Social Innovation, Andre Vashist, has sat on the OSER Committee.
To review the framework and charter for OSER, visit:

Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network

Area of Focus: Women Social Entrepreneurship

WOSEN is a province-wide collaborative led by Pillar Nonprofit Network, alongside the Centre for Social Innovation, SVX and NORDIK Institute that seeks to connect networks of diverse women with established entrepreneurship ecosystems and Ontario’s social enterprise assets. Our goal is to broaden and diversify the entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting women through inclusive design and Indigenous knowledge and practice.




Imagine Canada

Area of Focus: Nonprofits

Pillar is a member of Imagine Canada, which is engaged in federal and pan-Canadian public policy. Pillar’s Executive Director, Michelle Baldwin, participates in key initiatives, such as Hill Day, and is Pillar’s liaison with Imagine Canada.
To learn more about public policy at Imagine Canada, visit:


Canadian Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks

Areas of Focus: Nonprofits

Pillar is a member of the Canadian Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks (CFVSN), strengthening cross-sector networks and facilitating pan-Canadian public policy dialogue. Our Executive Director, Michelle Baldwin, participates in monthly teleconference calls.
To learn more about CFVSN, visit:


National Impact Investment Practitioners Table (NIIPt)

Area of Focus: Social Enterprise & Social Finance

Pillar and VERGE Capital are represented by VERGE SVX Chair, Lina Bowden, at theNational Impact Investment Practitioners Table (NIIPt), a social finance fund community of practice. The mission of this network is to: share best practices; identify shared policy, legislative, and regulatory priorities; and speak as a single, influential voice working to shape a strong, enabling environment for social finance in Canada.


Scaling Impact

Area of Focus: Social Enterprise & Social Finance

Convened by Social Venture Connexion (SVX), Pillar is represented in a community of practice made up of place-based social finance intermediaries. VERGE SVX Chair, Lina Bowden, represents Pillar and VERGE Capital in this collaborative that aims to ensure our place-based social finance ecosystem can start and scale funds and develops strong intermediary models.  

 Pillar Policy Talk Sessions & Reports 2019

Pillar recognizes that one of the strengths of the nonprofit sector is our ability to collaborate and share best-practices. Accordingly, it is important that we hold space for our members to discuss policy so they can develop tools, partnerships, and strategies that will help further their missions.

Navigating the New Economic Realities was hosted by Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN), Pillar Nonprofit Network, United Way Elgin-Middlesex, and London Community Foundation on June 18, 2019 with 88 participants.  At that event we discussed the current climate of uncertainty created by the 2019 Budget and Expenditure Estimates and heard how organizations can engage in policy development and advocacy efforts.

To check out this report click here 

Beyond the Talk, Getting to Action was created as a follow-up discussion so we could start to learn from one another with 35 participants. But this dialogue isn’t limited to one event; we can take our conversation online. Pillar members are encouraged to seek advice, share expertise, and exchange ideas with like minded organizations right here on Pillar’s online community.

To check out the report click here

Future Forward Thinking was a third Policy Conversation was hosted on September 30, 2019 with 29 participants. Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada and Vinod Rajaskeran, Future of Good, discussed Future Forward Thinking and the trends and shifts we need to be paying attention to as a community as well as the actions we can take to prepare for these anticipated changes.

To check out this report click here 


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