Lawson Foundation Supports Pillar Nonprofit Network with $240,000 Grant


LONDON, ONTARIO - Tuesday, August 01, 2023 - Today, Pillar Nonprofit Network (Pillar) recognizes the Lawson Foundation for its generous grant of $240,000 over 3 years to support its capacity to respond to the needs of community-based organizations serving the broader London area. 

“With this important investment by the Lawson Foundation, Pillar can continue to focus on working with and for our community to advance the goals of the social impact sector. Together, we will leverage the collective power of our networks to build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community,” says Interim CEO of Pillar, Maureen Cassidy. “We are so grateful to the Lawson Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff, who have been steadfast supporters of our charity since its beginnings.” 

This grant will provide Pillar with essential funding for core operations and infrastructure, which will expand and amplify their impact through a series of inter-related initiatives comprising enhanced public policy development, advocacy and impact storytelling; an expanded reach through a board and membership restructuring; and the design and implementation of supports and services for charitable/nonprofit leaders and change-makers devoted to positive community impact. 

"We are pleased to partner with a remarkable charity like Pillar, which supports and amplifies the work of nonprofits and charitable groups in Southwestern Ontario," asserts Marcel Lauzière, President and CEO of The Lawson Foundation. "Pillar fosters a nurturing environment for the growth of the nonprofit sector in Southwestern Ontario, playing a crucial role in connecting individuals and organizations, identifying learning opportunities, solving problems, and catalyzing change-making." 

As a significant economic driver, Canada’s nonprofit sector provides essential services, filling institutional gaps, serving those in need and contributing to community development across a range of sub-sectors, including social justice, mental health, safety, human rights, environment, health, sports, faith, arts, culture and more. 

● As of 2022, there are over 1,800 nonprofits and registered charities (755) organizations in London, 58,000 nonprofit and charity organizations in Ontario, and 170,000 nonprofit and charity organizations in Canada. 

● The nonprofit sector in Ontario employs 844,000 people and contributes 7.9% to the province’s GDP, constituting $65.4 billion in economic impact (Imagine Canada 2022).

● All of Canada’s nonprofits and charities employ 2.5 million people and contribute 8.3% to the gross domestic product (GDP) or $192 billion dollars in economic impact — more than the construction, transportation, or agricultural sectors (Imagine Canada 2022)

The nonprofit sector has a history of challenges related to sustainable funding and revenue, human resources, capacity and decent work, which have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2020, both frontline and support staff have felt the additional strains of increased demand for services coupled with decreased funding and revenue, which has a myriad of consequences for the sector. Now more than ever, the sector needs capacity building and advocacy support so they can continue to deliver essential and community-enriching services that so many depend on. 

Pillar Nonprofit Network offers programs and services focused on building capacity within the social impact sector and facilitating cross-sector collaboration to find solutions for systemic inequities in our community. While a nonprofit network at its core, our programming supports charities, foundations, social enterprises, cooperatives, social financiers, and responsible investors who are committed to making their communities better. As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to community recovery is at the forefront of our work to support the social impact sector. 

Pillar Nonprofit Network 

Pillar Nonprofit Network strengthens individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact. We support nonprofits, social enterprises and social innovators by sharing resources, exchanging knowledge and creating meaningful connections across the three pillars of nonprofit, business and government. 

Pillar Nonprofit Network believes that a connected network sparks collaboration and a willingness to lean on each other to help build an engaged, inclusive and vibrant community. 

The Lawson Foundation 

The Lawson Foundation is a Canadian family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the healthy development of children and youth. The Foundation was founded in London, Ontario, and still maintains a strong connection with the local London area community. Its key areas of work include diabetes prevention, early child development and outdoor play, and youth-led environmental action. The Foundation also supports charitable initiatives that strengthen philanthropy and support the charitable sector; supports community projects in and around London, Ontario; and engages the next generation of the Lawson family in philanthropy. 

Article type: 
Press Release
News Topic: 
Grants and Funding

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