Leadership in the Ontario nonprofit labour force

This paper draws on an Ontario-wide survey of not-for-profit sector leaders to examine the challenges and opportunities of human capital renewal in the sector.


The importance of “human capital” cuts across all sectors, and should be a strategic priority for the nonprofit sector. The ability of this sector to attract and retain the right talent, develop effective leadership, provide relevant training and skills development, and offer competitive benefits and compensation will be critical in determining the future vibrancy and sustainability of the nonprofit sector in Ontario.

Employee wages and benefits constitute the single biggest expense in budgets for most if not all nonprofit organizations that have paid staff. This sector invests significant financial resources to deploy time and talent to meet mission. The purpose of creating a human capital renewal strategy (HCRS) for Ontario’s nonprofit sector is to compete in the broader labour market for the talent it needs in order to be innovative in its work and produce sustainable results for individuals and communities. An effective strategy will also enable the sector to prepare for impending demographic changes, technological advancements, and to meet emerging needs in communities.

For the purposes of this research, human capital refers to the collection of skills, knowledge, experience and personal attributes that create value in an organization. A human capital strategy is the development of plans and actions to align the human capital within an organization, or in this case a sector, so that it can effectively achieve its strategic goals.

Final Report

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Summary Report

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Elizabeth McIsaac
Stella Park
Lynne Toupin

Release Date

September 19, 2013