News & Media


Ontario MPPs unanimously support Nonprofit Week of Appreciation

News Release

December 8, 2021

The Week helps close the recognition gap for important but overlooked sector.

Toronto, ON – More than one million people work in Ontario’s nonprofit sector. They are highly skilled, well-educated, and widely credited with helping the most vulnerable in our communities, especially through the pandemic.

But unlike essential frontline workers in other sectors, nonprofit staff go unrecognized for their contributions. That changed when Bill 9: An Act to Proclaim Nonprofit Sector Appreciation Week passed third reading in the Ontario legislature with unanimous, all-party support.

“We all need to appreciate the hard-working professionals in the nonprofit sector, especially during the pandemic period when its services are so much needed and volunteers and donations have dropped,” said Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill. “The Nonprofit Sector Appreciation Week will help ignite the passion and the performance of workers who are understandably exhausted and feeling burned out. We need to celebrate these Invisible Champions in our communities. Their sense of dedication, powered by their personal vision and mission has supported them through many challenges, but our appreciation and support for them will go a long way.”

Bill 9, which was championed by MPP Wai through a Private Members Bill, will see the Nonprofit Sector Week of Appreciation take place the third week of February in perpetuity. The first Appreciation Week will take place from February 14-20, 2022.

The week is intended to recognize the exceptional individuals in the nonprofit sector whose work transforms the lives of individuals, families, and communities, as they work alongside communities.

Nonprofit workers play the role of connectors: they are deeply embedded locally in communities, and often the first point of connection with solutions for opportunities and challenges. Nonprofits are the bridges between government and communities, amplifying voices of community and identifying is province.

Recognition of the nonprofit sector means appreciating how Nonprofits build bridges between government and communities. Research shows that…. recognizing individuals or teams in a nonprofit organization creates a multiplier effect for the whole organization through enhanced engagement and productivity of up to 15%.

The Bhayana Family Foundation, in partnership with United Way of Greater Toronto and the Ontario Nonprofit Network, originally hatched the idea for a province-wide week of recognition for the staff in their sector.

According to Raksha M. Bhayana, CEO of the Bhayana Family Foundation, “The staff of Nonprofits are extraordinary. They are deeply caring, guided by a mission to enhance the quality of life of individuals and communities. Staff in the sector are driven by the best parts of the soul and a passion for social impact. MPP Daisy Wai’s passionate championing of Bill 9 ensures that the sector is honoured for its economic and social contribution to society – making the invisible champions visible.”

Cathy Taylor, CEO of Ontario Nonprofit Network observed: “We are delighted to see that the Ontario Legislature, through the leadership of MPP Daisy Wai, has acknowledged the breadth and diversity of the nonprofit sector in Ontario and is committed to championing its role. Nonprofits and charities are essential to the health and vitality of our communities and have been at the forefront of supporting Ontarians throughout the pandemic. A Nonprofit Week of Appreciation is a crucial step of recognition. We look forward to celebrating!”

Dan Clement, CEO of United Way Centraide Canada remarked: “Every day, frontline workers and professionals are delivering essential community services to ensure that all Ontarians receive the support they need. United Way Centraide Canada has worked alongside the Bhayana Family Foundation, local United Ways and the Ontario Nonprofit Network and hundreds of organizations and individuals who supported this important recognition.”

Ontario’s nonprofit sector is the largest in Canada. There are more than 58,000 registered charities and nonprofits in the province, employing more than 1 million people. The non-profit sector is also a major econo over $50 billion annually to the economy.

For media inquiries:

Maxine McGuigan | Office of MPP Daisy Wai | 416 528-7452

Sarah Matsushita | Ontario Nonprofit Network | 647-648-7657

Michele Fisher | The Bhayana Family Foundation | 416 554-2697

Megan Redford | United Way Centraide | 613-236-7041