United Way officials today announced receipt of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant in the amount of $378,300 –over five years – to establish a new Chatham-Kent Nonprofit Network. Funds will be used to hire a Project Co-Ordinator to bring public attention to the value of the nonprofit sector in Chatham-Kent and to enhance its capacity to improve lives and build community. In addition, the project will document the local nonprofit sector’s contribution to economic well-being in ways that are not currently recognized and bring recognition to the efforts of the sector in proactively responding to emerging issues.

In November of 2013, the Ontario Nonprofit Network invited United Way to host a Regional Meeting – during which a number of nonprofit attendees expressed interest in establishing a similar organization at the local level. A small steering committee was subsequently formed and a grant application was submitted to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the March 1st 2014 deadline.

“We are delighted that the Ontario Trillium Foundation has acknowledged the importance of this initiative and desires to invest in this community building project. This funding will allow us to give voice to the hundreds of nonprofit organizations who strive – daily – to improve the quality of life of Chatham-Kent residents. In the early days of the project, we will identify the number of nonprofit organizations in Chatham-Kent and begin to document data needs and other resources required to inform their work and strengthen their capacity to serve.” – Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO, United Way Chatham Kent.

“Ontario’s 59,000 nonprofit organizations are at the heart of thriving communities. The sector makes over $50 billion in economic impact across the province. The community nonprofit sector (not including municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals) employs 600,000 workers and represents 2.6% of Ontario’s GDP. The impact of nonprofits and charities on the lives of Ontarians and their interconnectedness with government and business activity means that it is in the interest of all Ontarians to have a healthy, efficient, and sustainable nonprofit sector.”- Ontario Nonprofit Network.

“As organizations in the nonprofit sector, we know that working together increases our collective impact. The development of a local nonprofit network will provide an environment in which that capacity for collaboration can be optimized for the benefit of all.” – Brad Davis, Executive Director of Family Service Kent and a member of the steering committee.

United Way of Chatham-Kent is a registered Canadian charitable organization that works to maximize volunteer, financial, program and agency resources to respond to the increasingly complex issues and needs that exist and are emerging in Chatham-Kent.

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

To learn more about United Way Chatham–Kent please visit: www.uwock.ca 

To learn more about the Ontario Trillium Foundation please visit www.otf.ca

For more information about this exciting initiative, please contact Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, CEO, United Way of
Chatham-Kent at 519-354-0430.