Is the social sector ready for a modernization fund? Senator Omidvar weighs in.

The independent Ontario senator spoke with Future of Good about digital skills, accountability, and how the COVID-19 pandemic sharpens the need for sector modernization.

Why It Matters

The social sector is trying to tread water and build a lifeboat at the same time. As charities struggle with a drop in revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also trying to upgrade their digital processes, funding models, and HR practices.

Modernizing Canada’s charitable and non-profit sector is one of Senator Ratna Omidvar’s main missions in office. 

Since her appointment to the Senate in 2016, the independent Ontario senator has served as the deputy chair of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, alongside Senator Terry Mercer, and is currently trying to pass Bill S-222, a Senate bill that would allow charities to provide resources to non-qualified donees — a major shift in charitable policy. 

The sector has arguably not been a major priority for the current Liberal government, but the $400 million Community Services Recovery Fund is an exception. Announced in the latest federal budget, the Fund will provide money to charities and non-profits that have struggled to modernize their operations for years. But it comes as many of those same charities are just trying to keep the light

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