Ontario government abruptly ends youth funding program, leaving non-profits in lurch

“The issue we have with the ministry is the way in which they managed the end of the agreement.”

Why It Matters

Many funders have adopted trust-based philanthropy principles in recent years, working to respect grantees as equal partners, while providing clear and transparent communication. But a group of non-profits say the Ontario government and a private foundation failed to uphold this standard earlier this year — and that youth are the ones who will suffer.

Youth-serving organizations say the Ontario government pulled the rug out from under them when it abruptly ended a years’ long support program — a blow that was compounded by how a private foundation chose to break the news to participants.

Last winter, dozens of social sector organizations learned the provincial government did not renew its contract with the Laidlaw Foundation, a private entity, to fund a youth collective impact program known as Youth CI, which supported groups of organizations working together to develop collaborative, youth-focused projects. 

While funders regularly change priorities, Justin Ford, a member of a collaborative supported by the program and CEO of CatalystsX Network Community Incorporated, said this change was particularly painful because of the structure of the Youth CI program. In order to be eligible for a grant of up to $225,000

Our social impact coverage and insights enrich thousands of change makers like you everyday. Sign up for a free account with Future of Good to continue reading this series.