All about the Earning Capacity Project

If you answer 'yes' to these questions, then the Earning Capacity project may be an important opportunity for you!

• Is your nonprofit interested in generating funds that aren't designated to a particular project?

• Does your organization have core expertise that could be turned into earned income?

• Are you already earning revenue and want to grow your capacity and find new markets?

• Is your organization committed to exploring or further developing earned revenue strategies?

• Are you interested in revenue development supports including our final training institutes in Toronto and Kingston?
Click here for information on Institute dates/locations

The Earning Capacity Project will engage up to 30 nonprofit community service organizations across Ontario to develop earned income using existing organizational resources. Successful applicants will have a committed team and a marketable concept for a non-profit enterprise in areas such as IT, HR, marketing, finance/accounting, corporate training or other areas related to your mission.

Who will benefit from the Project?

Representatives from diverse, nonprofit community service agencies across Ontario (i.e. organizations focused on: employment & training, arts & culture, children & youth, community development, education, environmental, agriculture, health, First Nations organizations, immigrant (settlement) services, recreation, and social services) who fit the project applicant profile are invited to apply.

Helping community-based nonprofits develop
earned revenue


• Funders increasingly require cash contributions for applications to be competitive

• Most nonprofits have limited reserves to commit to market development

• Funding uncertainty and non-competitive salaries are barriers to attracting and retaining skilled staff

• Earned income provides discretionary funds and helps increase the capacity, resilience and self-reliance of nonprofits

How Will You Benefit?

Focused resources provided through the Earning Capacity project will assist committed nonprofits to:

• Identify opportunities to capitalize on existing organizational assets

• Advance their organizational earning capacity

• Develop their earned income streams via service contracts with other nonprofits and businesses

What's Involved

1. Enterprise Development Institutes: Selected agencies will participate in Enterprise Development Institutes in their region. The Institutes are 2-day offsite events, each engaging 7 to 10 committed nonprofits. Participants will be required to attend with a team of up to three organizational representatives, including an ED, Senior Manager(s) and, a Board Member or key volunteer. The Institutes will enable organizations to take concrete steps towards developing a customized earned revenue strategy. The Institute locations/dates are as follows:

• April 5/6, 2016 - LEF, 116 Industry St., Toronto (en français)
• April 7/8, 2016 - Kingston (location to be determined)

2. Follow-Up Supports: Four webinars and individualized coaching (up to 7 hours) will enable groups to identify local opportunities, address capacity issues, and finalize individualized strategic plans for revenue generation.

• Nonprofits selected to participate in the April institutes are invited to log in to a preparatory webinar on the Business Model Canvas tool on March 24th 10:00 AM to Noon for the April 7/8 institute and 2:00 – 4:00 PM for the April 4/5 institute

• Participating nonprofits from both the November and April institutes will be invited to Peer Sharing webinars on May 11 from 10:00 AM - Noon or 2:00 – 4:00 PM

• A second pair of webinars on June 14th from 10:00 AM – Noon (English) or 2:00 – 4:00 PM (Francophone) will discuss Financing and Resources.

• Call in numbers for all the above will be communicated in advance of the sessions to those who have registered.

3. Regional Peer Practitioner Network: Participants will support each other and share relevant and timely resources.

Follow up webinars will encourage peer learning to support continued enterprise development post-project.

4. Ongoing Learning: With support from an external evaluation consultant, the Earning Capacity Partners will refine the project and produce a final report on project achievements and lessons to benefit project participants and guide future work.

Moving Forward

Up to 30 organizations will be assisted in adopting strategic commitments to enterprise development.


The objective of the Earning Capacity is to have each participant organization secure at least one new earned income contract over the course of the Project.

A Readiness Assessment:

To assess organizational readiness for enterprising activity

Enterprise Development Institutes:

2 day off-site events, each engaging teams from 7 - 10 committed nonprofits

Follow-Up Supports:

4 Webinars and individualized coaching up to 7 hours

Regional Peer Practitioner Network:

Participants will support each other, and share resources

Presented by Social Enterprise Coaches

Webinars will be presented by social enterprise coaches - Cathy Lang of C. Lang Consulting and Mary Ferguson of Eko Nomos

Ongoing Learning:

With support from an external evaluation consultant


Supports provided through the Earning Capacity Project are valued at over $3,000 per organization

Travel/Accommodation Assistance:

Assistance with overnight accommodation and travel costs may be provided on request to those coming to the Training Institutes from a distance.

Minimal Fee

A small fee of only $300 will be charged for each organizational team (up to 3 people).

Benefits will include...

...capitalize on existing organizational assets.
...and mentoring to advance organizational earning.
...earned income streams via enterprise plans and service contracts with other nonprofits and small businesses.