Durham Non-Profit COVID-19 Recovery

Funded by: Ontario Trillium Foundation

Project Summary

From 2020 to 2021, Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) coordinated the Durham Non-Profit COVID-19 Recovery Project to better understand what resources and supports were needed to help non-profit organizations in the Durham region navigate the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Durham non-profits came together to provide recommendations on the supports needed to facilitate the sector’s recovery during and post-pandemic. The Durham Non-Profit Recovery Network (DNRN) aims to support Durham non-profits in their recovery and resiliency-building. This project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Land Recognition

Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) is located on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Mississauga (Anishinaabe), on land ceded in the Williams Treaty of 1923 by the governments of Canada and Ontario and by seven First Nations of the Chippewa of Lake Simcoe (Beausoleil, Georgina Island, and Rama) and of the Mississauga of the north shore of Lake Ontario (Scugog Island, Alderville, Curve Lake, and Hiawatha). In Durham, we live and work on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. As settlers, we are grateful for the opportunity to meet here, and we thank all the generations of people who have been stewards of this sacred land.

Learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Report, and how we can all use its principles in building a more equitable and just society.

Project Funded By
Ontario Trillium Foundation

CDCD logo

Project Lead
Community Development Council Durham


Thank you

  • Nathan Gardner, Former Team Lead, Community Development, CDCD
  • Neemarie Alam, Former Lead Social Researcher, CDCD

Organizations that participated as Key Informants

  • AIDS Committee of Durham Region
  • Boys and Girls Club of Durham
  • Feed the Need Durham
  • Oshawa Seniors Community Centre
  • Salvation Army
  • Scientists in School
  • Their Opportunity
  • Whitby Chamber of Commerce
  • Women’s Multicultural Resource & Counselling Centre

Stakeholders who participated as Orientation Informants

  • Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade
  • Community Development Council Durham
  • Durham Community Foundation
  • Municipality of Clarington
  • Region of Durham
  • Town of Ajax

Focus Group Participants

  • 1855 Whitby-Technology Accelerator
  • A Gift of Art
  • Bowmanville Older Adults Association
  • Community Care Durham
  • Community Justice Alternatives of Durham Region
  • Durham Association for Family Resources and Support
  • Durham Children’s Aid Foundation
  • Gate 3:16 Outreach Centre
  • John Howard Society of Durham Region
  • Precious Minds Support Services

We extend our thanks to our funders, governments, and community leaders for their continued guidance, efforts, and insights. Without their collective efforts, the non-profit sector would not have been able to respond to community demands and needs. Their support, and willingness to provide and partner is deeply appreciated.

We extend a special thank you to the Region of Durham, and our Key Project Advisors, Durham Community Foundation and United Way Durham Region, for supporting this project, and for all the important work they have done and continue to do to support the sector.

We also extend a special thank you to Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding this report, and believing in a project like ours.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge all the non-profits in Durham Region for continuing to do an incredible job against all odds. We know that this past year has been difficult for so many, and that you likely struggled to bring your best selves to the communities you have served.

Thank you for your creativity, strength, and continued existence.

You are needed and necessary. We see your hard work, and we hope you see yourself reflected in this report.


We’re On Our Way

Supporting Durham’s Non-Profit Sector through (and post) the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Durham COVID-19 Non-Profit Response project includes a sector survey, reporting, and action plans to help agencies and charities plan for the future. In April 2020, Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) conducted a survey to better understand what resources and supports were needed to support non-profit organizations in the Durham Region, with the intent of mapping the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following CDCD’s initial report on the impacts of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector, an advisory group of five key stakeholders was drawn together to support the second phase of the project. The project team hosted 2 focus groups with 12 non-profit stakeholders, 10 key informants, and 6 orientation informants

This report hopes to continue the narrative that Durham’s non-profit sector is complex, interwoven, and important as recovery strategies and drafted and implemented.

Key Point 1

  • COVID-19 highlighted existing infrastructural challenges in Durham Region’s non-profit sector.

Key Point 2

  • Durham’s non-profit sector collaborates often for project delivery and to address issues specific to a particular sub-sector but there is little to no collaboration for sector-wide convening and planning.
    Barriers to sector-wide collaboration include competitive funding structures and limited resources.

Key Point Three

  • Governments and private investors must intentionally find new ways to ensure non-profit engagement and participation with a multitude of voices.

Webinars and Workshops

Now What? Getting Ready for the New Roaring 20s
Presented by Nicole Nakoneshny, Partner at KCI.

The Case for Organizational Health and Resilience
Presented by Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO at Imagine Canada.

  • Focused on helping organizations make the case for operating and strategies on how to discuss this topic with both stakeholders and donors.
  • Download Presentation here.

COVID-Recovery Task Force
Presented by Neemarie Allam and Hermia Corbette at CDCD.

  • Focused on the survey and work being done by the team. 

We Are Here for You! 
Presented by Audrey Andrews, Strategic Partnerships @ Region of Durham 

  • A check-in on what the Funders Table and the Region of Durham are doing to support the charitable and nonprofit sector during COVID and beyond.

Supporting Pandemic Mental Health Impacts for Leaders: Tips, Strategies and Collaborative Problem-Solving

This 3-part series provided psycho-education information focused on identifying and managing the stressors and mental health challenges faced by leadership in the current pandemic and also involved opportunities to debrief experiences, build on collective strengths and identify helpful coping mechanisms. 

Identifying Mental Health Impacts for Leaders During Pandemic

  • Pressures faced by leaders during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The mental health impacts for leaders: How stress, burnout and compassion fatigue can present for leaders in the current climate and the role isolation can play.
  • Identifying and responding to stress and distress: A continuum approach to warning signs.
  • Support and debriefing: follow-up on topics discussed.
  • Relevant Resources.

The Benefits of Self-Reflection and Self-Care for Leaders

  • The benefits of self-reflection practices for leaders.
  • Balancing self-care while facing leadership pressures.
  • Micro self-care habits: Finding the time when time is scarce.
  • Support and debriefing: follow-up on topics discussed and how to enact strategies.
  • Relevant Resources.

Self-Compassion for Leaders and Strategies for Fostering Resiliency

  • Implementing self-compassion practices: How can this help?
  • Strategies for fostering personal and organizational resiliency.
  • Strategies for supporting mental well-being and resiliency with your teams.
  • Support and debriefing: Follow-up on topics discussed and how to enact strategies.
  • Relevant Resources.

Shared Software and Technology Information

Software for Sharing – Durham Region NFPs
A list of links to software and technology that can be shared with all Durham Region non-profits. For more information, please contact Joy Angelique Agres at jagres@cdcd.org or at 905.686.2661 ext 135.

Please review the following Terms and Conditions before contacting/using the shared software and technology. 

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud gives users access to a collection of software developed by Adobe for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, and cloud services.

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Includes
    • Acrobat DC: for accessing, editing, reviewing, and signing PDFs.
    • Illustrator: for creating art and illustrations.
    • InDesign: for designing and publishing layouts for both digital and print.
    • Photoshop: for compositing, creating, and editing art, graphics, and images.
    • Premiere Pro: for industry-standard, professional video editing.

GoToMeeting / GoToWebinar
GoToMeeting is a professional online meeting software that makes it easy to connect with people any way you want. Some features include: Business Messaging collaboration. Less note taking with transcriptions. Instant and scheduled meetings. Customized team settings.

  • GoToMeeting includes
    • secure online/virtual meeting
    • desktop sharing
    • video conferencing
    • connect with clients, colleagues, and community members via the internet in real-time
  • GoToWebinar includes
    • online/virtual conference platform
    •  flexible webinar interactions
    • insightful analytics.

Grant Connect
Search thousands of grant opportunities. Save countless research hours. Find funding, grow your impact.

  • Grant Connect Includes
    • fundraising platform that consists of more than 11,300 foundations/organizations
    • search for funding prospects
    • review funding applications and eligibility requirements
    • funders’ giving history
    • access up-to-date contact information on North American grant makers

Tableau is a visual analytics platform transforming the way we use data to solve problems — empowering people and organizations to make the most of their data.

  • Tableau Includes
    • interactive data visualization
    • explore and manage data
    • discover and share data insights in creative and innovative ways

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others – either by video or audio-only or both, all while conducting live chats.

  • Zoom Includes
    • secure online/virtual video platform
    • chatting, meeting and phone calls
    • online events and webinars
    • connect with clients, colleagues, and community members via the internet in real-time

Durham Non-Profit Recovery Network Working Group

  • More information and Terms of Reference coming soon…

Funding Opportunities

Links to funding opportunities available to organizations in Durham.
More opportunities coming soon…

Resilient Communities Fund – Ontario Trillium Foundation

Apply for funding to help your non-profit organization rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 and effectively meet the changing needs of your community.

Information Session Here


Woman and Daughter

Funding Resources – Region of Durham

The COVID-19 Pandemic is an unprecedented time in Durham Region and as a result, many residents are experiencing unprecedented need. Community organizations are working hard to respond to the needs of the community and funding initiatives to help support this work are in place.


Durham Region Logo

Government of Ontario: Francophone Community Grants Program

The Francophone Community Grants Program supports the cultural and commercial vitality of the French-speaking population, with a focus on improving front-line services and promoting the French language and culture.


The program has two funding streams:

  • Community and Culture stream
  • Economic Development stream

The program covers up to 80% of eligible expenses under the community stream and up to 50% of eligible expenses under the economic stream.

Learn more about the Government of Ontario: Francophone Community Grants Program

Government of Canada: CVITP Grant for Hosting Tax Clinics

The Canada Revenue Agency is offering grants to community organizations that run free tax clinics through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) or through Revenu Quebec’s Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program (ITAVP). The purpose of the CVITP Grant is to help these organizations with the costs of hosting and administering their tax clinics.

Learn more about the Grant for Hosting Tax Clinics

Government of Ontario: Seniors Community Grant Program

Seniors Community Grants ranging from $1,000 up to $25,000 help community organizations provide opportunities for greater social inclusion, volunteerism and community engagement for older adults, from the safety of their homes or other safe environments.

Projects can be focused on a number of areas. Examples include:

  • volunteerism
  • learning
  • financial awareness
  • social inclusion
  • elder abuse prevention
  • mental well-being
  • physical activity

Programming can be delivered remotely, virtually, or in-person with proper health control measures in place.

Learn more about the Government of Ontario: Seniors Community Grant Program

Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund

The Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund (IPRF) is an Indigenous-led effort to respond to urgent community needs while taking a long-term view on building community resilience. 

With the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across Canada and around the world are facing an unprecedented moment; one that is challenging our collective ability to deliver services that communities depend on. For Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led organizations working to respond to COVID-19 in the context of pre-existing economic and health disparities, the impacts are even more pronounced.

Learn more about the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund.

Town of Whitby Mayor’s Community Development Fund

The Town of Whitby is providing funds through the Mayor’s Community Development Fund (MCDF), which provides financial assistance to local community groups, events and initiatives that help contribute to Whitby as a vibrant and caring community. The criteria has been expanded to focus on local organizations working to help the Whitby community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Applications are accepted on a monthly basis for community grants of up to $5,000. 

Learn more about the Town of Whitby Mayor’s Community Development Fund

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Community Enhancement Program

The Community Enhancement Program is designed to help build strong and resilient Northern communities through infrastructure investments, to upgrade / repair existing assets to improve community quality of life, economic development infrastructure and strategic economic development initiatives.

Learn more about the NOHFC’s Community Enhancement Program.

Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations

The Ontario Grant to Support Anti-Hate Security Measures for Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations is a $15 million, attestation-based grant that will provide funds to faith-based and cultural organizations to increase safety and security measures.

Eligible applicants must host regular gatherings (i.e., at least once a month) of religious, spiritual or cultural significance. Hosting these gatherings must be a primary activity of the applicant.

Click here to learn more.

COVID-19 Recovery and Transition Planning Resources

This list is expanding over time – please check back for updates.

Ontario Non-Profit Network

Logo - Ontario Non Profit Network

Imagine Canada

Logo - Imagine Canada

Project Funded By
Ontario Trillium Foundation

CDCD logo

Project Lead
Community Development Council Durham