Ottawa Network for Education

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This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

The Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) is a charitable organization that collaborates with community partners to bring innovative and essential programs into K-12 schools, enriching public education in Ottawa. ONFE partners with all four school boards and works side-by-side with educators to meet the complex needs of our children and youth in both English and French, addressing critical issues in our schools, removing barriers to learning and supporting student well-being.

No other community organization in Ottawa has the same reach and ability to deliver much-needed programs directly to schools. In fact, no other organization in Canada provides the same variety of programs to serve K-12 students in their community.

ONFE Volunteers
Our volunteers help today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders

At a glance

Year founded: 1985

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $4,160,347

Top funding sources: 

  • Government: 45%
  • Corporate: 17%
  • Foundations and other charities: 13%
  • Individual: 4%
  • Other (educational institutions): 21%

How you can help


Every year, we need to raise $1 million from the local community in order to run our essential programs for K-12 students. By donating to ONFE, you are helping us reach 76 per cent of Ottawa schools, where each year we provide 2.5 million nutritious meals, reach 52,000 students with one-on-one help in the classroom, and equip more than 7,000 youth with skills and knowledge for their future careers.

The needs are only growing as Ottawa expands and the world changes. Our donors and partners share our vision for the future and want to invest in programs that will equip today’s students with the skills, experience and knowledge they’ll need to succeed now and in the future. Connect with us to discover the options for individual giving. 

Companies that want to invest in the communities where their employees work and live often choose ONFE because they know their contribution will enhance public education and support student success right here at home. Your donation will fund programs that remove barriers such as hunger, inadequate nutrition, skill deficits and substance abuse as well as support students’ learning, skill development and career preparation. Align your business with ONFE and give local students the chance to soar!


During the 2018-19 school year, we placed more than 3,000 volunteers in Ottawa schools. These volunteers provide vital support to students to help meet their complex needs. Together with teachers, our volunteers help students build core skills, grasp new concepts, close learning gaps and develop greater self-confidence. 

Volunteers tell us that helping a student is one of the most fulfilling things they’ve done. And year after year, teachers tell us that caring volunteers make an immense difference to children in need of extra support.

ONFE Breakfast Program
ONFE’s School Breakfast Program provides more than 2.5 million nutritious meals annually to students in 193 schools in the Ottawa region.

Events and fundraising

The Spark Soirée is our annual gala hosted in October in support of our School Breakfast Program. This fun event will engage you and your company in an evening of entertainment and networking with other community-minded individuals and business professionals, as well as executives from Ottawa’s four school boards. You will be recognized as a company that cares about student nutrition and a company that invests so every child in Ottawa starts the school day ready to learn on equal footing with their peers.

Board members and executives

Norris and White
President and CEO Heather Norris; Chair of the board of directors Rob White

Denise Andre (Vice-chair)
Director of education, Ottawa Catholic School Board

Mike Belliveau
Regional vice-president for Eastern Ontario, Royal Bank of Canada

Claude Brule
President and CEO, Algonquin College

Margo Crawford
President and CEO, Business Sherpa Group

Édith Dumont
Director of education, Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Paul Gardner
Entrepreneur, angel investor and growth company advisor

François Julien
Dean, Telfer School of Management

Louise Malhotra
Co-founder and director, Malhotra Foundation

Mita Myers
Senior assurance manager, EY

Ibrahim Musa
Executive director, Cuts for Kids

Ian Shabinsky
Principal and vice-president, Glenview Management

Réjean Sirois
Director, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

Rob White
CPA and growth company advisor

Camille Williams-Taylor
Director of education, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Grace Xin
Founder, Mobile China Desk

Get in touch

205-900 Morrison Dr.
Ottawa, Ont.
K2H 8K7

Twitter: @ONFE_ROPE
Facebook: Ottawa Network For Education