Specializing in Non-profit Sector Affairs – research, writing, community organizing, policy and program development, problem solving, conflict resolution and organizational turnaround services

Lynn began her career working for the Addiction Research Foundation as the front line staff in the North West corner of the city of North York. A major focus of her work was community development as she worked with local residents and other community workers to found the Jane Finch Community Association. The association was instrumental in convincing the City of North York to invest in community services in the area. As part of her organizing work focused on youth, Lynn advocated for mental health resources for youth in North York and was successful in obtaining funding from the Provincial government to found a mental health service for hard to serve youth. For the next 15 years Lynn developed and build the Griffin Center into a leading mental health service for youth and families. While at the Griffin Center, Lynn, with her staff, pioneered the development of services for youth with developmental disabilities and mental health problems (1978). (The first mental health program for people with developmental disabilities in Canada)

In 1989 Lynn left the Griffin Center in capable hands (strong Board, strong successor) and began a career in consulting, providing specialized consulting services to nonprofit organizations, associations, funders and community groups. These services included assistance with restructuring, mergers and service partnerships as well as rescue management services for organizations in difficulty.

Turnaround engagements included:

  • Sojourn House (1998) – for refugees

  • Catholic Cross Cultural Services (2000) – immigrant services

  • Community Resources Services (1997) – young offenders

  • Montage (2005) – developmental services

  • Turning Point (1996) – hostel and other services for homeless youth

  • Anne Johnston Community Health Centre (2003)

By 2000, Lynn began to shift the focus of her work to the financing and regulation of nonprofit community organizations. Since that time, Lynn has been instrumental in helping the non-profit sector and their funders better understand the problems of finance and regulation. This work resulted in a significant body of original research and writing to help both the sector and government understand the impact of funding and administrative practices on service delivery. Since 2005 Lynn has been actively working to position the nonprofit sector so they could address their legislative and policy challenges and seek productive solutions.

Strengthening the sector’s capacity to undertake legislative, regulatory and financing reform (Metcalf Fellowship 2005-20012)

  • Advising, coaching and supporting the nonprofit sector in Ontario to organize to address cross-sectoral policy issues. –

    • Supporting the working together of sector leadership, legal, accounting and other experts to identify legislative, regulatory and financial conditions required for the sector to thrive

  • Linking individuals and groups between various parts of the sector, parts of the country and different areas of expertise.

  • Reading widely and writing for the sector about issues of concern to the sector.

  • Researching and drafting policy briefs for consideration and review by sector working groups.

Primary research on the financing of nonprofit organizations (Wellesley Institute and others)

  • Research on the revenue and costs of program delivery in community based agencies.

  • Research to understand the interaction of funding practices and service demands and the implications for service delivery.

  • Profiling of agency finances to understand the cumulative impact of funding policy and practices

  • Work to identify effective and innovative funding practices

  • Research into the administrative and accountability demands on agencies to better understand which changes have the most potential to reduce the administrative burden.

Research Publications

  • Eakin l. Graham H. Canada’s non-profit Maze: A scan of legislation and regulation impacting revenue generation in the non-profit sector, Wellesley Institute. Ontario 2009

  • Eakin l, We Can’t Afford to Do Business This Way: A Study of the Administrative Burden Resulting from Funder Accountability and Compliance Practices. 2007 Wellesley Institute, Ontario

  • Eakin L. Advancing the Nonprofit Sector in Ontario, Metcalf Foundation, 2006

  • Eakin L. Kealey M. Van Kooky K. Taking Stock: Examining the Financing of Nonprofit Community Organizations in Calgary. Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations 2006

  • Eakin l, The Policy and Practice Gap, Federal Government Practices regarding administrative costs when funding Voluntary Sector Organizations, Voluntary Sector Forum, 2005

  • Eakin l. Thelander M. Beyond Numbers: The Implications of Financial Restraints and Changing Needs on Developmental Services, Metro Agencies Representatives Council 2005

  • Eakin l. Community Capacity Draining: The impact of funding practices on community organizations. Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, 2004

  • Eakin l Richmond T. Community Service Organizations at Risk, Laidlaw Foundation 2004

  • Eakin,l. An Overview of the Funding of Canada’s Voluntary Sector, Voluntary Sector Initiative, 2001

Tools to assist agencies and funders with sector financing

  • Non-Profit Financial Workbook, a tool to help agencies calculate actual program revenue and expenses.

  • Advisory for Boards Regarding Managing Cutbacks, a human resource primer for Boards of Directors to help them manage their liability for staff wages.

  • Advisory on Negotiating with Funders, advice on important points of negotiation re funding during the wind down phase of program cuts.

  • Quiz for funders regarding overhead functions, a brief quiz to help funders understand the functions and activities performed by senior management and administrative staff to support programs.

  • Where Business and Charity Meet, a brief comparison between how nonprofit organizations and for profit organizations are treated and the implications for the health of the nonprofit sector.

  • Merger? Considerations for Boards of Directors. One of a series of articles regarding the pros and cons of restructuring options.

  • Checklist on Board Governance, a quick survey for Board members to assist them review their governance.

  • Preparing for Competition from the Private Sector, steps nonprofit organizations need to take to compete with the private sector.

Advising funders on good funding practice

  • Conference presentations on: Aligning funders and service provider interests for better outcomes and broadening consideration of risk from financial controls to include service delivery and organizational capacity considerations.

  • Past Member of Administrative Sub-committee, Service Canada redesign of allowable administrative costs.

  • Advising and briefing groups of concerned funders on finance and regulation issues for the sector and promising reform options.

Advising Non-profit sector and sub-sectors on funding problems/issues

  • Conference presentations, speaking engagements on finance and regulatory issues and options

  • Researching options for the nonprofit sector to address finance and regulatory issues.

  • Helping networks, associations and organizations draft policy positions and prepare documents on finance and regulatory issues.

  • Writing opinion pieces for the sector.


Arts Organizations

Environmental Organizations

Social Service Organizations

Community Health Organizations

Charitable Organizations

Non-profit Organizations

Social Enterprises

National and Provincial Organizations

Sector Networks and Coalitions

Inter-Provincial Associations

Government Funders

Foundations and United Appeal Organizations


  • Advanced Mediation, University of Windsor, Ontario (1997)

  • Mediation Training, CDR Associates, Boulder, Colorado (1995)

    • Masters of Social Work, University of Toronto (1973)

  • Bachelor of Arts, McGill University (1970)


  • Metcalf Foundation Innovation Fellow 2005-2012

  • Distinguished Contributor Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Children's Mental Health, presented by the Ontario Association of Children's Mental Health Centres (1989)


Policy Advisor ONN, 2013- Writing drafts of policy positions and other position papers for ONN, consulting with ONN staff and otherwise helping with the policy load. (flexible-time with Honoria)

Metcalf Fellow @ONN, Senior Policy Lead - Ontario Nonprofit Network (2010- 2012 )

  • Lead researcher and writer of sector policy positions

Principal, Lynn Eakin and Associates, (1989- largely inactive since 2013 )

  • Specializing in Non-profit Sector Affairs – research, writing, organizing, policy development, problem solving, conflict resolution, and organizational rescue management services.

Executive Director, J.D. Griffin Centre (1976-1989)

  • Responsible for the direction and management of the Centre, accountable to the voluntary Board of Directors. A children's mental health centre, the agency served a hard-to-serve, high-risk population of adolescents and their families with out patient, day treatment, and residential services. The Centre also provided a specialized program for youth with development disabilities and emotional disturbance.

Social Worker, Addiction Research Foundation (1973-1976)

  • Direct service to clients, education of other professionals and service development activities. Primary projects: (1) to support the development of a community association in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto; (2) to develop services for adolescents in the City of North York through inter-agency planning.

Volunteer Governance Activities

  • Ontario Association of Children’s Mental Health Centres. Board member and Chair of the Board.(1979- 1983)

  • Child Development Institute – Board member (1990- 1993 approximately)

  • Voices for Children - Board member and Chair of the Board (1999 - 2009 )

  • People for Education – Board member and Chair of the Board (2010-2017)

  • Learning Enrichment Foundation – board member ( 2015-)