Board roles & responsibilities

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Financial Information Kit

This resource, developed by Charity Central, an initiative of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, has been compiled to provide basic information for non-profit organizations regarding financial management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

practices that are in compliance with the requirements stipulated by the Canada Revenue Agency. There are several tip sheets that answer frequently asked questions such as choosing a professional account (pp. 1-3) and setting up a chart of accounts for smaller organizations (pp. 12-15). Templates for monitoring financial performance are also provided (p 16) and even steps that organizations can take in order to effectively prepare for an external audit (pp. 23).

Charity Central. (2010). Financial Information Kit. 1-30. Edmonton, Canada

Board Handbook for Fundraising

This resource, developed by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), explores the importance of fundraising activities and outlines the role of boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. members in relation to developing and implementing a fundraising plan. The handbook begins by exploring the importance of fundraising as a means of ensuring income diversification (part of a much greater risk management

Risk management involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

strategy) and a checklist to ensure that fundraising initiatives are linked to the mandate of the board and the organization as a whole (pp. 2-5). Of particular importance is the appendices section as numerous sample templates and policies are shared from VON including: a terms of reference

Terms of reference in this context is a written document outlining the background, purpose, structure, and responsibilities of a committee or particular project. Terms of reference provide a documented basis for making future decisions.

for a fundraising committee (pp. 14-15), an ethical fundraising and financial accountability code (pp. 16-20), and even a sample format mapping out potential sources of funding for a fundraising plan (pp. 24-25).

Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). (08 May, 2002). Board Handbook for Fundraising. 1-33. Ottawa, Canada. 

The Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice

This resource, developed by Independent Sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

and BoardSource, was developed as “a practical framework for organizations to examine and improve their governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. practices in light of their own particular circumstances” (p 1). The workbook is organized according to 33 core principles

Accepted bases of action or conduct. For the Organizational Standards Initiative, our guiding principles provide a value‐laden foundation on which our work can be based.

grouped under four sections: legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising (p 4). Each principle lists several discussion points and legal and compliance issues and additional resources that agencies can access for further reading. Among the numerous principles, particular ones to note include a ‘whistleblower’ policy (p 15), loans to directors, officers, or trustees (p 45), and fundraiser compensation (p 56).  

Independent Sector; BoardSource. (2009). The Principles Workbook: Steering Your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice. 1-68. Washington D.C, United States. 

Toolkit for Program Sustainability, Capacity Building, and Volunteer Recruitment/Management

This resource, developed by the Corporation for National & Community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

Service, is a toolkit that is useful for developing sustainable program planning and evaluation. The manual begins by offering various strategies for capacity building activities, targeting four specific areas: volunteer recruitment, building collaborative networks, marketing and promotion, and funding diversification (pp. 6-24). Each section offers general overviews, various sample activities, common strategies and methods, and even checklists for agencies to utilize. A Sample 3 year sustainability plan that details different method/components, activities to be carried out, and a timeline is included that agencies can use as a template when reviewing or initiating an individualized plan (pp. 27-39).

Corporation for National & Community Service. (2011). Toolkit for Program Sustainability, Capacity Building, and Volunteer Recruitment/Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

. 1-45. Washington D.C, United States.

Voluntary Boards and Executive Directors – A Relationship for Organizational Stability

This resource, developed by Imagine Canada’s Knowledge Development Centre, is a community-based researchResearch that takes place with the community and involves community members throughout its design and implementation. Typically based on values of respect and recognition for community contribution and knowledge, community based research aims to benefit communities in both process and outcomes, and acknowledges the importance of community control of the research and its results. project designed to ‘gather insight into the relationship between local executive directors and their boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. chairs, what they believed define the successes in their relationship and why, and what methods, processes, or conceptual approaches they felt were most important in creating a positive working environment’ (p 1). The findings provide readers with excellent insight and tips for developing important strategies for improving the relationships between executive directors in the areas of board recruitment and retention (pp. 4-6), agendas and board conduct during meetings (pp. 6-8), and evaluating the performance of board members and the executive director (pp. 8-10).

Silver, L; Speevak Sladowski, P. (2007). Voluntary Board and Executive Directors – A Relationship for Organizational Stability. 1-16. Toronto, Canada.

 

Digging for Dirt: Handling Requests for Information

This resource, developed by Carters Professional Corporation, explores the issue of accessing corporate records and the various rules and requirements as stipulated in not for profit legislation.  Specifically, it provides ‘an overview concerning what information and to who under the Canada Not-for-Corporations Act [sic] and the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 [sic]’ (p 1). The resource begins by listing the documents that agencies are required to hold according to the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (p 3) as well as recordkeeping requirements stipulated by Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (p 5). The resource also lists the rights that members have to view, copy and use the information, specifically both federal corporations (pp. 9-17) and Ontario corporations (pp. 18-27). The resource ends with an area devoted to privacy law considerations in relation to accessing corporate records (pp. 33-34)

Carter; T. (February 10, 2012). Digging for Dirt: Handling Requests for Information. 1-40. Toronto, Canada

 

Board Checklist – Legal and Ethical Compliance for Charity Board

This resource, developed by the Charity Law Information Program of the Ontario Community

The broad group of people who are stakeholders of an organization. Extending beyond the people that enter our buildings and use our services, an organization’s community may include cultural groups, sectoral partners, and other groups of people joined together by common identity, geography, and other bonds. Often where we use ‘community’ the word is actually short for multiple communities.

Support Association, provides Executive Directors with a list of the key legal and ethical compliance requirements and duties for non-profit boards. This checklist can also be used and incorporated into risk management

Risk management involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

policies and procedures as it covers a variety of topic areas. For example, there is a section relating to safeguarding the physical assets and finances of an organization, which includes such questions as ensuring that there are internal controls that are clearly articulated and a process to evaluate such controls (p 3). Another important area includes enforcing an updated conflict of interest policy and adopting a code of ethical behaviour that regulates the actions of all staff

For our purposes, staff refers to agency employees who are neither managers nor executive directors.

members and volunteers (p 6).

Ontario Community Support Association. (2012). Board Checklist. 1-7. Toronto, Canada.

 

Canadian Charity Legal Checklist

This resource, prepared by the Charity Law Information Program, provides non-profit organizations with a legal checklist relating to financial management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

and fiscalRelating to finances or financial matters. responsibility, including issuing tax receipts, filing tax returns, and fundraising practices. The resource is divided into a variety of sections that note the requirements and necessary steps required by agencies to ensure they have transparent and structured financial management practices. The resource lists important steps to take to avoid gifts to non-qualified donees (p 7), fundraising costs and practices (pp 8-10) and even ensuring that there are internal financial controlsFinancial controls are policies that, if implemented by the organization's leadership and staff, will ensure that: the organization's staff and assets are safeguarded, the risk of fraud, misuse of funds and errors is minimized, financial transactions are recorded accurately and financial documents are kept safe, financial reports are reliable, the organization complies with laws and regulations, and expenses are managed in line with the organization's budget and financial goals. (pp 14-15). With each section of the document, additional links are provided that outline the guidelines and requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency and other legal documents/publications.

Blumberg, M. (January 30, 2011). Canadian Charity Legal Checklist. 1-16. Toronto, Canada.

 

Bill 65 – An Act to Revise the Law in Respect for Not-for-Profit Corporations

 

 

This resource is the Bill that was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and came into law in October 2010, which enacts the new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. According to the new act, it will ‘govern non-share capital corporations, removing them from the governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. of the Corporations Act’ (p i). Because of the sheer scope of the Act, there are a number of areas that are addressed including responsibilities and obligations relating to Directors and Officers (pp 21-47), record keeping (pp 92-102), and remedies, offences and penalties (pp 181-194).

Legislative Assembly of Ontario. (2010). Bill 65 – An Act to Revise the Law in Respect for Not-for-Profit Corporations. 1-112. Toronto, Canada.

 

 

 

 

E-Giving in Canada: Donation Trends in the 21st Century

 

This resource, developed by the Institute for Nonprofit Studies, which is affiliated with Mount Royal University, is a study that illustrates new avenues and strategies that non-profit organziations can use to garner funds to support projects, programs and services that are linked to advances in technology. The document begins by illustrating that although the vast majority of non-profits rely on external funding to support their programs and services, private donations only account for approximately 10 % of total revenue (p 1). Despite the fact that Canadians are growing increasingly comfortable making online or electronic donations (p 2-3), few agencies have capitalized on this trend to bolster and diversify their funding.  The article also explores how fundraising strategies must fit comfortably with the habits and culture of the donor population (p 7-8). The author also highlights the need for policy makers of non-profits to capitalize on such trends and explore new avenues of reaching potential donors, such as online donations or text giving (p 26-31).

Warnke, K. (2011). E-Giving in Canada: Donation Trends in the 21st Century. 1-32. Calgary, Canada.

 

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