Board roles & responsibilities

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Funding Diversification and Program Evaluation But Were Afraid to Ask


This resource, developed by the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, is part of this agency’s annual consultation to address issues facing non-profits in the Ottawa area. This report identifies many significant trends and issues affecting non-profit agencies including a sense of volatility in the 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.

, a tendency for an agency’s mission to ‘drift’, and a loss of infrastructure (p 6). The report also focuses on some of the trends in government concerning reporting, funding, and agency accountability (p 13-14) and also some strategies that agencies can incorporate into their programming, policies, and strategic planning

An activity carried out on a regular basis to clarify an organization’s purpose, goals, priorities, and a plan for reaching those goals and addressing the priorities.

to address these challenges (p 20-22).  

Social Planning Council of Ottawa. (2003). Everything You Wanted to Know About Funding Diversification and Program Evaluation But Were Afraid to Ask. 1-25. Ottawa, Canada.



Board Handbook for Legal and Fiduciary Responsibilities

This resource, developed by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada, examines the legal and fiduciaryEach board member has a fiduciary duty to the non-profit organization which it governs. Fiduciary duties commonly include the duties of diligence, loyalty, and obedience. Specifically, this means each board member is required to act reasonably, prudently and in good faith, educate themselves about the organization, make reasonable inquiries into the day-to-day management of the organization, consider explanations and make informed decisions, and seek advice from qualified professionals when necessary. They are also required to place the interests of the organization first, including acting honestly, in good faith and in the best interest of the organization. Board members must disclose conflicts of interests and take action to avoid perceived or real conflicts of interest. They have a duty to act within the scope of the governing documents of the organization (constitution, by-laws, policies, etc) and to ensure that committees and staff do so as well. This includes ensuring these documents are up-to-date. Board members with special skills or knowledge have a duty to use that expertise in their role and to practice the standard of care expected of their professional abilities. They also have a duty to obey all laws and statutes that apply to the organization. The fiduciary duty of the board is the same for all types of governance structures and covers all areas of board responsibility. responsibilities of boards. It uses VON boards as a model though it can be easily adapted to suit other agencies. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of board members and even uses a case study to illustrate the importance of a Board’s legal obligations and the implications of failing to uphold its legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada. (03 October, 2002). Module 7: Board Handbook for Legal and Fiduciary Responsibilities. 1-19.


Developing Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies and Programs: A Toolbox

This toolkit from the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario includes sample assessments, action plans, policy review tools and sample policies to help you meet your responsibilities regarding workplace violence and harassment.

Workplace Violence and Harassment - What Employers Need to Know

This guide from the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario explains why an organization must care about workplace violence and harassment, and what you need to know when it comes to developing policy and programs.

Funding Resources Guide for Agencies Serving Newcomers

This resource from Peel Newcomer Strategy Group catelogues 23 potential sources of funding for newcomer'serving agencies, including their funding priorities and contact information.

Equity Foundation Statement

The Toronto District School BoardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. provides a Board Policy that works within an Anti-Oppressive framework. Categories are as follows with each: Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural EquityEquity is about fairness, justice, access to equal opportunity, recognizing inequalities and taking steps to address them. It requires eliminating barriers to economic, social and political opportunities and access to services. See also anti-oppression.; Anti-Sexism and Gender Equity; Anti-Homophobia, Sexual Orientation, and Equity; Anti-Classism and Socio-Economic Equity; Equity for Person with Disabilities.

Nonprofit Board Basics Online Program - CompassPoint Nonprofit Services

This excellent and interactive online course recreates a Nonprofit Day Conference. Information you need to succeed as a nonprofit boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. member is presented through "conference sessions" and "conversations" with conference participants. You can work through the material in several sessions or finish it all at once. The course is free and registration is optional.

Sample Membership Policies - Volunteer Bureau of Leeds and Grenville

A sample Membership Policies and Procedures, from the Volunteer Bureau of Leeds and Grenville, Brockville, Ontario. Sections in the policy include 1. Preamble, 2. Categories of Membership, 3. Membership Fees, 4. Eligibility Criteria, 5. Responsibilities of Members, 6. Membership Benefits, and 7. Forms and Procedures. See also the next link, below, for the Volunteer Bureau's Organizational By-LawsIn a non-profit context, by-laws are the ruling legal documents governing an organization and its board of directors. By-laws are set by the board – they outline the board’s structure and how it works, and the purpose and structure of the organization. By-laws should also include rules about how they can be amended, and the requirements of membership in the organization, if applicable..

Board Members Position Descriptions

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website offers a number of resources for nonprofits, including sample boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. member position descriptions. This link provides a number of sample position descriptions for board members. It also includes information on evaluating the effectiveness of boards and offers a list individual board members responsibilities and personal characteristics to consider.

Carter's Essentials of Operational Risk Management

This checklist from Carter and Associates, though heavy on legal language, is useful to help your organization think about what operational risks it should consider. The checklist includes sections on human rights, communications, sexual abuse, and use of facilities.

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