MaRS Library Governance: Further resources
Many resources and countless articles deal with the topic of governance. We’ve listed several here. A few key NPOs in Canada are included, and it is recommended that owner-operators, key executives and board members research them and decide the merit in joining them or attending their periodic conferences or educational courses.
Canada Business acts as a single source of information for Canada’s businesses and startup entrepreneurs, including non-profits. This one-stop shop provides access to both federal and provincial resources on topics ranging from writing a business plan to finding new markets. In addition to the information it supplies via the Web, Canada Business services are available at service centres across Canada. In Ontario, the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services operates Small Business Enterprise Centres that offer consultant services and business-related seminars.
Charity Village is Canada’s leading source of online information dedicated to the charitable and non-profit sector. News, jobs, how-to articles, volunteer and event listings, educational opportunities and more comprise more than 35,000 pages of content on their website. The site maintains up-to-date“quick guides” on topics such as donors and grantmakers, starting a non-profit, and charity fundraising. Free newsletters provide updates on the latest news and developments in the sector.
enp (enterprising non-profits)
enp is a partnership between foundations and other funders to develop social enterprises and help them gain visibility in the market. enp works to shape public policy and increase the availability of capital for social enterprises. In addition, the enp program provides assistance with business development, information resources and education to non-profit organizations. The Toronto enp grant program provides matching grants of up to $10,000 to social enterprises.
Imagine Canada provides tools, resources and networking opportunities to charities and non-profits with the overall goal of building an effective and sustainable non-profit sector. The organization produces research reports on trends, issues and opportunities relevant to Canada’s non-profits. Imagine Canada also maintains the Canadian Nonprofit Library Network (CNLN), Canada’s largest collection of charitable and non-profit sector resources. They offer 80% of their holdings freely online.
Institute of Corporate Directors
The Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) is a non-profit professional association for Canadian directors and boards in both the private and public sectors. ICD provides professional development opportunities and continuing education events for directors including the Governance Essentials Program for Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations. (This program was developed jointly with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.) ICD offers board placement services and networking opportunities as well as information resources on governance.
Volunteer Lawyers Service
Volunteer Lawyers Services (VLS) is a project of Pro Bono Law Ontario that offers free legal services to Ontario charities and non-profit organizations. VLS matches organizations with volunteer lawyers to help with legal business processes such as incorporation, board governance, and contracts. Additionally, VLS provides educational seminars and information online on topics relevant to non-profit organizations. Legal questions may be answered via their Online Hotline.
- Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with investors, partners, customers and patents.
- The role of a successful board.
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
- Key documents for investors and financing: Subscription and shareholder agreements.
- Advice on offers of employment, job offer letters, and employment agreements.