Topics: Canadian Charity Law
Good management of a charity’s finances and other assets enables it to succeed in delivering its charitable aims.
To achieve this, trustees must properly supervise their resources and satisfy themselves that they have:
- realistic funding plans and strategies
- effective management controls and systems
- planned for their charity’s assets and resources to be used in the best possible way for their beneficiaries
Getting this right can be very rewarding. It shows the valuable and visible results of a trustee’s commitment to their charity, beneficiaries and supporters. The Commission recognises the commitment that this requires of trustees, and the challenges they can face in serving their charities well. Trustees can delegate tasks to suitably qualified staff and/or volunteers but, whatever the arrangements, proper oversight and monitoring are vital.
Charities vary greatly in size, scale and how they operate and so trustees must decide what is reasonable, proportionate and appropriate for their charity. While common legal duties apply to all charities, how trustees interpret good practice will depend on individual circumstances.
As the charity regulator, the Commission expects trustees to take their responsibilities seriously. Trustees are not expected to be perfect - they are expected to do their best to comply with their duties. The Commission recognises that most trustees are volunteers who sometimes make honest mistakes: where they have acted honestly and reasonably, they are generally protected under the law.