Lois G. Lerner, the Director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service will be speaking at the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) Conference “Being Good at Doing Good” in Toronto, which is taking place on February 13 and 14th. http://www.clipconference.wildapricot.org/  As head of the Exempt Organizations Division she is responsible for the regulation of US charities or exempt organizations including registration, education, and compliance.  She will be giving two presentations – one focusing on why regulators care about governance and the second on top compliance issues for US charities.  We will also have speakers from the CRA and Charity Commission of England and Wales and other experts in charity governance, financial controls and compliance.

Those who are interested in governance and public policy will find the discussion of how a regulator views governance as interesting.  Also Canadians involved with US charities, either as directors or in partnership arrangments, will benefit from understanding the top compliance issues.

For more information on the conference and registration see:  http://www.clipconference.wildapricot.org/

Here are some other speakers at the conference:

For the preliminary schedule, click here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dancing with an Octopus: Creating Effective Collaborations
Cathy Lang, C. Lang Consulting, Linda Mollenhauer, Mollenhauer Consulting, and Heather Graham, Heather Graham Consulting

In today’s highly competitive environment, working collaboratively is no longer just an option; it is a core strategy for achieving mission, building community and better serving clients. And, new technologies are allowing groups to engage and cooperate as never before. But these new collaborative models of operation require different ways of thinking about leadership, risk and governance. Participants will learn about key findings from a recent Ontario Trillium Foundation study on emerging trends and opportunities in collaboration in Ontario. They will also learn about new kinds of leadership and governance that help to make collaborations work more effectively and ways in which non-profit Boards can mitigate the risks of reaching out in collaborative relationships. In this interactive session, participants will hear from three experts in collaborative practice and will have an opportunity to learn from each other by sharing their stories and strategies.


Determining Compensation
Don McCreesh, Board Member, Imagine Canada


Enterprise Risk Management for Canadian Charities
David Garland, Pathways Canada and Carol Willson, Ernst & Young
Pathways to Education Canada (“Pathways”) is a registered charity with the mission to aid youth living low-income communities to graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education and training.  Pathways currently licenses its program through a legal third-party agreement with other non-profit organizations within the programs’ communities.  The program delivers academic tutoring, group and career-oriented mentoring, student advocacy and financial support in many education-dependent facets, including transit tickets, meal vouchers and post-secondary educational scholarships.  The program currently supports students in 11 communities across Canada.

Recently, Pathways contracted E&Y to develop and help implement an Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) system to assist in identifying, assessing and mitigating risks inherent in Pathways operations.  Pathways was looking for assistance from E&Y in developing an ongoing ERM process, including:
Development of a methodology to identify risks affecting the charity and its extended operations; 
Identification of the risks affecting Pathways and a process to prioritize risks; 
Evaluation of the existing design and operation of the overall risk management and internal control framework;
Development of a process to establish risk tolerance levels; and
Development of strategies to mitigate the risks.
In this session, we will examine the proposed methodology and approach to ERM that was used citing Pathways as the Case Study.  This session may involve audience participation. 



Good Governance: 10 Habits of High Functioning Boards
Patrick Johnston, Borealis Advisors


An effective and efficient Board of Directors is a pre-condition for a well governed charity.  This workshop will present examples of key Board practices that contribute to good governance.  The examples of good practice are drawn from recent surveys and research.  They also derive from the presenter’s practical experience serving Boards both as a CEO as well as serving as a volunteer on local, national and international Boards of charitable organizations.  Workshop participants will also be challenged to identify and share their own examples of good Board practice.


Governance: 5 Ideas That Make a Difference (How to Move Beyond Legal Compliance and Operate to a Higher Standard)
Dave Toycen, World Vision Canada



Navigating the Brave New World of Self-Regulation and Standards
Dr. Susan Phillips, Professor and Director, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

Canada has become a world leader in implementing a comprehensive set of standards and certification system for charities and non-profits.  Unlike existing voluntary codes, the process is more rigorous and covers virtually all aspects of governance and management.  The Standards program is a brave and bold step: what will it take to make it work and what impact is it likely to have for how charities approach their work?  What is the benefit to your organization in participating?  Drawing on experience in other sectors, this session takes a practical and interactive approach to examining the potential and pitfalls of the Standards Program.


The Battle for Transparency in the Non-Profit Sector
Ken Berger, President & Chief Executive Officer, Charity Navigator
There are now countless millions of NGOs throughout the world. Unfortunately the cultural and institutional norm for most remains resistant to transparency. This workshop will explore the reasons for this resistance and why it is so important that NGOs overcome their fear of transparency. Mr. Berger will suggest some specific measures that NGOs should take to transform themselves into transparent and accountable organizations that are role models for others. He will argue that this is a critically important battle for the very soul of the NGO sector.


What the New Not for Profit Corporate Law Changes Mean to Your Organization
Wayne Gray, McMillan LLP


New Not-for-Profit Legislation:  Federal; Ontario

Types of NFP Corporations: Charitable Corporations, including Religious; Soliciting/Public Benefit Corporation (PBC); Non-Soliciting/Non-PBC
Transitional Issues: Federal; Ontario
Governance Structure: Membership; Directors; Officers; Committees; Public Accountants; Articles/By-laws


Where Did the Dollars Go
Maria Belanger, Algonquin College and Susan Fisher, Algonquin College




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Beyond the Chequing Account – Building Better Banking Arrangements
David Wilton, Scotiabank Small Business



Capacity Building for Canadian Charities
Jill McAlpine, PricewaterhouseCoopers



Charities and Governance: The Role of Governance in Preventing Breach of Trust, Misconduct and Mismanagement
Andrew Wherrett, Charity Commission of England and Wales



Charity Governance – A Regulator’s Perspective
Andrew Wherrett, Charity Commission of England and Wales



CRA’s Strategic Direction and Keeping on the Right Side of CRA
Danie Huppé-Cranford, Director of the Compliance Division, Charities Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency



Investments and Endowments: From Policy to Practice
Brad Offman, Mackenzie Financial

For many charities, the idea of large sustainable endowment is a utopian one.  In this presentation, Brad Offman will help define the concept of endowment and determine whether endowment building is something your organization should consider.  He will discuss some of the strategic and operational considerations associated with endowment building and present ideas for building an endowment culture.  He will also discuss the practical considerations from a policy and administrative side including investment challenges and objectives.  By the end of presentation, you will be able to understand endowments and determine whether they are right for you.



Overcoming the Five Greatest Challenges to Non-Profit Board Effectiveness
Vic Murray, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria

For the past year, Profs Vic Murray (York University and University of Victoria) and Yvonne Harrison (State University of New York at Albany) have been carrying out research into how members of non-profit organizations boards, and those who connect to them, perceive their effectiveness. using a specially designed online survey (www.boardcheckup.com), over 400 participants from over 50 organizations in Canada and the U.S. have revealed what they see as the biggest challenges affecting their board’s value and impact.  This workshop will look at the five most important of these as revealed in the research data:

The board’s role in planning
The board’s effectiveness in assessing organization performance
The board’s role in fundraising
Finding and developing outstanding board members
Building a positive board culture
Workshop participants will learn how to diagnose and treat these challenges to board effectiveness and be asked to share their own experiences and ideas for dealing with them.



Serving as a Board Member
Rev. John Pellowe, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Christian Charities

Every director should have a rich, satisfying board experience.  This workshop will help new directors shorten the learning curve and improve their governance skills. It will also help board nomination committees to check the suitability of a nominee for board service and to conduct great orientation sessions for new board members.  The topics are:

Readiness to Serve – the personal aspects of board service
Governance – the principles of good governance and the questions you should be asking
Board Deliberations – how to have honest, open debates and still all be friends
Relationships – how to relate to staff and members as a director



Social Entrepreneurship and Charity Law Canada, One Perspective
W. Laird Hunter, QC, Richards Hunter Barristers & Solicitors



Transparency in the Canadian Charitable Sector
Steven Ayer, President, Common Good Strategies

In the last few years, transparency in the charitable sector has become a major concern for the general public, journalists, and politicians.  With technology making information readily accessible, many Canadians expect considerable information about what a charity does to be easily accessible. This presentation discusses trends in transparency in the charitable sector over the last 5 years and looks at potential issues that will come to the forefront in the near future.  It will also address common and recommended practices in the area of transparency and discuss how charities can create more trust with donors, regulators, volunteers, and other key stakeholders through being transparent.