NONPROFIT NEWS FROM NATHAN
Directors and Officers
Report from the Executive Directors’ Breakfast
Do some research before you renew your
D&O policy! This was one of the messages delivered by Rodney Hancock,
President of McFarlan Rowlands Insurance to 45 executive directors from south-western
Ontario on January 14. Some companies have stopped writing D&O policies and
others are excluding some coverages that used to be included in their standard
Speaking of standards – there are
none! Unlike auto insurance, every company writes its own policies and may have
a different policy for each client. Claims against nonprofits used to be
relatively rare, but the number of claims has been increasing, especially for
wrongful dismissal, so some companies are now charging extra for coverage
against wrongful dismissal and sexual harassment claims.
The best practice, when renewing D&O
policies is to invite your broker to speak directly to the Board of Directors,
explaining the coverages offered by each company.
lists free resources for methods in evaluation and social research.
The focus is on "how-to" do evaluation research and the methods
used: surveys, focus groups, sampling, interviews, and other methods.
Most of the links are to resources that can be read over the web.
Are your funders requiring you to sign
on to their automated data collection system?
Should We Deal With Funder-Mandated Data Collection in Human Services?,
Lisa Radcliffe points out that data gathering across agencies has many pitfalls.
Even seemingly simple questions may be surprisingly complicated and expensive to
answer using computerized client tracking and case management systems.
CCRA wants to know what you think.
Canada Customs and Revenue is inviting
public consultation on several proposed policy changes that affect charities.
Advocacy and Political Action
Under current law and regulations,
charities are severely limited in their ability to advocate for political
causes. The Income Tax Act requires a charity to devote all of its resources to
charitable purposes and activities, but it allows a modest amount of political
activity. Many charities believe that the Act is unduly restrictive and prevents
a registered charity from informing the public about issues of concern and from
participating adequately in the public policy development process. For example,
they argue that they cannot ethically feed the hungry and not also take
political action to change the conditions that increase the numbers of hungry
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled
that “advancement of equality” is not a charitable purpose under the Income
Tax Act, but CCRA believes that organizations aimed at elimination of racial
discrimination in Canada should be eligible for charitable registration. This
circular tells them how to do it.
Business Activities by Charities
Although the consultation period is
over, the proposed policy is still displayed.
To read and comment on the above, browse
United Way Volunteer Leadership Development Workshops
The United Way of London and Middlesex
sponsors workshops aimed at enhancing the governance and management of nonprofit
organizations in south-western Ontario. They are VERY low cost ($10)
and are open to all organizations. These are the workshops coming up in
the next few weeks. Click for the complete
schedule. You can Register online OR
phone: (519) 438-1721.
TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS:
FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP FOR BOARD MEMBERS
This workshop will equip Board members
with tools and concepts to help them manage risks, protect assets, and achieve
financial objectives. Workshop leader, John Craven C.A., President of Craven
Consulting Group Inc.
Wed. Feb. 12, 2003 --- 9:00 am to noon
at Community Meeting Room, Loblaws Wonderland
Market 2nd floor, 3040 Wonderland Rd. South at Southdale.
$10.00/person (pay at the door)
RECRUITING EFFECTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Strong boards do not come about by
accident. They are the result of careful recruitment, attention to training
needs, and systematic evaluation. In this interactive workshop, Jamie Grenier
explores different strategies for finding
potential board members and preparing them to be effective directors.
Presenter: Jamie Grenier, Executive Director, Arbour Glen Day Nursery.
Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 pm –
9:30 pm at Galleria London Community Meeting Place. Second Floor, next to
Birks (wheelchair accessible)
$10.00/person (pay at the door)
Some Statistics from the 2001 Census
How accurate is London’s reputation as
culturally homogeneous? According to the 2001 Census, one-third of the
population of the census metropolitan area of London Ontario reported English
ethnic ancestry. London had Canada’s third highest proportion of residents
with English ancestral origins, after St. John’s and Victoria. So it seems
that the old stereotype still has some validity.
But things are definitely changing. The
proportion of foreign-born residents is 18.8 percent, slightly above the
national figure of 18.4 percent. 43% of recent immigrants were born in Asia,
including the Middle East, 33% in Europe, 11% in the Caribbean, and Central and
South America, and 9% in Africa.
38,300 London residents identified
themselves as members of a visible minority group. They comprised 9% of the
population, up from 7% in both 1996 and 1991.
A summary of census data for London can
be found at
The link to the recently released census
The State of the Nonprofit Sector in America
As Canadians, we often resent being
dependent upon texts and research based upon the United States experience, but I
suggest you put that concern aside and read Lester Salamon’s essay that the
Brookings Institution has kindly made available online at
In my view, the changes in governments
and adoption of more conservative social values in Canada over the past fifteen
years parallel closely the earlier changes in the United States. Diminishing
government financial commitments to social justice, health, and education have
placed increasing burdens on the nonprofit sector. Salamon has been studying
their responses for many years. Here is an excerpt from the essay that makes up
chapter 1 of a book of essays titled The State of the Nonprofit Sector in
nonprofit America appears to be well along in a fundamental process of
“reengineering” that calls to mind the similar process that large segments
of America’s business sector have undergone since the late 1980s. Faced with
an increasingly competitive environment, nonprofit organizations have been
called on to make fundamental changes in the way they operate. And that is just
what they have been doing. What is involved here, moreover, is not simply the
importation of “business methods” into nonprofit
organizations, although that is sometimes how it is portrayed. While
nonprofits are becoming more “business-like,” the business methods they are
adopting have themselves undergone fundamental change in recent years, and many
of the changes have involved incorporating management approaches that have long
been associated with nonprofit work—such as the emphasis on organizational
mission, the ethos of service to clients, and the need to imbue staff with a
sense of purpose beyond the maximization of profit. In a sense, these longtime
nonprofit management principles have now been fused with business management
techniques to produce a blended body of management concepts that is penetrating
business and nonprofit management alike.
To order the book http://www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/press/books/state_nonprofit_america.htm
Sanitizing Your Old Hard Drive
Before you sell or donate your old
computer, make sure that your hard drive has been securely cleaned of client and
personal data. According to a study conducted by two MIT graduate students of
158 drives purchased on eBay or computer salvage stores, only 12 had been
appropriately sanitized. 112 drives contained personal data that were easy to
recover and read.
Autoclave is a free program for
sanitizing drives. According to the author, it securely erases everything on a
hard drive. Everything. All the files, all the free space, the partition table,
the boot sector, the works! Free
download from http://staff.washington.edu/jdlarios/autoclave/
Uncomfortable as I am with tooting my
own horn, something nice happened this week that I want to share with you.
My website was selected by the Dorothy
A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership for its Nonprofit
Good Practice Guide. at http://www.nonprofitbasics.org/.
They found my website to be of the internet’s most helpful resources for
nonprofits. They put a profile and a link to my site under the heading of
“governance”. The only other link currently in that category is to John
Carver’s website. See my profile at http://www.nonprofitbasics.org/TopicAreaProfiles.aspx?ID=5.
This honour has made me want to increase
my efforts to keep the site updated with new tools and resources for nonprofit
management and governance. So this week, I started putting this newsletter on my
website and I added a new help sheet:, Checklist
for the Chairperson . Please let me know what you
think of it, or any other tools, articles, or links on my website. I’ll be
undertaking some major revisions to the site in the near future
(i.e. whenever I can get around to it)
January 25, 2003