If you’ve ever been a member of a board of directors you have probably considered at least one of the following common questions:

  • How can we focus our efforts to make sure we have a clear plan and spend our valuable time together working toward our goals?
  • How do we more clearly define the leadership within our organization?
  • How can our Board ensure we are informed of fiscal realities in a timely way, so that we can course-correct and avoid unexpected deficits?
  • What is my role as a board member and what are the questions to ask so that I understand my role?
  • How can we strengthen relationships between ‘old guard’ board members and newer members, so that we can better move forward together?
  • How can we orient new board members so they are prepared to accurately represent the organization in the community?

These questions are very common.

One of our roles at the Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) is to provide tools, resources and support to increase the capacity of the non-profit sector in the delivery of programs and services.

In light of this, we launched the Centre of Excellence in Non Profit Governance as a resource to build a stronger future for this sector in Niagara. This virtual centre, housed on the NCF website, aims to help you answer the questions above, and includes six components:

  1. The Governance Partnership Program (GPP): The GPP will fund 50% of the cost of a governance consultant, who has participated in Imagine Canada’s Standards Coaches Training program, to work with Niagara charities to strengthen their governance practices
  2. Minimum Governance Standards: The NCF will institute minimum governance standards to access grants from the Foundation
  3. Professional Development Grants: The NCF will provide charities with grants for professional development
  4. Governance Resources: The NCF has partnered with Niagara Connects to ensure current Canadian-based governance resources are posted on the Niagara Knowledge Exchange (NKE). Relevant, reliable resources are identified, tagged, accessible and promoted to the sector.  To see a list of governance resources:
    1. Type “for-social-profit” into the search box on the NKE
    2. Select “Resources & Publications” from the drop down menu
  5. Professional Development Opportunities: The NCF has also partnered with Niagara Connects Knowledge Brokers to ensure that relevant professional development opportunities are sourced, tagged and regularly added to the Niagara Community Calendar on the NKE.  Organizations providing professional development for the sector are encouraged to submit their own events to be posted to the Calendar. To see a list-view of upcoming professional development opportunities:
    1. Type “for-social-profit” into the search box on the NKE
    2. Select “Event” from the drop down menu
  6. Sponsoring Governance Professional Development: To ensure that fees are not a barrier to participation by charities, the NCF will consider sponsoring sector-wide governance professional development opportunities in Niagara.

We’re committed to strengthening the sector. We know that stronger governance works. We’re here to help.

If you are interested in learning more, watch our webinar entitled Launching the Niagara Community Foundation Centre of Excellence in Non-profit Governance, visit our website, or contact us for more information.

Liz Palmieri
Executive Director
Niagara Community Foundation

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