The Standards Program is a Canada-wide set of shared standards for charities and nonprofits designed to demonstrate their compliance in five fundamental areas:
- board governance;
- financial accountability and transparency;
- staff management; and
- volunteer involvement.
Canada’s charities and nonprofits rely on the trust and the voluntary contributions of many Canadians to carry out their work. Imagine Canada’s governance and accountability efforts have played and will continue to play a role in ensuring that charities and nonprofits have the necessary tools to deliver on their mission and serve their communities.
The Standards Program is a capacity-building initiative; it helps organizations mitigate risk by ensuring that staff and volunteers understand and meet their legal, financial and fiduciary responsibilities.
Successful applicants are awarded a Trust Mark to use in their public communications to demonstrate that their work and their policies meet these high, externally established standards.
“The Aurora Cultural Centre sought Accreditation through Imagine Canada to clearly demonstrate our commitment to charitable best practices. We look forward to proudly showcasing the Trustmark on our materials and website,” says Laura Schembri executive director, Aurora Cultural Centre.
By and For Civil Society
Canada is playing a strong international leadership role in this regard. The Philippine Council for NGO Certification is the closest to our Standards Program, with the Latin American network Rendir Cuentas and Uruguay’s Institute of Communication and Development running similar certification efforts. Certainly, as charities and nonprofits embrace the interests and combat the challenges of citizens around the world, it is in organizations’ best interests to self-regulate, rather than have accountability mechanisms imposed on them by funders, governments or other stakeholders.
“Pathways has a respected track record of maximizing donor investments to put youth first. We are proud to be part of Imagine Canada’s Standards Program which recognizes our high standards of accountability, transparency and results,” says David Hughes, president & CEO, Pathways to Education Canada.
The Standards Program would not be possible without the efforts and contributions of our many stakeholders including the support of our sponsors listed below.