Media Release: New Standards Program for Canada’s Charitable and Nonprofit Sector
National Accreditation Program is one of the first-of-its-kind globally
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 – Imagine Canada launches its new Standards Program today. Designed to strengthen public confidence in the charitable and nonprofit sector, the program is one of the first-of-its-kind globally at a national level. It offers accreditation to charities and nonprofits that can demonstrate excellence in five key areas:
- board governance;
- financial accountability and transparency;
- ethical fundraising;
- staff management; and,
- volunteer involvement.
“Now, more than ever before, it is important for charities and nonprofits to keep the hard-earned confidence and trust of the public,” says Marcel Lauzière, President and CEO of Imagine Canada. “An organization that has been accredited through this program has demonstrated that it has put in place the policies, procedures and practices to make it a truly effective organization.”
The program focuses on foundational standards that are relevant for all charities and nonprofits. It does not include program or service standards that many organizations have already developed in areas specific to their work.
Imagine Canada is pleased to announce the first organizations accredited by the new Standards Program:
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Daily Bread Food Bank
Food Banks Canada
Frontier College Foundation
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides
Niagara Community Foundation
Sarnia Lambton Rebound: A Program for Youth
United Way of Burlington & Greater Hamilton
United Way of Winnipeg
United Way Toronto
These organizations were part of a pilot group that helped to test and validate the accreditation process. Participants reported numerous benefits of going through the process including the opportunity to update critical policies and compare their procedures against leading practices.
Stronger Charities and Nonprofits
Accreditation is only one part of the Program. The Standards Program is equally designed to be a capacity builder by providing resources and opportunities to provide continuous learning and development for all of our country’s charities and nonprofits.
Marcel Lauzière further notes, “The information about how to comply with the standards as well as the tools and resources to help organizations continue to strengthen their governance practices is available free-of-charge. Our philosophy is one of open access, so that even if an organization does not wish to go through the formal accreditation process, it can still make full use of the program information to improve its practices in these key areas.”
Organizations that achieve accreditation will sign a licence agreement allowing them to use the program trustmark for five years. When Canadians see this trustmark on a charity or nonprofit’s website or fundraising and promotional materials, they can be confident that the accredited organization has successfully demonstrated compliance with the standards.
For accredited organizations, compliance with the standards will be monitored via both spot audits and complaints-based investigations. Accredited organizations will have the right to use the Standards Program trustmark as a symbol that they have achieved accreditation.
Imagine Canada wishes to acknowledge the work of the Standards Council, Peer Review Panel and the many sector volunteers that helped shape the program. Further thanks go to our partner organizations Volunteer Canada and the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector for their contributions to the development of the Standards Program.
The Standards Program is made possible with the financial contributions from founding and presenting sponsor Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life; funded by BMO Financial Group and The Printing House; supported by futureInnovate.net; and, friends KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.).
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Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities and nonprofits. We strengthen the sector’s collective voice, serve as a forum and meeting place, and provide a supportive environment for organizations to build stronger communities. www.imaginecanada.ca
For futher information:
Marnie Grona [English media]
Director, Marketing & Communications
1.800.263.1178 x244 or 416.597.2293 x244
Amanda Mayer [French media]
Imagine Canada - Ottawa
1.800.263.1178 x239 or 416.597.2293 x239
Did you know that there are 161,000 nonprofilts and charities in Canada?
Did you know that Canada’s nonprofit and voluntary sector is the 2nd largest in the world?
The sector represents $79.1 billion or 7.8% of the gross domestic product
The sector is larger than automotive and manufacturing. It generates $112 billion in revenues and employs 2 million people
Canadians donated $10 billion in 2007
Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have the highest donor rates.
Canadians volunteered 2.1 billion hours in 2007
Young Canadians aged 15 to 24 are more likely to volunteer than Canadians in any other age group
One percent of nonprofits command 60% of all revenues flowing to the sector
Canadians with the lowest household incomes give a greater percentage of their income than others
Saskatchewan has the highest volunteer rate in the country, followed by the Northwest Territories and the Yukon
Those exposed to giving and volunteering activities early in life are more likely to continue those behaviours as adults
Getting Ready for ONCA: A step-by-step guide (webinar)
All about Imagine Canada's Standards Program (webinar)
Grant Connect 101: An Introduction to Grant Connect (webinar)