Monday, 23 May 2022, 10:30 AM
Site: Volunteer MBC Learning Portal
Course: Resources and Publications (Resources)
Glossary: Resources and Publications

Emergency General Release Template

Excerpt from the release form:

"I, ____________________________, resident of ___________________________, acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Province, and the HEALTH UNIT OF LOCAL REGION/COUNTY/MUNCIPALITY recommend practicing social distancing in addition to mandatory rules, regulations, guidelines that have been enacted, published, and remain in force to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19......"

Click on the file icon below to download.

Fifteen Reflections for a Not-for-Board Member

Serving in a not-for-profit organization, whether it is a nonprofit organization or a charity, is a rewarding experience. A board member plays a significant role in the success of the organization and takes on a great responsibility.

Whether you are thinking of becoming one or is currently serving on a board, the following reflections will help you strengthen your role as a board member. Volunteer MBC, through our Board Governance Series, aims to guide you through these reflections.


The significance of a Board

1. What is the importance of a board to a not-for-profit organization?


Structure & Roles

2. How are not-for-profit boards structured? The types of boards, their functioning, and forming committees.

3. What are the roles and responsibilities of a board member and board driven committees?

a. Who plays what role?

b. How do you manage the relationships between peers, organizational head, and staff?

c. How can a board support the volunteer involvement at not-for-profit organizations? (adopting the CCVI, promoting opportunities, recognition).

4. How do you identify and attract a diverse group of board of directors who is a good fit for the organization?

a. What information should you provide upfront?

b. What strengths and skills should you have as a board member?

c. How does diversity positively impact board governance?

d. When do you turn the wheels in motion for board succession planning?

5. What would be telltale signs of an effective not-for-profit board?


Establishing a Board

6. What are the guiding principles of a not-for-profit board? (Vision, mission, mandate, values, and strategic priorities).

7. What are the policies and legal obligations of a not-for-profit board? (Legal and regulatory considerations, by-laws, contracts, policies).

8. What part does a board play in Risk Management of a not-for-profit organization?


Providing Direction

9. How do we strategize the organizations’ way forward?

10. What questions should you ask before approving a budget?

11. How do you plan and support a diversified fund development strategy?

12. How do you make an emotional connection with the community? (storytelling, measuring the impact of programs and services).

13. How do you plan a successful Annual General Meeting? (why, how, what, and when?)


Board Dynamics

14. How do you carry out a productive board meeting? (respecting the professional life and time of board members, finalizing an agenda, planning and scheduling, running a meeting).

15. How do you build a strong team?

a. How do you effectively manage the board dynamics?

b. What are the immediate steps and tactics of conflict resolution?

Shaminda Perera

Manager, Learning and Resource Development

Fraud in the Not-for-Profit Sector: Boards Beware and Be Prepared

Fraud in the Not-for-Profit Sector

by Stéphan Drolet, National Forensic Leader, KPMG Canada

"​It is difficult to swallow when a volunteer takes cash donations away from those in need for their personal use but it is appalling when an employee or Executive Director (ED) defrauds the organization they are entrusted to protect (Drolet, 2018)."

Click on the Reference to read the article or download the attached file by clicking on the icon below: Drolet, S. (2018, March 14). Fraud in the Not-for-Profit Sector. Retrieved November 22, 2018, from

Fraud Policy Sample

Fraud Policy Sample

This is a sample of a Fraud Policy relevant to a for-profit organization. It can be customized to reflect the needs and context of a not-for-profit organization.

To download the template click on the file icon below.

Downloaded from:

Governance for not-for-profit organizations: questions for directors to ask

Governance for not-for-profit organizations: questions for directors to ask

"[D]irectors that ensure their NFP is equipped with a good governance framework can ensure that the NFP is productive, accountable and delivers on its mission, ethically and sustainably. This guide sets out a process to help NFP directors create such a framework or in refining an existing one. (Taylor, 2014)"

Reference: Taylor, D. (2014). Governance for not-for-profit organizations: Questions for directors to ask. Toronto: Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Guideline for Police Records Checks

"The LEARN Guideline for Police Record Checks is intended to assist police services to understand and apply relevant legislation, policies, procedures and directives to the processing of Police Record Checks. It is also intended to promote consistency in processing methods as well as the terminology used throughout the Province of Ontario (Source: Law Enforcement & Records (Managers) Network - LEARN)."

Click on the icon below to download or visit this link:

Health and Safety Incident Report Template

Accidents and incidents do happen at work. No not-for-profit is immune to it. Here is a template of a comprehensive incident report that you can download an re-purpose for your organization. As a risk management initiative, incident reports help mitigate some of the aftermath of an incident/accident as well as dealing with the liability issues and insurance.

Incident reports capture on document the exact details of what happened. It should ideally be completed while the details are fresh in the minds of those who witnessed the incident/accident.

Click on the icon to download the template.

Not-for-Profit Incorporation Guides

Overcoming Privacy and Data Challenges

In this Versus-COVID-19 discussion forum by Volunteer MBC, Constantine Karbaliotis counsel at 'nNovation LLP' and specialized in Data Security and Privacy law discusses how we can do our due diligence to protect our data and privacy in a digital and web-based era.

Click Here to Watch: 


Police Records Checks in Ontario

Police Record Checks in Ontario

In Ontario, the Police Record Checks Reform Actgoverns the types of record checks that can be conducted for screening (for example, non-law enforcement) purposes. The act authorizes three different types of police record checks:

  • criminal record check includes applicable criminal convictions and findings of guilt under the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • criminal record and judicial matters check includes applicable criminal convictions, findings of guilt under the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act, absolute and conditional discharges, outstanding charges, arrest warrants, and certain judicial orders
  • vulnerable sector check includes the same type of information that is disclosed in a criminal record and judicial matters check as well as applicable findings of not criminally responsible due to mental disorder, record suspensions (pardons) related to sexually-based offences, and in certain circumstances, non-conviction charge related information; when a strict test is met.

Please click on the reference link for more information.

Reference: Queen's Printer for Ontario. (n.d.). Police Record Checks in Ontario. Retrieved November 1, 2018, from

Police Records Checks Reform Act

Police Records Checks Reform Act (Bill-113) comes into effect as of November 1, 2018. This act standardizes which Record Check to be done and what will be included in them. The types of records checks will now be; Criminal Records Check (Level 1), Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (Level 2), and the Vulnerable Sector Check (Level 3) across Ontario.

Click the link to learn more about the Act:

Police Records Checks: Peel Regional Police

The following link will take you directly to the Record Checks and Suspensions (Pardons) webpage of Peel Regional Police.

Webpage Link:

Raising the Bar on Financial Governance

Raising the Bar on Financial Governance: Best Practices for Not-for-Profit Board Directors in Ontario

by BDO Canada

"More than ever before, board members are held to a higher degree of accountability. Anyone who joins the board of a not-for-profit or charitable organization should be prepared to govern with a clear understanding of their responsibilities and a strong focus on best practices. These Acts establish higher standards of oversight in a number of areas — including financial accountability. For example, the duties, powers, liabilities, protections and standards of care for directors are clarified. Not-for-profit corporations must now make their financial statements available to members (BDO Canada, 2015)."

Click the Reference to read the articleBDO Canada. (2015, April 23). Best practices for Not-for-Profit boards of directors in Ontario. Retrieved November 22, 2018, from

Risk Assessment Tool

This Risk Assessment Tool gives you a template to identify what risks may exist with your volunteer role. It should be utilized during the volunteer position design stage.

Risk Management and Screening During a Public Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic added increased risks and with it additional layers of risk management considerations. How do we think about risk and implement that into our volunteer engagement and organizational practices? In this Versus-COVID19 discussion forum, Shaminda Perera (Manager, Learning and Resource Development) and Robert MacFarlane (Consultant, Referral Service) of Volunteer MBC discuss how.

Click Here to Watch the Video: 

Screening Handbook, The

The Screening Handbook (2012 edition) is a publication prepared by "Volunteer Canada" and published by the "Public Safety Canada" based on the 10 Steps of Screening. This handbook is a valuable resource for the practical application of volunteer screening standards and procedures. 

Page 71 to 73 of the handbook highlights the legal profile of Ontario. It is a list of all volunteer involvement related regulations and legislation relevant to the Province of Ontario.

Click the link below to download "The Screening Handbook." Here is the link to the Volunteer Canada webpage;

Senior Social Isolation in LTC - The Value of Technology to Reduce Social Isolation

From Session 3 - "Building Capacity" - Connecting Together Series on Seniors Social Isolation: 

Senior Social Isolation in LTC - The Value of Technology to Reduce Social Isolation: A collaborative presentation from Ontario Health Central, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, and SE Health:

"Digital Technology for Residents in LTC: Despite Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination program, social isolation or “confinement syndrome” continues to be a traumatic reality for LTC residents and their families. A working group of the Central Region LTC Planning Table, facilitated by Ontario Health (Central), is exploring how digital technology can best be used by residents in LTC homes as a solution."


Click the attached file to access the PDF version of this presentation:

Ontario Health Central. (2021, June 14). Senior social isolation in LTC the value of technology to reduce social isolation [PowerPoint slides]. Ontario Health Central, Connecting together series.

Should Volunteer Screening be Different During a Public Health Crisis?

If at all, the COVID-19 pandemic only heightened the need for volunteer support. Your effort as Social Purpose Organizations to keep the most essential programs and services delivered without disruption was and continues to be an exemplary effort. In doing so, as social purpose organizations, we were put in a position to rethink our volunteer engagement strategies. One common inquiry from Volunteer MBC was whether there should be a significant change to the volunteer screening practice because of the pandemic and the physically distanced environment. 

In response to that inquiry, Shaminda Perera, the Manager of Learning and Resource Development of Volunteer MBC presents three questions to guide the decision-making process when thinking of volunteer screening during a public health crisis.

Click this link to read the full article: 

Strategic Foresight for Future Planning

In this Versus-COVID-19 discussion forum by Volunteer MBC, Eric Leo Blais and Adriane Beaudry share how to plan for the future as we come out of a public crisis that made the entire sector pivot its operations on a major scale. 

The COVID19 pandemic created a whirlwind of challenges in the social purpose sector. Yet, as we started to adapt to the crisis, it also gave us an excellent learning opportunity through reflection and adaptations in our usual way of things. So, how can we leverage this learning and come out of this pandemic with a win? 

Through 'Strategic Foresight.' Strategic Foresight is the ability to plan for the future by studying existing behaviour and estimating, assessing and projecting its impact moving forward. It is a proven academic discipline that can help social purpose organizations make sense of the world, and the future, when things are unclear. Part of a Strategic Foresight exercise involves the creation of a trend deck (a collection of trends). At the height of the Pandemic, Adriane Beaudry and Eric Leo Blais studied key trends that would impact volunteer engagement post-COVID. In this video, they show how to implement this strategic thinking.

Ten Steps of Screening Brochure

“Screening is a process that helps match people with volunteer positions while improving the quality and safety of the programs and services offered in communities.

It’s an ongoing 10-step process performed by an organization to ensure that the volunteers’ involvement is meeting the needs of the organizations, the populations they serve and the volunteers themselves (Source:”

The Board's Role in the COVID-19 Crisis

"In a crisis like that of COVID-19 when the stakes are high and scrutiny is intense, the board has a unique role. Stepping in may be uncomfortable, but stepping aside is not an option….Leadership in a crisis like that of COVID-19 is not the same as in business as usual: demands on management have become exponentially greater and it has become harder for leaders to execute their role. Usual ways of working must be adapted, process simplified, authority delegated. Directors should resist the urge to jump in and blur the lines between those of management and the board. (Delloitte, 2020)."

Publication: Stepping In: The Board's Role in the COVID-19 Crisis

Publisher: Deloitte - Global Centre for Corporate Governance

Publishing Year: 2020

Top 10 Considerations for Employers to Implement a Vaccination Policy

Some public health crises such COVID-19 resulted in unprecedented times and may call for a vaccination policy to be implemented in organizations. In the article attached here, Schofer discusses 10 considerations when implementing a vaccination policy.

Click on the Reference below or download the pdf version to read the article.

Reference: Schofer, K. (2021, August 30). Top 10 considerations for employers in implementing a vaccination policy. Gowling WLG. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from

Volunteer Canada, in Partnership with Schofer, also held a webinar on the same topic.

Twenty questions directors should ask about governance committees

20 questions directors should ask about governance committees

"As a board, do we have the right directors, with the right experience, knowledge and motivation to help us deliver value to the organization? Are we able to effectively set strategic direction with management and oversee and evaluate management’s execution of strategic plans? Are we confident that we have delegated responsibilities effectively across committees? Are we effective in overseeing risk mitigation and staying on top of emerging risks? Do we receive useful feedback through regular evaluations that help us enhance the value we provide? Are we developing candidates to take leadership positions on our board? Do we have an effective and productive relationship with management? How well do we understand stakeholder expectations and is our board proactively engaging with stakeholders in a way that is both productive and mutually beneficial? 

These are just some of the challenging issues that today’s governance committees are helping their boards to address. (Anderson, 2010)."

Reference: Anderson, D. W. (2010). 20 questions directors should ask about governance committees. Toronto: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Volunteer Position Design Canvas

In this "Volunteer Position Design Canvas" (Microsoft XL Spreadsheet), you can design a snapshot of your volunteer position by taking many factors into consideration. Such as; 

  • Identifying and distinguishing between accountabilities, responsibilities, and role-related tasks.
  • Identifying competencies and performance management strategies.
  • Brainstorming the work conditions which include physical and environmental conditions, resources and equipment, and the boundaries of the role.
  • Assessing risks and establishing risk management strategies.