Glossary:

  • Standard C13 Explained

    Why must organizations conducting face-to-face fundraising ensure that they:

    a. provide verification of the affiliation of the person representing the organization – Individuals may be suspicious of face-to-face fundraising efforts such as door-to-door solicitation, worrying that it could be fraudulent. To avoid this perception, fundraisers conducting face-to-face fundraising should carry valid personal identification along with identification of the organization on behalf of which they are seeking funds.1

    b. secure and safeguard any confidential information, including credit card information, provided by donors – Under PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act, all organizations in Canada are responsible for safeguarding the private information they collect from clients, donors, or participants.2 Organizations are obliged to protect personal information using security safeguards including physical measures such as storing information in locked filing cabinets, organizational measures such as staff training and confidentiality agreements, and technological measures such as passwords and encryptions.2 Organizations that engage staff or volunteers to conduct face-to-face fundraising must ensure that individuals are trained to understand the importance of protecting confidential information as well as the organization’s mechanisms and policies for ensuring that personal information is secure.

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Face-to-Face Fundraising Guidelines Canada,” Association of Fundraising Professionals.
    2. The Protection of Personal Information by Charities and Not-For-Profit Organizations: A National Perspective,” M. Jasmine Sweatman, The Philanthropist, 19 (4): 2004.
  • Standard C14 Explained

    Definition: Cause-related marketing1
    Cause-related marketing (sometimes called social marketing) is a venture with a non-charitable partner to promote the sale of items or services on the basis that a portion of the revenues will be directed to a charity or charities.

    Why is it important for charities and nonprofits that have entered into a cause-related marketing agreement to disclose in all related materials how the organization benefits from the sale of products or services and the amounts payable under the arrangement? Cause related marketing can benefit both businesses and charities, helping businesses to establish trust with their customers by associating their brands with social responsibility while creating revenue for a charity or cause.2 Increasingly, the media and the general public are critical of for-profit companies that raise funds for charities and nonprofits, arguing that too much money goes to the business and not enough to the cause itself.

    Being transparent about the details of cause-related marketing agreements can help nonprofits and charities avoid accusations of unethical dealings with businesses that assist them to raise funds. An essential component of transparency is being clear with customers about what social benefit an individual’s purchase of a product or service actually accrues.2 Being upfront about how third-party organizations benefit from the sale of products or services and the minimum or maximum amounts payable helps the public understand the social benefit of their purchase.

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
    2. Cause Marketing: 10 Cautionary Principles for Nonprofits,” Gayle L. Gifford, Cause & Effect, Inc. 2008.
  • Standard C2 Explained

    Why should organizations refrain from selling their donor lists? PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act, allows for the selling, bartering, or sharing of fundraising or donor lists as long as consent is obtained from all individuals prior to the lists changing hands.1 Imagine Canada, however, requires nonprofit and charitable organizations to meet a higher standard than that required by law, prohibiting organizations from selling their donor lists.

    When an organization sells its donor list, it relinquishes control over the data and risks having the information used for a purpose other than that for which it was collected. An organization’s donor list is an asset of the charity or nonprofit, and relinquishing control over the list could be seen as a breach of the directors’ legal responsibility to protect the assets of the organization. In renting donor lists, on the other hand, organizations are able to set the terms of the rental agreement and retain more control over the use of the data. If renting or exchanging donor lists, organizations operating in Alberta must adhere to the province’s Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA), which classifies bartering or leasing of membership, donor, or other fundraising lists as “commercial activities.”1

    What is the Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice?2 The Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice presents guidelines for the conduct of marketing professionals across Canada. The code applies to all CMA member organizations regardless of sector or marketing medium, and provides a set of ethical principles and best practices to be followed by Canadian businesses in order to ensure that marketing activities are carried out with integrity. Although written in a for-profit language, the code also applies to nonprofit and charitable organizations.

    What does the Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice say about renting donor lists?2 The Code states that all marketing must be conducted in accordance with PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act, (see Board Governance Standard A13.). It advises marketers to rent lists only to organizations that have signed a contract to abide by all relevant Canadian privacy laws and that agree to use CMA’s Do Not Contact Service, which allows individuals to limit the frequency of marketing offers they receive by mail.

    Why must nonprofit and charitable organizations honour donors’ requests to be excluded from rented lists? Section J, Protection of Personal Privacy in the Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice states that individuals must be informed of the uses to which personal information will be put at the time of collection and that personal information shall not be used or disclosed for other purposes without consent. While individuals are free to opt-out of receiving solicitations at any time, at least once every three years they must be presented with “an easy-to-see, easy-to-understand and easy-to-execute opportunity to decline further marketing use of their name or other information.”

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. The Protection of Personal Information by Charities and Not-For-Profit Organizations: A National Perspective,” M. Jasmine Sweatman, The Philanthropist, 19 (4): 2004, p. 308.
    2. Canadian Marketing Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
  • Standard C3 Explained

    Why must organizations honor donors’ requests to remain anonymous? Donors may have many legitimate reasons for wishing to remain anonymous, and it is essential that nonprofits respect these requests. A study conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that only 10 months after the recession hit in 2008, the percentage of anonymous gifts over a million dollars increased dramatically (nearly 20% of all gifts over $1 million were made anonymously compared to only 3-5% over the previous 10 years).1 In times of recession when the donor pool gets smaller, individuals may wish to remain anonymous to avoid attracting greater pressure from charities or because they feel uncomfortable making a public display of wealth when so many are in financial crisis. Donors may also wish to remain anonymous if they are supporting a cause for the first time or if they feel they may not be able to contribute in future years.1

    Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy found that donors most often cite avoiding solicitation from other charities and keeping donations secret from friends and family as the most common reasons for wishing to remain anonymous.1 Ensuring that donors’ wishes to remain anonymous are honoured is an important way for nonprofits and charities to form relationships with donors that are based on mutual respect and trust.

    Nonprofits and charities will honour donors’ requests to remain anonymous both in terms of:2

    1. The amount of their contribution and;
    2. Having their name publicly released as a supporter of the organization

    In certain cases, accepting an anonymous donation could be risky for a charity and should be considered carefully. For instance, the source or amount of a donation may be perceived to affect the independence of the charity. In these cases the organization may seek to negotiate the terms of public disclosure with the donor.2

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Anonymous Giving Gains Popularity as the Recession Deepens,” Ben Gose, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 30th 2009.
    2. Ethical Code Handbook,” Imagine Canada, February 2011.
  • Standard C4 Explained

    Definition: Planned Gift1
    A planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death, as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning.

    Why must organizations encourage donors to seek independent advice before conferring a Planned Gift or a gift that could significantly affect a donor’s financial position? Most fundraising professionals are not trained lawyers or financial experts. As such, though they might provide useful advice about the implications of a donation, it is good practice to refer clients to other professionals who are able to provide sound legal or financial council.2 Cultivating trusting relationships is an essential component of effective fundraising, and charities must ensure that they do not pressure potential donees who could be elderly or inherently trusting and thus vulnerable to manipulation.3 Organizations should respect a donor’s ability to make decisions regarding their estates while encouraging them to seek council from close family members and estate planning professionals.3

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
    2. Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,” Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2004.
    3. Creating a Planned Giving Program: A Legacy Building Plan for Small to Medium Community Based Organizations,” Niagara Community Foundation, 2006.
  • Standard C5 Explained

    What is a gift-in-kind? A gift-in-kind is a gift of any property excluding cash. Gifts-in-kind could include gifts of real property (land or buildings), personal use property (an item used in a personal rather than a business context, for example clothing), intangible property (investments), or intellectual property (patents, licenses).1 In order to issue an official income tax receipt for a gift-in-kind, an organization must first determine the fair market value of the gift, as well as the advantage the donor received for making the gift.2 “Determining the Value of Gifts” in the Gifts & Receipting section of Imagine Canada’s Charity Tax Tools contains tools, tips, and examples to help you ascertain the value of gifts-in-kind.

    For Charities: Why must charities issue official income tax receipts for monetary gifts and gifts-in-kind? Charities must issue official income tax receipts for all gifts. In order to qualify as a “gift,” a donation must be voluntary and involve a transfer of property (cash, land, stocks, clothing, etc). In order to be eligible for a tax receipt, a gift must be able to be valued and must “enrich the charity.”3 Issuing improper or incomplete donation receipts is illegal under the income tax act and can incur consequences from CRA,4 impacting an organization’s charitable status as well as its reputation in the broader community.

    What must be included on an official income tax receipt? To be acceptable to CRA, official income tax receipts must include:5

    • a statement that the receipt is an official receipt for income tax purposes;
    • the name and Canadian address of the charity that are on file with the CRA;
    • the charity's charitable registration (business) number;
    • the serial number of the receipt (all receipts must be numbered);
    • the place where the receipt was issued;
    • the date the donation was received;
    • the date on which the receipt was issued if it differs from the date of donation;
    • the full name and address of the donor;
    • the eligible amount of the gift;
    • the signature of an individual authorized by the charity to sign receipts; and
    • the name and Web site address of the Canada Revenue Agency (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html).

    Receipts for gifts-in-kind must also contain:5

    • a brief description of the property transferred to the charity; and
    • the name and address of the appraiser (if the property was appraised).

    For Nonprofits: Why should nonprofit organizations make it clear to potential donors that they cannot issue Official Income Tax receipts? The general public may not be aware of the difference between a registered charity and a nonprofit organization. As such, they may assume that they are able to receive an Official Income Tax receipt from a nonprofit, and their decision to donate may be influenced by this assumption. In order to avoid misleading potential donors, nonprofits must make it clear that they cannot issue income tax receipts for donations.

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Gifts in Kind” in Gifts & Receipting, Imagine Canada Charity Tax Tools, 2009.
    2. “Determining the Value of Gifts” in Gifts & Receipting, Imagine Canada Charity Tax Tools, 2010.
    3. “Is a gift eligible for a receipt” in Gifts & Receipting, Imagine Canada Charity Tax Tools, 2010.
    4. Fundraising by Registered Charities: Guidance,” Canada Revenue Agency, April 20th 2012.
    5. Excerpted from: “Information included on a receipt” in Gifts & Receipting, Imagine Canada Charity Tax Tools, 2010.
  • Standard C6 Explained

    Why is it essential that all fundraising activities conducted by or on behalf of charitable or nonprofit organizations:

    a. be truthful – The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Donor Bill of Rights states that any donor to a charitable or nonprofit organization has the right to “ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.”1 In addition, CRA may deem any untruthful statements made in the course of fundraising to constitute “deceptive fundraising,” which can lead to legal sanctions or the revocation of charitable status.2

    b. accurately describe the organization’s activities – Donors want to know how their funds will be used, and being able to demonstrate the relationship between your organization’s activities and its impact in the community fosters increased understanding, engagement, and trust between your organization and its donors.

    c. disclose the organization’s name – CRA states that organizations must not misrepresent the charity which will receive solicited donations.2 As such, all fundraising activities must clearly present the name of the organization that will receive the funds being collected.

    d. disclose the purpose for which funds are requested – The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Donor Bill of Rights states that any donor to a charitable or nonprofit organization has the right to “be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purpose.”1 In addition, Alberta’s Charitable Fundraising Act 9(1) states that organizations must make information on how donations will be spent available to any person who requests it.3 Understanding why funds are being requested, both in terms of the impact an organization seeks and the specific activities that will be undertaken to achieve this impact helps donors to make informed choices regarding which organizations to support.

    e. disclose the organization’s policy with respect to issuing Official Income Tax receipts including any policy on minimum amounts for which a receipt will be issued – Disclosing your organization’s policy with respect to issuing Official Income Tax receipts is a good practice as it avoids misleading donors who may believe they will be able to claim a gift that in reality they will not be able to claim. If your organization, for example, only issues Official Income Tax receipts for donations over $50, being clear and upfront with potential donors about this policy helps to avoid misunderstanding, which can be damaging to relationships and negatively impact future fundraising efforts.

    f. disclose, upon request, whether the individual or entity seeking donations is a volunteer, employee or contracted third party – CRA requires that all fundraising organizations disclose whether those soliciting funds are internal staff, volunteers, or third-party fundraisers. Potential donors also have a right to know how fundraisers are compensated and what percentage of charitable funds will go to charitable work.2

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. A Donor Bill of Rights,” Association of Fundraising Professionals.
    2. Fundraising by Registered Charities: Guidance,” Canada Revenue Agency, April 20th 2012.
    3. Charitable Fundraising Act, Province of Alberta, Alberta Queen’s Printer, November 1st 2010.
  • Standard C7 Explained

    Why is it essential for organizations not to make claims that cannot be upheld or that are misleading? To develop a robust donor base, an organization must represent its activities truthfully. Making claims that cannot be upheld or that are misleading is unethical and can damage an organization’s reputation, making it extremely difficult to attract the resources it needs to make an impact in its community. Donors who find that organizations they have contributed to were unable to follow through on their promises are unlikely to support the organization in the future.

    Making misleading claims can also incur consequences from CRA if the organization is found to be acting contrary to public policy or to be violating provincial consumer protection legislation or the federal Competition Act.1 CRA could also see misleading claims as evidence of “deceptive fundraising,” which can result in legal sanctions including the revocation of charitable status.1 To avoid misleading potential donors, The Association of Fundraising Professionals requires its members to accurately disclose the organization’s mission and the use of solicited funds on all fundraising materials.2

     

    Examples of misleading claims:

    a. It would be misleading for an organization working to cure cancer to suggest that by reaching their fundraising goal, they will be able to cure the disease. The organization cannot guarantee this kind of outcome. When discussing the impact of donations, organizations must not guarantee outcomes that are beyond the organization’s control.

    b. It would be misleading to state that all donors who contribute over $200 will be invited to a special reception to thank them for their donation and then neglect to host such a reception.

    c. An organization that already has significant reserve funds but launches a new fundraising campaign that gives the impression that the organization is in desperate need of funds is misrepresenting the financial status of the organization. CRA could consider this to be an example of “deceptive” fundraising.1

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Fundraising by Registered Charities: Guidance,” Canada Revenue Agency, April 20th 2012.
    2. Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,” Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2004.
  • Standard C8 Explained

    What does it mean for an organization to “exploit its beneficiaries”? Exploiting beneficiaries in order to attract donations can involve depicting individuals in a way that upholds stereotypes, is demeaning, or that disregards a person’s dignity.1 A UK study by the Center for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy found that the beneficiaries of charities are concerned about the way they are represented, wishing to be depicted in fundraising campaigns without organizations resorting to the use of “stereotypes, clichés or prejudices.”1

    Why is it important for organizations to be sensitive in describing those they serve and to fairly represent their needs and how these will be addressed? Nonprofit and charitable organizations exist to serve their beneficiaries. When organizations represent those they serve using images, graphics, and text, they influence not only donors’ desire to give, but also their understandings of complex social issues and of the individuals the organization serves.1 A UK study that explored the way homeless people felt about depictions of homelessness in fundraising campaigns found that beneficiaries favoured storytelling about individuals in need as well as images aimed at inciting empathy and “a recognition of common humanity” as opposed to eliciting guilt or pity as a motivation to give.1

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. User Views of Fundraising: A Study of Charitable Beneficiaries’ Opinions of Their Representation in Appeals,” Beth Breeze and Jon Dean, Center for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy, 2012.
  • Standard C9 Explained

    Why is it important for all fundraising materials to include an organization’s address or other contact information? Fundraising materials including print or e-mail solicitations must include the organization’s address and / or other contact information to ensure that individuals who wish to learn more about the organization or to make a donation are able to contact the organization. CRA states that organizations must not misrepresent the charity which will receive solicited donations.1 Without contact information, fundraising materials may appear suspect and individuals may doubt the validity of a nonprofit or charity distributing such materials.

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Fundraising by Registered Charities: Guidance,” Canada Revenue Agency, April 20th 2012.
  • Standard D1 Explained

    Why is it important to have written HR policies? HR policies detail your organization’s expectations of its staff and ensure that employees are treated ethically and in compliance will all applicable legislation. HR policies also help to formalize your organization’s unique work culture, implement best practices, and ensure that decisions and actions taken by management are fair and consistent.1

    What kinds of HR policies does my organization need? Common HR policies include policies addressing:1

    • Employee information 
    • Performance management 
    • Hiring 
    • Holidays and vacation 
    • Hours of work
    • Leaves of absence 
    • Overtime 
    • Termination 
    • Health and Safety

    What legislation does my organization need to comply with? Nonprofit and charitable organizations must comply with legislation related to:1

    • Employment / labour standards 
    • Occupational health and safety 
    • Human rights 
    • Labour relations
    • Privacy of personal information

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. "HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
  • Standard D10 Explained

    Why is it important to assess the performance of each employee at least annually? Assessing an employee’s performance helps ensure that they are accomplishing the goals of their position, contributing to the strategic direction of the organization, and acting in alignment with your organization’s culture.1 Effective performance assessments offer meaningful feedback to employees and can contribute to the creation of a positive work environment.2 Performance assessments can play a role in succession planning and can enable management to intervene if a staff member is encountering challenges. Performance assessments help ensure that any issues are identified and addressed before they negatively impact the organization as a whole or jeopardize the individual’s employment.3

    What should be included in a performance review?3

    • An assessment of how the employee contributes to your organization’s operational and strategic plans 
    • Mechanisms for encouraging performance excellence 
    • A way to determine and address aspects of performance that could be improved 
    • Identification of personal or professional development needs 
    • Opportunities for promotion or other work assignments if applicable 
    • Description of work or career goals 
    • Consideration for increases in compensation

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Human Resources Q & A: Making Performance Management Easy,” Kathline Holmes, Charity Village, August 8th 2011.
    2. “Trends & Issues: The Art of Performance Management, Nonprofit Style,” The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2010.
    3. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
  • Standard D11 Explained

    Why is it important to assess the development needs of all fulltime employees and to develop plans to address any gaps? Ongoing professional development helps employees improve their performance in their roles and build the skills they need to advance.1 In a job market in which nonprofits compete with the public and private sector for qualified employees, opportunities for learning and development become an important part of employee attraction and retention strategies.2

    The benefits of offering professional development opportunities include:3

    • Increased ability to meet organizational goals 
    • Increased productivity 
    • Increased motivation 
    • Decreased need for supervision in well-trained staff
    • Training employees can be part of an organization’s succession planning efforts 
    • An environment of continuous learning promotes effective responses to challenge and change 
    • Staff can more effectively contribute to new initiatives 
    • Improved attraction and retention of employees

    The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector suggests that development plans address the following categories of learning:1

    • Essential – skills that are required to perform effectively in the employee’s role, including learning that addresses performance issues or that prepares a person to take on new responsibilities
    • Enhancement – learning that will benefit an employee in their current or future role within the organization
    • Career Development – learning that is desired by the staff member but that may not provide direct benefits to the organization

    For level 3 organizations: Why is it essential for staff with supervisory roles to be provided with opportunities to develop these skills? Managing and supervising staff is a distinct skill set that must be actively developed.1

    Management skills include:1

    • How to motivate and engage others
    • How to work together to set goals
    • How to assess an employee’s performance
    • How to delegate tasks and manage work

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. “Factors Affecting Working and Learning,” Learning, Training and Development, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    3. Getting Your Organization Ready for Employee Training and Development,” Learning, Training and Development, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
  • Standard D12 Explained

    Definition: Succession Plan1

    A succession plan sets out how potential departures of key personnel would be dealt with in the short-term and long-term through internal or external candidates. It could define key competencies, identify pools of talent and outline how current staff members are being developed to fill positions.

    Why is it important to identify critical positions and to develop succession plans for these positions? A succession plan describes how an organization will respond to the expected or unexpected departure of critical staff members. Being strategic about whom you hire is essential in the nonprofit sector, especially in small organizations where every individual has a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of the organization.2 Having a succession plan in place for critical positions promotes resilience within your organization and helps to mitigate against the disruptions that occur during employee transitions.3

    The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector recommends that if possible, succession plans should seek to develop talent from within your organization.4 Ongoing learning and professional development activities can then be tailored to enable staff members to take on new roles or responsibilities in the case of the departure of a key staff person.4

    Benefits of succession planning include:3

    • Ensuring that your organization can continue to deliver services in the event that a key employee leaves 
    • Developing a pool of people who have the skills and abilities to move into newly vacated roles 
    • Promoting alignment between your organization’s vision and its human resources strategy, helping your organization accomplish its strategic goals 
    • Improving attraction and retention among employees who see opportunities for advancement within your organization 
    • Establishing a reputation for investing in employees and ensuring that they feel valued

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
    2. Building a Talent Pipeline,” The Bridgespan Group, 2010.
    3. “Succession Planning,” in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    4. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector.
  • Standard D13 Explained

    Why is it essential for organizations to have a formal process to manage workplace conflicts? Workplace conflicts arise in all organizations, and having a formal process in place helps employees resolve emerging conflicts quickly before they escalate into larger problems.1 Conflict management processes that allow employees to go beyond their immediate supervisor boost employee morale and avoid the losses that can be incurred if conflicts are not addressed in a timely manner.2

    Without a formal process to manage workplace conflicts, issues can lead to employee dissatisfaction, loss of productivity, a decrease in quality of work or service to clients, increased stress and employee turnover, and/or litigation against your organization.3 Workplace conflicts pose additional risks to organizations that depend on volunteers, as volunteers often have many commitments and are unwilling to tolerate a tense environment.4

    What should a conflict resolution policy include? Conflict resolution policies outline the steps that should be taken to resolve a conflict and may provide for mediation in the case that the problem cannot be resolved by affected employees directly.1 Conflict resolution policies may institute a formal open door policy in which employees can report emerging issues, or a formal complaint process.1 In addition, conflict resolution policies should always include a statement to the effect that employees are protected against retaliation as a result of using the conflict resolution process.2

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. Sample Policies on Common HR Topics: Conflict Resolution,” HR Policies & Employment Legislation, HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector.
    3. Conflict at Work,” Workplaces That Work in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    4. “How to Effectively Manage Conflict,” Jack Shand, Charity Village, December 5th 2011.
  • Standard D2 Explained

    Why do HR management policies need to be made accessible to all employees? In order for HR management policies to be implemented effectively, they must be thoroughly understood by all staff. Ideally, the behaviours and actions outlined in your HR management policies become part of your organization’s work culture.

    Policies can be made accessible by posting them online or by ensuring that every employee has a copy. However, accessibility also requires that policies be easy to understand and written in a language that is familiar to your employees.1 Special care should be taken to ensure that your policies are accessible to people with disabilities.1

    How should HR management policies be made available to all employees? Employees are often made aware of HR management policies as part of their orientation to a new position in the organization and when policies change or are updated. They may be given a copy of all policies or directed to where they can access them online.1

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
  • Standard D3 Explained

    Why is it important to review HR management policies once every two years for Level 1 and 2 organizations and annually for Level 3 organizations? HR management policies stipulate how employees are expected to work and act as part of your organization.1 Reviewing these policies regularly and revising them if necessary ensures that your organization’s policies incorporate any changes in relevant legislation and that they continue to reflect best practices in HR management.1

    When reviewing your organization’s HR management policies, keep the following questions in mind:2

    • Have there been any changes in legislation that impact this policy?
    • How effective has this policy been since it was implemented?
    • What kinds of feedback have you received about this policy from staff?
    • Is the policy accomplishing what it was created to accomplish?

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. Step 8: Policy Review and Update,” Developing HR Policies in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
  • Standard D4 Explained

    Definition: Compensation Policy1
    A compensation policy documents the organization’s philosophy and direction with regard to rewarding its employees.

    Why is it essential to have a compensation structure that fairly evaluates and compensates the value of each position? Your organization’s compensation structure reflects and influences its work culture.2 The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector suggests that compensation structures consider both internal and external equity and that all salary ranges be reviewed at least every two years or when there are significant changes to an employee’s job description.2 Although nonprofit organizations have traditionally paid lower salaries than private companies, trends toward increasing professionalism in the sector require organizations to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages in order to attract and retain employees with the right skills and expertise.3 In developing competitive compensation packages for employees, nonprofits and charities should consider the salaries of comparable positions in other nonprofit organizations, the public sector, and the private sector. It is important to remember that compensation involves much more than cash, including health benefits, pension, vacation, professional development opportunities, flex time, working hours,2 and cost of living adjustment.4

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
    2. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    3. “Compensation: The Inside Scoop on Nonprofit Payrolls,” Julie Stauffer, Charity Village, August 15th 2011.
    4. In Fort McMurray, Alberta, certain nonprofit staff positions qualify for a cost of living adjustment depending on the source of funding.
  • Standard D5 Explained

    Why is it important for all employees to have written job descriptions? A formal job description lists all the activities and competencies required for a position and creates a structure with which to assess individual performance.1 A comprehensive and thoughtfully written job description is an essential communication tool that can help your organization recruit the best person for the job by clearly outlining the opportunities the role has to offer as well as what is required to succeed in the job.2 In addition to assisting with recruitment and selection, job descriptions play an important role in employee orientation, training, supervision, compensation, and performance management.3 They can also act as a legal defense if an employee is terminated for performing inadequately in his or her role. 3

    Job descriptions usually include:1

    • A list of the position’s duties, tasks, and responsibilities
    • A description of how the position advances the organization’s goals
    • A list of required experience and competencies
    • Any special requirements (for instance, a police check)
    • A list of key relationships to the organization’s stakeholders

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit,” The Bridgespan Group, 2012.
    3. Job Descriptions,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
  • Standard D6 Explained

    Why do recruitment and selection practices need to be objective and consistent? Ensuring that all potential employees are assessed based on the same criteria ensures that the process of recruiting and selecting employees is fair and professional.1 Criteria for selecting the appropriate candidate should be based on a position’s clearly defined written job description and easy-to-measure indicators to avoid biased assessments of potential candidates.2 Selection processes may include interviews, written assessments, or relevant tests to determine a candidate’s suitability for a position.1 Interviewing can be done in teams to assist with unbiased assessment and to help determine whether a candidate would be a good fit in your organization. Selection and screening methods should focus on the position’s required skills and abilities and must comply with human rights legislation.3

    What does human rights legislation say about job recruitment and selection? The Alberta Human Rights Act protects individuals from discrimination as a result of:4

    • Race 
    • Religious Beliefs
    • Colour
    • Gender
    • Physical Disability 
    • Mental Disability
    • Ancestry 
    • Age
    • Place of Origin 
    • Marital Status
    • Source of Income 
    • Family Status
    • Sexual Orientation

    In spite of this, a study of HR management in small nonprofit organizations found that 3 out of 18 violated human rights legislation in their interview process. For instance, interview questions asking whether a candidate has a spouse or children were used as a way to gauge whether an interviewee would really be able to work overtime, while marital status and family status are both protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act.5

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. “Recruitment,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    3. “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011, p. 10.
    4. “Selection & Hiring,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    5. “Protected Areas and Grounds Under the Alberta Human Rights Act,” Alberta Human Rights Commission, February 2012.
  • Standard D7 Explained

    Why is it important to give a letter of employment to all individuals who are offered a position? Although many organizations prefer to extend offers of employment in person or over the phone,1 a formal letter of employment allows an organization to clearly communicate its expectations to new recruits, ensuring that they comprehend the terms of their employment2 including salary, benefits, reporting and supervision relationships, as well as any conditions related to the offer. A letter of employment not only ensures shared understanding between your organization and a potential employee, but creates a formal record that the terms of employment are fully understood.

    What should be included in a letter of employment?3

    • Start date of employment
    • Job title
    • Starting salary or wage range
    • Hours of work
    • Notice period for resignation and termination
    • Probationary terms
    • Instructions on how to accept the offer of employment
    • Any requirements for criminal records checks, security clearance, etc.
    • Description of employee benefits
    • Conditions of the offer if applicable
    • Reporting or supervisory relationships
    • Accommodation needs as agreed during the recruitment process if applicable
    • Information on how to access HR policies and confirmation that the employee must adhere to them
    • End date of employment for fixed term positions
    • Reference to union status if applicable
    • Cost of living allowance if applicable4

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section D: Staff Management,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Extending an Offer,” Nonprofit Hiring Toolkit,” The Bridgespan Group, 2012.
    2. “Selection & Hiring,” Getting the Right People, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    3. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector.
    4. In Fort McMurray, Alberta, certain nonprofit staff positions qualify for a cost of living adjustment depending on the source of funding.
  • Standard D8 Explained

    Why is it essential for employees to be provided with appropriate orientation and training? Orientation improves an employee’s performance, strengthens their commitment to their organization,1 and can promote staff retention.2 An effective orientation process not only conveys the practical information a new employee will require to succeed in their role, but should also familiarize him or her with the organization’s social environment and its unique culture.2 Although orientation should begin as soon as an employee takes on a new position, it can take up to a year depending on the role.1

    New recruits to your organization may also need to undergo some form of training before they can fully take on their new role. Effective training improves an employee’s ability to contribute to organizational goals, to deal with challenges and change, and to manage or work on new initiatives.3 Training also improves staff productivity, motivation, and retention, and leads to a decreased need for supervision.3

    Orientation can include information on:1

    • HR management policies
    • Information on employee benefits
    • The organization’s mission
    • The organization’s governance, management, and reporting structures
    • The organization’s funding structure
    • The organization’s programs and services
    • Expectations of the job
    • Resources available to support the employee
    • Roles and responsibilities of volunteers and staff
    • The organization’s culture and values2
    • The organization’s stakeholders (clients, donors, board, media, etc.)

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
    2. “Orientation,” Getting the Right People,” in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    3. “Getting Your Organization Ready for Employee Training and Development,” Learning, Training and Development, in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
  • Standard D9 Explained

    Why is it important for organizations to have a work plan or performance objectives? Work plans and/or performance objectives are a key ingredient of any performance management process and can help employees to be more effective in their roles.1 Individual work plans and performance objectives should align with your organization’s strategic plans and annual work plans.2 This will ensure that your organization is engaging all staff to work toward accomplishing its mission.

    The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector suggests that performance objectives should be SMART:1

    • Specific – clearly articulate what, who, and when
    • Measurable – determine how you will know that the goal has been accomplished, using multiple measures if possible and addressing both qualitative and quantitative factors
    • Attainable – develop goals that can reasonably be accomplished
    • Realistic – goals should align with an employee’s experience and abilities as well as recognize complexity, including factors outside the employee’s control
    • Time-bound – set clear expectations for the time by which the goal should be accomplished

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Performance Management,” in the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector’s HR Toolkit.
    2. HR Management Standards: Second Edition,” HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2011.
  • Standard E1 Explained

    Why does your organization need policies and procedures related to volunteer involvement? Policies and procedures formalize roles and responsibilities, ensuring that they are understood and carried out consistently throughout your organization.1 Having formal policies and procedures in place related to volunteer involvement demonstrates your organization’s commitment to supporting its volunteers.2 Policies and procedures are also an important component of risk management, clarifying expectations and guiding action and decision-making.3 By helping to ensure that your volunteer program is run effectively, policies and procedures can improve volunteer retention, productivity, and satisfaction.3

    Policies and procedures related to volunteer involvement must comply with national and provincial / territorial legislation including legislation protecting human rights, privacy of information, and employment standards.1

    Which volunteer involvement policies and procedures does your organization need? In developing volunteer involvement policies, it is helpful to carefully consider why your organization involves volunteers.2 According to your organization’s needs, you may develop policies and procedures related to:1 

    • Volunteer roles
    • Screening of volunteers
    • Grounds for dismissal of volunteers
    • Volunteer recruitment
    • Volunteer orientation and training
    • Reimbursement of volunteers’ expenses
    • Support and supervision of volunteers 
    • Insurance coverage for volunteers 
    • Equal opportunities 
    • Health and safety 
    • Conflict resolution 
    • Confidentiality

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
    2. “Writing a Volunteer Policy,” Volunteering Good Practice Guide, Volunteer Center, Brighton and Hove, 2009.
    3. “Policies and Procedures,” Linda L. Graff, December 2009.
  • Standard E2 Explained

    Why does my organization need to designate at least one person to be responsible for volunteer involvement? Over the past two decades, changes in patterns of giving and volunteering in Canada have prompted nonprofit and charitable organizations to increasingly incorporate management principles into their volunteer programs.1 Recruiting, coordinating, and managing volunteers is a complex responsibility that requires a particular skill set,2 including knowledge of human resource management principles and an understanding of the value of volunteering.3 The National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations found that having a designated paid employee responsible for volunteer involvement was the most significant variable affecting an organization’s ability to effectively engage volunteers in its work.1

    Individuals responsible for volunteer involvement often play a role in:1

    • Volunteer recruitment
    • Matching volunteers with volunteer opportunities
    • Volunteer orientation and training
    • Interviewing and screening volunteers
    • Assessing the risks involved in an organization’s volunteer program
    • Supervising volunteers

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. Managers of Volunteers: A Profile of the Profession,” Fataneh Zarinpoush, Cathy Barr, and Jason Moreton, Imagine Canada, 2004.
    2. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
    3. Noble et al., 2003 cited in “Managers of Volunteers: A Profile of the Profession,” Fataneh Zarinpoush, Cathy Barr, and Jason Moreton, Imagine Canada, 2004.
  • Standard E3 Explained

    Why is it important for volunteer assignments to relate to the mission of your organization? Nonprofit and charitable organizations depend on volunteers to achieve their missions.1 In order to ensure that volunteers contribute to accomplishing your organization’s goals, your volunteer involvement strategy should align with your organization’s strategic direction and its plan for disbursing its resources.1

    Volunteers are most often drawn to your organization because they are passionate about its cause and feel that their contribution will help your organization to achieve its mission.2 Volunteers who understand how their work impacts the organization’s strategic goals are more likely to strive to accomplish their roles effectively.3

    Why is it important for volunteer assignments to engage volunteers in meaningful ways that reflect their abilities, needs, and backgrounds? Volunteers are busy people. Employed Canadians and those with children living at home volunteer at higher rates than others, and younger Canadians (between 15 and 44) volunteer more than pre-retirees or seniors.4 Volunteer time is a valuable resource, and volunteers are unlikely to want to spend it in a position that is not engaging and rewarding.2 Often, volunteers are looking for a role that will help them to develop skills, to use their existing skills to contribute to a cause they care deeply about,5 or to increase their employment opportunities.3 They may also be looking for a meaningful way to spend their time that enriches the community, the organization, and themselves.5

    Overall, today’s volunteers have higher expectations of their roles and less time to contribute than they have in the past.3 As such, aligning volunteer opportunities with an individual’s abilities, needs, and background will ensure that your volunteers are best able to contribute to your organization while at the same time satisfying their reasons for volunteering.

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012, p. 13.
    2. Volunteer Role Design: The Key to Your Volunteer Program,” Cheryl Humphrey-Pratt, RCVO @ Volunteer Alberta, 2006, p. 1.
    3. A Matter of Design: Job Design Theory and Application to the Voluntary Sector,” Volunteer Canada, 2001, p. 4.
    4. Volunteering in Canada,” Mireille Vézina and Susan Crompton, Statistics Canada, April 16th 2012, p. 40.
    5. Volunteer Recruitment,” Cheryl Humphrey-Pratt, RCVO @ Volunteer Alberta, 2006, p. 2.
  • Standard E4 Explained

    Why is it important for organizations to involve a diverse volunteer base? Community organizations serve diverse communities. A 2012 Statistics Canada study, Giving and Volunteering Among Canada’s Immigrants, reports that almost 1 in 5 Canadians is an immigrant.1 For many new Canadians, volunteering is a primary venue for integrating socially and economically into their communities.1

    Volunteer Canada’s Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement states that a “healthy organization” will seek to involve volunteers who reflect the diversity of the community.2 Cultivating a diverse volunteer base will improve your organization’s ability to effectively serve its community by increasing access to the skills and knowledge needed to design programs, develop policies, and make connections in your community.3

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. 28 “Giving and Volunteering Among Canada’s Immigrants,” Derrick Thomas, Statistics Canada, May 17th 2012.
    2. 30 “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
    3. “A Guide for Cultural Competency Application of the Canadian Code,” Ontario Volunteer Center Network, July 2009.
  • Standard E5 Explained

    Why is it essential to establish appropriate screening processes for volunteers? The primary purpose of volunteer screening is to ensure a safe environment for your organization’s clients, staff, and volunteers.1 Organizations working with vulnerable populations in particular have a moral and legal obligation to screen volunteers, as stated in the concept of “Duty of Care,” which requires organizations to enact reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their beneficiaries.1

    Screening is essential to manage the risks associated with your organization’s volunteer program. However, it also accomplishes other goals such as helping to match volunteers with appropriate volunteer opportunities.1

    What does an effective screening process involve? Screening should be an ongoing process for all volunteers, and procedures must apply equally to all individuals within a particular role. Appropriate screening processes should be developed based on the level of risk associated with each volunteer role.2 For instance, a volunteer who will be supervising children will require a different screening process than a volunteer who will be collecting tickets at the registration table of a fundraising event.2

    Depending on the position, screening may involve an application form, interviews, reference checks and / or a police records check, orientation to a new position, and supervision and evaluation.3

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Screening,” Volunteer Canada.
    2. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
    3. Best Practice Guidelines for Screening Volunteers,” Public Safety Canada, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2008.
  • Standard E6 Explained

    Why is it essential for volunteers to be provided with appropriate orientation and training? In order to be effective in their roles, new volunteers or volunteers who are taking on new responsibilities must receive adequate orientation and training. Orientation familiarizes volunteers with your organization’s policies and procedures and will help them to act in alignment with your organization’s values and practices.1 In this respect, orientation is an important component of volunteer screening, especially when volunteers are new to their positions.2 Training helps ensure that volunteers are able to perform their roles effectively and minimizes potential risks posed to themselves and others.1

    How can my organization effectively train its volunteers? Linda Graff suggests that in developing training opportunities for volunteers, nonprofit and charitable organizations:3

    • Consider the learning needs of their volunteers, keeping in mind current knowledge levels about the topic as well as learning styles and levels of engagement
    • Involve the volunteers themselves in the development of training opportunities to ensure that the training meets their needs
    • Create clear and attainable learning objectives so that everyone is clear on the purpose of the training and has realistic expectations for learning
    • Incorporate opportunities to apply the learning, recognizing that adult learning is facilitated by applying new concepts

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
    2. Best Practice Guidelines for Screening Volunteers,” Public Safety Canada, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2008; “Safe Steps: A Volunteer Screening Process,” Volunteer Canada, 2001.
    3. “Designing and Structuring Volunteer Training,” Linda Graff, November 2009.
  • Standard E7 Explained

    Why is it important for volunteers to be given regular opportunities to offer and receive feedback? Feedback is a “direct response, positive or negative, to an activity performed in the interest of the organization.”1 Providing feedback to volunteers is most effective if it is immediate, ongoing, and if it comes from the volunteer’s most direct staff contact in the organization.1 Providing feedback to volunteers is an integral part of volunteer recognition, and can be an important strategy for helping volunteers to achieve their goals, especially if volunteers are seeking to build skills to enhance their employment opportunities.1

    It is also essential to provide frequent opportunities for volunteers to share their experiences in their roles with other members of your organization. Collecting feedback from volunteers related to their assignments as well as to broader organizational issues can help you improve your volunteer program as well as other aspects of your organization’s operations.2

    Why is it important for volunteers to receive supervision appropriate to their role? Supervision helps ensure that volunteers are accomplishing their roles in an appropriate and professional manner.1 Supervision arrangements should be determined according to the level of complexity and risk associated with a role.3 Effective supervision can improve the motivation and sense of belonging of your organization’s volunteers.3 It also increases the likelihood that they will perform their roles well and contribute to achieving your organization’s mission.3

    In addition, supervision of volunteers builds relationships, supports them in their assignments, and creates a steady flow of communication between volunteers and supervisors.2 If supervision uncovers a poor fit between a volunteer and a volunteer assignment, this provides an opportunity to adjust the job description or reassign the volunteer to a different role.2

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. A Matter of Design: Job Design Theory and Application to the Voluntary Sector,” Volunteer Canada, 2001.
    2. “Best Practice 8: Providing Supervision,” in Best Practices in Volunteer Management: An Action Planning Guide for Small and Rural Nonprofits, Jennifer Ellis, Volunteer Canada, 2005.
    3. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
  • Standard E8 Explained

    Why is it important to acknowledge the contributions of volunteers? Recognizing the efforts of volunteers is one of the most important ways for your organization to retain current volunteers and attract new ones.1 Recognition demonstrates your organization’s gratitude for the work of its volunteers, helping volunteers to feel that they are an integral part of your organization and that their contributions are valued.2 In turn, this increases volunteer morale and productivity.2 Recognition should occur formally and informally, internally and publicly, and should be meaningful to the individual volunteer.3

    How can your organization effectively recognize the contributions of its volunteers? Volunteer Canada suggests that organizations implement the following best practices in volunteer recognition:1

    • Prioritize volunteer recognition – make volunteer recognition an official part of someone’s role in your organization
    • Recognize volunteers often – say thank-you frequently and ensure that the contributions of volunteers are acknowledged consistently
    • Recognize volunteers in a variety of ways – recognition should be both formal and informal, ranging from informal thank-you’s and treats to formal awards presentations, dinners, guest speakers, and sharing organizational milestones including how volunteers have contributed to achieving organizational goals
    • When recognizing volunteers, be sincere – meaningfully reflect on and acknowledge the contributions of volunteers to your organization
    • Focus on the individual, not the end result of their work – phrase recognition to emphasize the individual’s contribution, for instance “you did a great job” as opposed to “this is great work”
    • The form of recognition should be appropriate to the volunteer’s contribution – an informal thank-you might be appropriate for a month of service, whereas 10 years of service might be honoured with a dinner or plaque
    • Be consistent – establish standards for volunteer recognition and understand that the ways in which volunteers are recognized establishes expectations in other volunteers 
    • Be timely – recognize volunteers when they have made a significant achievement. Delaying acknowledgement can diminish its meaningfulness
    • Be unique – get to know your volunteers in order to understand what kinds of recognition would be most meaningful for them as individuals

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. “Best Practices in Volunteer Recognition,” Volunteer Canada.
    2. “Volunteer Recognition: Matching Motivation to Rewards,” Cheryl Humphrey-Pratt, RCVO @ Volunteer Alberta, 2006.
    3. “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
  • Standard E9 Explained

    Why is it important to evaluate the impact and contributions of your organization’s volunteers and volunteer program? Evaluating your organization’s volunteer program allows you to measure the impact of volunteers within your organization and to determine whether you are meeting the program’s goals.1 It also helps you to track the quality of volunteers’ experiences and to uncover aspects of your volunteer program that may need improvement.1 Evaluating your volunteer program provides for informed decision making and facilitates the growth and development of your program.1

    Evaluations of volunteer programs should review the program’s goals and objectives, collect feedback from volunteers and clients, and use qualitative and quantitative data to review the impact of volunteer involvement in your organization.2

     

    From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section E: Volunteer Involvement,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

    1. 62 “Evaluating Your Volunteer Programme,” Volunteering Good Practice Guide, Volunteer Center, Brighton and Hove, 2009.
    2. 65 “The Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement: Values, Guiding Principles, and Standards of Practice,” Volunteer Canada, 2012.
  • Stephen Faul

    Vice-President, Strategic Communications & Business Development, Imagine Canada

    Stephen FaulPrior to Imagine Canada, Stephen served as the Executive Director of Second Harvest, an organization which collects fresh, perishable food and distributes it to more than 200 social services agencies throughout Toronto. He also worked in management capacities with Operation Eyesight; Scarborough Community Care Access Centre; Schizophrenia Society of Canada, and a number of other nonprofit organizations.

    Stephen holds a certificate in marketing for nonprofit organizations from Carlton University and a diploma from Centennial College in radio and television journalism.

  • Stephen Faul

    Vice-President, Strategic Communications & Business Development, Imagine Canada

    Stephen FaulPrior to Imagine Canada, Stephen served as the Executive Director of Second Harvest, an organization which collects fresh, perishable food and distributes it to more than 200 social services agencies throughout Toronto. He also worked in management capacities with Operation Eyesight; Scarborough Community Care Access Centre; Schizophrenia Society of Canada, and a number of other nonprofit organizations.

    Stephen holds a certificate in marketing for nonprofit organizations from Carlton University and a diploma from Centennial College in radio and television journalism.

  • Subordinate activities

    Activities are subordinate if they that are subservient to a charity's charitable purpose or are a minor focus of the charity in relation to its entire program of activities.

  • Substantially all

    The Canada Revenue Agency generally considers “substantially all” to mean 90% or more.

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