Standard A10 Explained

Definition: Stakeholders1
A stakeholder is a person, group or organization that has a direct or indirect stake in the organization because he/she/it can affect or be affected by the objectives, actions and policies of the organization.

Who are my organization’s stakeholders and why do we need to communicate with them? One of the primary tasks of the nonprofit and charitable board of directors is to communicate openly to its stakeholders, including its members and the broader community it serves.2 The effectiveness of an organization depends on maintaining positive relationships with its stakeholders and on meeting their expectations to the extent that this does not compromise the organization’s mission, values, or strategies.3

An organization’s stakeholders may include:3

  • Members
  • Clients or participants
  • The most senior staff person
  • Employees
  • Volunteers
  • Individual donors
  • Partners
  • Funders
  • Business donors or sponsors
  • The broader community

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

  1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
  2. Primer for Directors of Not-for-Profit Corporations: Rights, Duties, and Practices,” Industry Canada, 2002.
  3. “‘Governance’ in Key Risks & What To Do About Them,” Imagine Canada, 2009.


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