Increasingly funders are interested in governance at charities. For a Canadian charity to receive funds from CIDA for the Partnerships with Canadians Branch such charity must show “must have sufficient experience, strong governance structures and demonstrate the support of Canadians”. If the organization cannot demonstrate good governance then CIDA will not even proceed to evaluate your application.
What is governance from a CIDA perspective?
In the “CIDA-PWCB Partners for Development Program Guidelines” they note:
“3.2 Sound Governance
All organizations must be financially sound and have strong governance structures, including clear mission, fiscal oversight, management capacity and transparent decision-making. To demonstrate sound governance, organizations must meet all the following criteria:
• The organization must have a regularly elected or appointed board of directors, or a governing body under another designation.
• The organization must provide two audited financial statements and management letters (if applicable) covering the past three fiscal years, signed by the board of directors. The latest set of statements must have been completed within 18 months of the application date.
• The average total annual revenues of the organization over the past three years or total unencumbered financial assets under the financial control of the applicant (e.g. endowments) must be greater than the average amount requested from PWCB per year of the project (organizations eligible for in-kind, can use in-kind sources of revenues).
• The organization must have a code of ethics or equivalent document.
• The organization must have an anti-corruption policy or equivalent and have completed the anti-corruption declaration form.
• The organization must complete a Right to Set-off Declaration that demonstrates it does not have any outstanding issues with the Government of Canada.
• The organization must have the institutional capacity to manage the environmental effects of their activities. Provide supporting documentation (or an explanatory note if not applicable).
• The organization must adhere to a gender policy that supports equality between men and women.
Note: Once an organization is deemed eligible, CIDA will also use these documents to determine the degree of fiduciary risk associated with a partnership in order to determine the nature of the funding agreement. The supporting documentation must be uploaded to PARTNERS@CIDA (See section 7 of the application form for the full list of required documents).”
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.