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Tools 2012 was November 22nd

Tools is presented by Iler Campbell and Prentice Yates & Clark's. This one-day conference for non-profits, charities, co-ops and community groups aims to provide exceptional value and to foster a strong non-profit sector.

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Questions? Comments? Shoot an email to info@toolsconference.ca or phone Iler Campbell at (416) 598-0103 and ask for Fraser.


Each workshop is coded to help you to select sessions best suited to you. Click on a category to highlight those talks belonging to it.


Shared and Separated Leadership between Board and ED: Navigating the boundary

Ruth Armstrong

2011, Brd, ED, FA, HR, Prog


We continue to debate and describe the boundary between the board and the executive director in different ways: oversight vs. operational, direction vs. implementation, policy vs. practice. The general principles are easy to state but challenging to honour. What does it take to engage in shared leadership while respecting the separate duties and responsibilities of board and ED?

How do we navigate a fuzzy boundary that shifts in different circumstances (e.g. new ED, mature organization, small agency)? This session will focus on practical strategies for establishing the right conditions, addressing the inevitable tensions and making the board-ED relationship work. Read less

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Common Employment Issues

Priya Sarin and Laura Bowman

2011, Brd, ED, FA, HR

The employer-employee relationship is occasionally a difficult one. By failing to proactively address potential or existing issues, difficult situations can become unmanageable. This workshop will provide practical advice on how to handle common problems that come up in non-unionized workplaces, including: 1) how to manage poor performance and absenteeism; 2) how to accommodate an individual's illness or disability; 3) how to respond to complaints of harassment or discrimination; and 4) how to properly terminate an employment relationship. Read less

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What you need to know about the new Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act

Lynn Eakin and Shelina Ali

Brd, ED


The new Ontario's Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 is expected to come into force in 2013. The new legislation sets out several key changes for non profit corporations in Ontario including changes to the corporate governance and rights of members of non profit organizations. We will discuss some of the benefits and challenges of the new legislation on non profit organizations and offer some practical guidance on implementation including amending your organization's articles of incorporation and by laws to comply with the new law while also meeting the needs of your organization. Read less

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"HELP! I've received a Human Rights complaint!"

Celia Chandler

2011, Brd, ED, HR, Prog


With recent changes to the Human Rights Code and in particular changes to the process of how complaints are handled, more and more non-profits and co-operatives are receiving complaints and having the tricky job of handling the response. Complaints can tie up an organization and severely damage its reputation. Celia Chandler will explain the new complaints process and present some advice on responding, bringing bring some practical tips for you to make sure you feel more prepared if a human rights complaint lands on your desk. Read less

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How to run a board meeting, and write your minutes, so you stay out of trouble and know what you decided

Paula Boutis

Brd, ED


This workshop will review the basics of running an efficient meeting and how to properly minute your meetings. As lawyers specializing in the non-profit client, we frequently need to review our clients records for various purposes, including litigation purposes. Knowing how to run meetings, and properly minute your decisions is crucial. Workshop leader Paula Boutis has volunteered in the non profit sector for over a decade and is currently the President of a national environmental non-profit organization. She is also frequently litigating the various issues that arise for the firm's non profit clients, and has seen the grief bad minutes can cause. Read less

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Canadian Financial Reporting and Assurance Standards

Liza Gowe

2011, Brd, ED, FA


All not for profit organizations in Canada face a decision in 2012. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) have changed. The old standards have been withdrawn and new ones now apply. Not for profits in Canada will have to choose between International Financial Reporting Standards and Not for Profit Reporting standards. Assurance standards also changed when Canada transitioned to the International Assurance standards. The Canadian Audit Standards (CAS) impact audits of not for profit organizations. This workshop will review both standard changes, assess their impact and discuss strategies for not for profit organizations. Learn what kinds of questions you can expect from your auditor as a result of the new standards and why. Read less

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David Beats Goliath: Engaging through Vision, Values and Community

Claire Prashaw

Drawing on her recent experience of seeking the federal nomination in Jack Layton's Toronto-Danforth riding, Claire will share stories and strategies on engaging youth in our communities. Young people in their teens and 20's will show up and stick around when taken seriously, with good mentors, given real work, valued for who they are now rather than a "pat on the head" and told only they are the future. She will highlight a successful grassroots organizing model and training that has David beating Goliath when we centre on vision, values and community. Read less

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Legal Developments that will Affect your Charity

Ted Hyland , Kirsten Iler and Jessica Weizenbluth

FA, FR, Prog

Non-Profit Legislation Handout Charities and Intermediaries Handout CED Presentation Political Activities Presentation Fundraising Presentation

This session will examine recent changes in legislation and policy guidance of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency that will affect the operations of registered charities. Among the changes that we will examine include the new definition of "political activities" in the Income Tax Act (Canada); changes in federal and Ontario not for profit corporation legislation and their impact on the governance requirements of charities; and the Canada Revenue Agency's guidance on community economic development. Read less

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Internal Controls and Fraud

Liza Gowe

2011, Brd, ED, FA

Presentation Case Study Examples of Laws and Legislations Sample Treasurer's Checklist Sample Bookkeepers Checklists

Is your organization's system of internal controls adequate? Are financial reports generated on a monthly basis? Are you getting the reports you need to make proper financial decisions? What happens in the case of fraud? This interactive workshop will examine the importance of internal control systems for producing financial reports and safeguarding the assets of your organization. Practical case studies will review the various aspects of good control systems and how they lead to timely, accurate and reliable reporting to assist the board of directors in making informed financial decisions. Read less

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Community Capital, Community Values

J.J. McMurtry

Brd, ED, FA, FR


For many non-profits, co-operatives and social enterprises involved in the social economy there is a divide between what we do to generate capital and what we do to produce social value. Some have even argued that there is a fundamental contradiction between the two, or at least an argument that our capital raising activity supports the very systems that create the social problems we address.

While there is general agreement that these "two solitudes" should be blended in some way, they have not in practice been well integrated. This session will outline the history of this divide and critically discuss contemporary innovative solutions to this problem ranging from community bonds to credit unions, crowd sourcing to social/micro financing. It will end with a discussion of various frameworks for measuring and integrating the "two solitudes" of capital and social value in communities from social accounting to ethical value added impact measurement. Read less

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Options Group of Companies: the Beginnings of a Framework to Manage Wealth

Michel Labbe

Brd, ED, FA

Presentation Handouts

The Options Group of Companies has been working on developing a framework that will allow social enterprises to cluster together around wealth creating activities to magnify and accelerate their work making society fairer and more environmentally sustainable. The multigenerational international goals of this association of corporations are to eventually give every child an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, and to make decisions that will see our biosphere surviving intact for the next 10,000 years. This is a chance to look at a broader democratic framework that we all can work within to make an even greater difference and to hear about the successes and failures from the initial stages of this work. Read less

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Beyond grant writing - How to develop a sustainable fundraising program

Cathy Mann

2011, Brd, ED, FR, Prog

Presentation Quick and Dirty Audit Handout Sample Development Plan Simone Joyaux notes Warwick Notes

You're a master at writing grant proposals to raise (usually) project-based funds. But you hear about multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns and think, "If they can do it, why can't we?"

In this session, you'll hear what is required to move your fundraising efforts beyond grant writing to a more diversified program - and if it's right or feasible for your organization. You'll be given a "readiness checklist" to help identify your organization's structural and cultural readiness to establish and maintain a sustainable fundraising program. You'll be given a crash course on what it takes to raise funds in the private sector (I.e. from individuals, corporations, groups and foundations) and what the first steps are to get you there. Read less

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The Ins and Outs of Insurance Coverage and Why it Matters

Tim Kott and Paula Boutis

Brd, ED, FA

Presentation Summary of Cases

Tim Kott of the Co operators will be giving an overview of insurance and risk management needs. Paula Boutis, lawyer with Iler Campbell, will speak to the kinds of governance disputes and sometimes litigation that results in the context of non profits, and why Directors & Officers liability insurance (or lack thereof) can make or break an organization when litigation rears its ugly head. As you will see the scenarios and issues are as varied as the non profit sector. Read less

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