Should I agree to sit on the Board of a Non-Profit in Canada?

A close friend is starting a Not-for-Profit with the hopes of receiving Charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). She has asked me to be a Director. Should I agree?

Answer: Do you know what becoming a Director of a Not-for-Profit entails? Below are 6 questions you should ask your friend, and another 6 questions you should ask yourself, before you consent to sit on the Board of Directors of a Canadian Not-for-Profit.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE DIRECTORS TO ASK THE ORGANIZATION

 I.        Will the organization be incorporated, and, if so, in what jurisdiction and under what legislation?

II.        Is the corporation primarily for the mutual benefit of its members, or is it primarily for public benefit?

III.        What is the mission of the organization?

IV.        Who will be the members of the corporation?

V.        Who will the corporation serve – the members or some other constituency?

VI.        To whom will we be, as directors, accountable?

 

QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE DIRECTORSTOASK THEMSELVES

I.            Am I committed to the mission of the organization?

II.            Can I contribute the time necessary to be an effective board member?

III.            Am I comfortable with the approach and tone of the organization’s fundraising efforts?

IV.            Can I contribute financial support consistent with the organization’s expectations of board members and with my own means and priorities?

 V.            Can I place the organization’s purposes and interests above my own professional and personal interests when making decisions as a board member?

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