Should you agree to be a director or board member of a Canadian non-profit or registered charity?

It is a big decision and this course covers a number of different matters or issues to carefully consider in order to make the right decision

There are over 600,000 directors of Canadian charities alone. There are many more people in Canada who serve on the boards of non-profits that are not charities. Non-profits and registered charities need to have directors who are capable, caring, connected for these sectors to operate properly.

This course will give you ideas of issues, questions and items to consider before agreeing to be a director or board member of a Canadian charity or non-profit. This course cannot answer the question for you of whether you should join a particular board as it is often a deeply personal and highly fact-specific decision that is sometimes easy to make and sometimes not. However, hopefully, this course will help you make a more informed decision.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Directors are vital for the voluntary sector
  • Every organization is different
  • Are you eligible to be on the board?
  • What is your motivation?
  • Pros of becoming a director
  • Cons of becoming a director
  • Some thoughts on joining an NPO board
  • Due diligence on the organization
  • Consider questions on the organization
  • Consider questions for yourself
  • Is there a “hidden agenda”?
  • Is the fit correct?
  • Do you understand the board role?
  • What are this organization's expectations of board members?

This course may be of interest to people considering joining the board of a non-profit or registered charity in Canada.

Your Instructor

Mark Blumberg
Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at the law firm Blumbergs Professional Corporation (Blumbergs) in Toronto and works almost exclusively advising non-profits and registered charities on their work in Canada and abroad. Mark has written numerous articles, is a frequent speaker on legal issues involving charity and not-for-profit law. He is the editor of a blog,, and created the largest portal of data on the Canadian charity sector, Mark also edits, which provides information on due diligence when selecting charities.

Mark is particularly interested in the regulation of non-profits and charities in Canada, philanthropy, transparency requirements for the voluntary sector, providing accessible information on regulatory issues, and the use of data to make more informed decisions on the charity sector.

Mark is quoted regularly in print media and frequently appears on radio and television on topics relating to philanthropy and the regulation of charities in Canada. Mark has also appeared on a number of occasions in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on topics such as charity regulation, transparency, accountability and tax incentives for philanthropy. Mark has testified at the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and the House Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

Mark has also made presentations to the Charities Directorate Annual All Staff Meeting as well the Annual Divisional Staff Meeting of the Determinations Section of Charities Directorate. Mark presented to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) when the FATF conducted an evaluation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism in Canada in 2015.

Mark sat for 4 years on the Charities Directorate Technical Issues Working Group, which is a bi-annual meeting between the Charities Directorate, the Department of Finance and the charity sector to discuss technical and policy issues pertaining to registered charities and the Income Tax Act (Canada). Mark is a member of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association. Mark spent 6 years on the Advisory Committee for the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) at Carleton University. Mark is on the Board of the Canadian Charity Law Association.

Mark has co-authored 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-Profit Organizations Should Ask About Mergers (Published by CPA Canada) and co-wrote a chapter on International Trends in Government-Nonprofit Relations: Constancy, Change, and Contradictions in Non-profits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict in Non-profits and government: collaboration and conflict (Edited by Elizabeth T Boris and C Eugene Steuerle)

Mark frequently lectures to various industry and professional groups on charity compliance issues including the Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada), as well as CPA Ontario, BC and Alberta, the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Non-profit Network, and many other organizations.

Mark has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of British Columbia and an LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School in Tax Law.

Course Curriculum

  Should you agree to be a director of a Canadian non-profit or registered charity
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Frequently Asked Questions

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The course starts now after you are registered and you have access to the material for 1 month.

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