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 partner at the law firm Blumberg Segal LLP (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 and is the editor of www.CanadianCharityLaw.ca and www.globalphilanthropy.ca™ – Canadian websites dedicated to news about the Canadian charitable sector as well as legal and ethical issues for Canadian charities operating in Canada or overseas.He also manages www.CharityData.ca and www.SmartGiving.ca.

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 appears frequently 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 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 has 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 has testified at the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector and the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance.

Mark served for 4 years on the Charities Directorate's 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 Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict.

Mark lectures frequently 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, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Community Foundations of Canada, Ontario Hospital Association, and Ontario Non-profit Network.

Mark has also presented to and for organizations such as the APRA Canada, CanadaHelps, Canadian Charity Law Association, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network, Canadian Red Cross, Care Canada, Carleton University, Chapel and York, CharityVillage, Circle on Aboriginal Philanthropy, CIVICUS, Charity Law Information Program, various community foundations, the Estate Planning Council of Toronto, Federated Press, Canadian Institute, Humber College, Laidlaw Foundation, Law Society of Upper Canada, OCIC, Osgoode Hall Law School, PAGER, Volunteer MBC, Pillar Nonprofit Network, PWC Canada, RBC Foundation, Regional Diversity Roundtable of Peel, Ryerson University, The Schulich School of Business, Strategy Institute, United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto, United Way Canada, Universite de Montreal, University of Toronto, Vitalize, and World Vision Law Day.

Mark has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of British Columbia and a 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
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now after you are registered and you have access to the material for 1 month.

Get started now!