S1 - Preamble
S2 - Partnerships
S3 - Governance
S4 - Organizational Integrity
S5 - Finances
S6 - Fundrainsing & Communications to the Public
S7 - Management Practices & Human Ressources
S8 - Acheiving Compliance
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Summary
Governance
S 3.1
Raison d'être
Indicators of Compliance
Ethical Questions to ask
Examples of good ethical practice
Examples of poor practice
  1. Each Organization shall be governed fairly and responsibly by an independent, active, and informed governing body (e.g. Board of Directors).

Why
Why

This standard addresses the ethical principles of accountability and transparency. A functioning, responsible volunteer governing body is crucial for any non-profit organization. The governing body is entrusted with the affairs of the Organization and holds legal liability for doing so, regardless of what tasks or decisions it delegates. Effective governing bodies achieve accountability through good governance.

 

The governing body should be elected or appointed through an open and transparent process. Its members should represent enough diversity of knowledge, connections and viewpoints to bring a range of strategic information to decision-making, to allow for debate and to promote positive change. 

 

Members of a governing body often require education on their legal and ethical duties, which include governing in the best interests of the Organization, preparing for meetings and participating fully. 

 

Not all CCIC members have traditional organizational structures with a Board of Directors. For example, some members are international co-operation sub-units of larger organizations, or international development programs of churches and unions. Other smaller organizations operate on a collective model in which all active members form the governance body. In all these situations, it is important that the committee or governance structures meet the same standards of independence and active involvement.

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Indicators of Compliance
Indicators of Compliance
  • The directors maintain their independence by minimizing family and business connections with the Organization and by making informed decisions without undue reliance on staff or other individuals. 
  • The governing body functions as the top level of decision-making, not just as an advisory body.
  • There is a defined quorum for decision-making.
  • There are clear requirements regarding meeting attendance, and a process to deal with excessive absenteeism. 
  • Governing body members receive and review the appropriate information to inform their decision-making.
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Ethical Questions to ask
Ethical Questions to ask
  • Independent: 

    Does the governing body make group decisions without undue influence from any one individual or an inner circle?

  • Active:

    Are there any barriers to active participation by any members of the governing body?

  • Informed:

    Do directors receive, in advance of meetings, sufficient information to prepare them for discussions and decisions?

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Examples of good ethical practice
Examples of good ethical practice
  • Independent:
    Making sure that recommendations from staff, officers and committees are discussed, and not just accepted as presented (i.e. no “rubber-stamping”).

  • Active:
    Using teleconferencing, private e-groups or other means of same-time participation for group decision-making between in-person meetings, to support timely decisions and as an economical alternative to travel.

  • Informed: 
    Scheduling regular education and training items to help the governing body keep current on issues affecting the sector, governance practices, regulatory and funding changes, and organizational programs

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Examples of poor practice
Examples of poor practice
  • Allowing the founder of the Organization to have excessive influence or control over the decisions and overall culture of the governing body, preventing independence in governance (sometimes known as “Founder’s Syndrome”).
  • Not taking action when a director misses most meetings or otherwise fails to uphold his or her obligations as a member of the governing body.