Five Good Ideas ®

Risk Management for Not-for-Profit Organizations and Charities

Published on 24/11/2010

As a director or officer of a registered charity or not-for-profit organization, there are a myriad of laws and regulations that you need to comply with in order to manage risk for your organization. You need to be aware of the corporate law that governs your not-for-profit organization, the income tax law that governs a registered charity if you are also a charity, and Ontario provincial law that governs the operations of charities in Ontario, among others. This session focused on risk management for charities and not-for-profits operating in Ontario.

A cautionary note

The foregoing text and video are provided for general information purposes only. It is neither intended as, nor should be considered, legal advice and readers and viewers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted. © McMillan LLP 2010.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Understand your mandate and do not stray from it
  2. Decide whether you need directors and officers liability insurance
  3. Be ready for the new not-for-profit legislation
  4. Be familiar with new Canada Revenue Agency Fundraising policy
  5. Be familiar with the parameters of legitimate political advocacy for your charity


  1. Primer for Directors of Not-for-Profit Corporations published by Industry Canada.
  2. Ontario Regulation 4/01 under the Charities Accounting Act (Ontario), R.S.O. 1190, c.C.10
  3. Articles by Wayne D. Gray of McMillan LLP published in:
    a) Corporate Brief, CCH, August 2008, Number 168 “Bill C-62 (Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act) Canadian not-for- profit (“NFP”) corporate law may soon leap forward 89 years”; and
    b) Corporate Brief, CCH, June 2010, Number 190 “More Help coming for Those who Help Others: Bill 65 (Ontario Not-for- Profit Corporations Act, 2010)”
  4. Canada Revenue Agency, Policy Statement on Fundraising:
    a) Guidance CPS-028 – Fundraising by Registered Charities
    b) Additional Information on Guidance
  5. Canada Revenue Agency, Policy Statement, Political Activities, CPS-022, September 2, 2003

McMillan LLP

This Five Good Ideas session was made possible by the generous support of McMillan LLP.

Sheila Crummey

Partner, McMillan LLP

Sheila Crummey, a partner with McMillan, has been certified as a specialist in estates and trusts law by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Her years
of working as a senior tax manager in a national accounting firm have given her broad experience in tax planning, particularly for business owners. Her charities and not-for-profit practice involves providing advice to individuals on structuring tax-effective philanthropy. She also advises public charitable and not-for-profit organizations, as well as private family foundations, on a range of issues including governance matters, regulatory compliance and risk management. Sheila is a frequent speaker on topics related to estate planning at events sponsored by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Bar Association.