The Board of Directors makes decisions affecting the overall well being of March of Dimes Canada (referred to as MODC). Decisions reflecting social policy or government relations perspectives are recorded and maintained in the Social Policy Manual. Decisions such as approval of annual plans or budget, are operational and available in recorded minutes of meetings. Governance policies are maintained in the Board Manual. The following governance policies have been approved by the Board and are regularly reviewed. The specific policy details follow this page.
- Accessibility Policy
- AODA Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
- Confidentiality Policy
- Conflict of Interest Policy and Declaration
- Corporate Relations Policy
- Endowment Fund Policy
- Ethical Fundraising Financial Accountability Policy
- Gifts-In-Kind Policy
- Investment Policy
- Languages Policy - Official & Other Languages Policy
- Line of Credit Policy
- Multicultural Policy
- Non Discrimination, Anti-Racism & Diversity Policy
- Personal Information Protection (Privacy) Policy
- Planned Giving Policy
- Quality Services Policy
- Enterprise Risk Management Policy
- Stabilization, Capital Reserve & Liquidity Policy
- Code of Conduct Policy
March of Dimes Canada facilities, whether leased, rented, or owned, must be physically accessible to individuals with disabilities. Building features must conform to the provincial building code, and where possible, additional amenities i.e. access features for blind and deaf persons should be incorporated.
AODA Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
March of Dimes Canada is committed to working towards full compliance with all standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) as they are introduced. In doing so, we affirm out commitment to providing quality services in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities. The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan outlines the policies, achievements and actions that March of Dimes Canada and its subsidiaries will put in place to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. The current plan covers a five-year period (2013-2018), to align with our strategic plan.
March of Dimes Canada’s staff and Directors/volunteers must observe the policy on confidentiality of information and sign a statement agreeing to this policy. Directors and officers of a non-profit organization have certain rights, duties and obligations to the organization, its members and to the public generally.
Some of the duties and obligations are based on common law, while others are founded in statute. Generally speaking, directors and officers are charged with a common law duty of care on the basis that they are acting in a “fiduciary” relationship with the organization. This duty requires the director or officer to act loyally, honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the organization and to avoid personal profit or conflict of interest. It is within this framework that a general duty of confidentiality exists. The organization, it’s directors/officers, employees and other representatives are each responsible to ensure they act in accordance with ethical standards with a commitment to integrity and discretion at all times.
Conflict of Interest Policy
The policy on conflict of interest, which applies legally to employees, directors and other volunteers of March of Dimes Canada, is detailed below. This policy will provide guidance to Directors and volunteers (or committee members) to avoid actual or perceived conflict. Conflict of interest is a broad term used to describe situations where the actions, choices, or personal circumstances of directors, other volunteers, or employees, actually or potentially place their private and personal interests in competition with or in opposition to those of March of Dimes Canada. Individuals who are uncertain about whether or not their personal circumstances create a conflict are urged to obtain clarification as appropriate from the Chair or President and CEO. Legal counsel advises that if you perceive there may be a conflict, in all likelihood there is potential for conflict, and this should be declared.
Corporate Relations Policy
March of Dimes Canada will establish relationships with corporations or other commercial interests to promote March of Dimes Canada programs and services, but not for the purpose of product endorsement or representation to Government for specific product approval. Co-branding or corporate recognition will follow these guidelines.
Endowment Fund Policy
The Board wished to establish a separate Endowment Fund from which it can draw money to seed new activities or fund those not now established.
March of Dimes Canada Endowment Fund will hold all one time or extraordinary revenue received from the March of Dimes Canada Deferred Giving Program (Bequests) and any other source designated by the Board in the future.
Ethical Fundraising & Financial Accountability Policy
In order to be recognized by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy as having adopted the Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code, the Board of Directors of March of Dimes Canada must pass the following motion as a formal resolution, and review this on an annual basis.
March of Dimes Canada hereby adopts the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code as its policy. In so doing, members of the governing board commit to being responsible custodians of donated funds, to exercise due care concerning the governance of fundraising and financial reporting, and to ensure to the best of their ability that the organization adheres to the provisions of the Code. It is hereby confirmed that each member of the governing board has received a copy of the Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code and that a copy will also be provided to each person who is subsequently elected to the governing board.*
The Board wished to invest general operating funds above the monthly cash flow requirement to obtain the maximum return in accordance with investment guidelines.
All funds generated by the organization’s deferred giving program as outlined in the Board’s Endowment Fund Policy will be invested to obtain the maximum return in accordance with the investment guidelines. All principal and revenue earned will be invested until the fund balance reaches $1,000,000 in accordance with the direction received to date. At this level, income earned will be held in liquid investments, pending direction from the Board on the disposition of these funds. Funds designed by the Board in accordance with the Board’s Mortgage sinking Fund Policy will be invested to obtain the maximum return in accordance with the investment guidelines. The fund will be used to reduce the mortgage liability of the organization in November, 1999.
Official and Other Languages Policy
March of Dimes Canada will meet its obligations under the French Language of Services Act. MODC shall offer services and/or materials in French in “designated” or “identified” areas as may, from time to time, be required by legislation or regulation. In the absence of such legislation, services and/or materials shall be provided in French on a discretionary basis, based on demand and available resources. In principle, MODC shall attempt to have general materials available in both official languages. March of Dimes Canada may offer services or provide materials in other languages where the population of clients or potential clients using languages other than French or English is significant, and where resources are available.
March of Dimes Canada recognizes the multicultural nature of the Canadian society. It also recognizes that adults with disabilities of diverse ethno-racial groups often encounter barriers to their full participation in society. March of Dimes Canada is committee to reflect in its structure and activities the diversity of ethno-racial groups. We also encourage the entire community to participate in and benefit from our programs and services that are directed at adults with disabilities.
Non Discrimination, Anti-Racism & Diversity Policy
The Board of Directors identified the need for awareness and training in the area of anti racism in 1994, and the Nominating and Development Committee responded with an initial workshop in March 1995. In July 1996 a further training session was held, and a survey circulated to all committees of the Board for their input. In 1997 United Way advised that they had implement an Anti Racism policy and expected all organizations which received funds from them to do the same. MODC’s Non Discrimination, Anti-Racism and Diversity Policy is the outcome of this work, and representative of input from MODC committees across the province. The policy is intended to provide direction to the Board for governance in all activities, with respect to racism, diversity and non-discrimination issues. It is not an operational policy but one of principle for the agency.
March of Dimes Canada recognizes that discrimination and racism are unacceptable. Diversity is desirable, and consistent with the organization’s values in employment and in serving all persons with physical disabilities. The organization aims to create an environment free from discrimination and racism. The Board agrees to uphold the rights afforded to everyone under the Charter of Rights & Freedoms, and to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or cultural background.
Personal Information Protection (Privacy) Policy
March of Dimes Canada (MODC) is committed to protecting the integrity and privacy of ones personal information under our control. Among other things, MODC has adopted the Ethical Fundraising & Financial Accountability Code (Code) developed by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. MODC also has adopted practices and procedures, which give effect to the ten privacy principles contained in the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). MODC staff and volunteers have been trained on these practices and procedures and they have signed confidentiality agreements with MODC. Described below are the policies applicable to the manner in which MODC collects, uses and discloses personal information.
Click here to read the full MODC Personal Information Protection (Privacy) Policy. (PDF)
All MODC programs work under a set of organizational values and philosophy that stresses the outcome of consumer empowerment, and requires consumer control and input, to the greatest extent possible, in the planning and delivery of services as essential to achieve this outcome. As a result, in most programs, consumers are involved in individual service planning. As part of the process of service planning, MODC outlines the responsibilities of both MODC and the consumer in the service delivery process, points of input, and the right to complain or appeal decisions.
Click here to read the full MODC Complaints Policy. (PDF)
Planned Giving Policy
Planned Giving is a reassignment of assets by a donor to a charity. This program is a long-term relationship-building initiative by which a donor can arrange a substantial gift for the future of March of Dimes Canada. The emphasis in this program is on planning and is focused on meeting the needs and objectives of the donor. Planned Giving involves estate and investment planning, the assistance of Allied Professionals (such as estate lawyers, tax accountants, stock brokers, life agents, financial planners and trust officers) and the continued support and stewardship of the charity.
The policy of March of Dimes Canada is to inform, educate, guide or otherwise assist donors who wish to support March of Dimes Canada's programs and activities through a planned gift, but never under any circumstances pressure or unduly persuade the potential donor. March of Dimes Canada encourages contributions of: cash and property, either as outright gifts or through planned giving vehicles that are permitted by Revenue Canada and the laws of the Province of Ontario.
Quality Services Policy
The Board held a workshop on Quality and supported management’s initiative to create a quality service committee and continuous quality improvement program. Policy Statement March of Dimes Canada is committed to the principles and practices of Quality Service Management.
Enterprise Risk Management Policy
March of Dimes Canada is committed to raising awareness of the principal risks that could affect the organization, and to respond proactively to eliminate, transfer, or manage risk. While risk management as a formal process and mandated requirement of the Board is new, the activities of managing risk is already embedded into the day-to-day planning and management activities of MODC. Policies, procedures, planning and reporting cycles, program evaluation, audit, financial reporting, etc. are all basic components of risk management. The Board must understand the principal risks that affect the organization and balance the level of risk to ensure organizational stability, growth and development. The Board is required to know the key risks the organization faces, to set the level of risk it is willing to tolerate in the various components of its operations, and to understand the level and likelihood of risks occurring vs. the costs of controlling the risk. As well, the Board requires regular reporting to be kept informed of key areas of risk and to be assured that management has put into place methods for monitoring risk to ensure that controls are effective and undue levels of risk do not occur.
Stabilization, Capital Reserve & Liquidity Policy
MODC has identified a need to build a cash reserve equivalent to 1 month of expenses. This policy deals with the following issues:
- Cash Reserve Requirements – to address long-term needs.
- Working Capital Requirements – to address current needs
- Capital Reserve – to address major capital needs in the future
- The purpose of a stabilization reserve is to build a cash reserve which would provide MODC with the assurance that monies have been set aside in case they are needed due to unforeseen operating shortfalls. Any withdrawals from the cash reserve would require Board approval.
- The purpose of a liquidity policy is to ensure that MODC can honour all cash outflow commitments on a daily and ongoing basis.
- The purpose of a capital reserve is to build a cash reserve for major capital needs in the future such as roof replacement etc.
Code of Conduct Policy
March of Dimes Canada (referred to as MODC) and its Board of Directors Code of Conduct (referred herein as the “ Directors’ Code”) applies to members of the Board of Directors.
As Directors of MODC, there is a fiduciary duty to serve in the best interest of the organization and its stakeholders. Some of these obligations are based on common law, while others are founded in statute.
It is expected that all members of The Board of Directors will act loyally, honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the organization. Members will make every effort to avoid circumstances, which may be deemed or perceived as being in conflict with the best interests of MODC.