You do not have to be a Christian or a member to benefit from a wealth of free resources available from the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) (should you choose to join however, memberships, which include deep discounts on office supplies, begin at $30 for registered charities). In a recent free downloadable special edition of their newsletter, the CCCC provided some particularly useful information. These two to three-page articles, written in a reader-friendly style, would be of value to any not-for-profit organization:

  • Duties and Responsibilities of a Director
  • Creating Effective Board Committees
  • Taming Conflict at the Board Table
  • Understanding and Reading Financial Statements
  • What Should be Included in the Board Minutes
  • Conflict of Interest: A Matter of Integrity
  • Facing the Risk: Liability Insurance 101

Three of the articles should be must-reads for any new board member:

  • The Duties, Responsibilities, and Liabilities of a Director article clearly sets-out a director’s/board member’s:
    • Duties and responsibilities of honesty, loyalty, care, and diligence
    • Liabilities such as breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust
    • Other liabilities including unpaid wages, payroll deductions, and GST/HST
    • How to protect yourself from liability


  • Facing the Risk: Liability Insurance 101 in two-pages summarizes:
    • The coverage provided by Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance and Directors and Officers (D&O) Liability insurance
    • The risks that are not covered by CGL and D&O insurance
    • Other forms of liability coverage an association may require

The author’s conclusion is that “more than one type of coverage is required to protect against the full range of insurable risk.”

Our website has an article that details why every association needs to have at least CGL and D&O insurance in an earlier article Exposures facing Directors and Officers of Non-Profit Organizations.

More detailed information is available, at no-cost, from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) in two different publications: 20 Questions Directors Should Ask About Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Indemnification and Insurance (includes Not-for-Profit Organizations supplement) and 20 Questions Directors of Not-for-profit Organizations Should Ask about Risk.

  • Understanding and Reading Financial Statements is an article that fulfills its goal of providing “basic information on reading and understanding key financial documents [so that] everyone at the table can understand financial statements and contribution their own analysis” as it relates to the financial health of the organization.”CICA also provides at no-cost A Guide to Financial Statements of Not-for-profit Organizations: Questions for Directors to Ask that is intended to be “a practical publication that can be used by directors of not-for-profit organizations as a guide to navigating financial statements and directors’ duties surrounding their organization’s financial affairs.”

CCCC’s signature publication is its Charities Handbook: The Comprehensive Guide for Charities. “The Charities Handbook provides a comprehensive reference tool to help boards and staff navigate through legal and accounting issues.” You can view its Table of Contents and its first chapter “Establishing a Canadian Charity” online.