Are you a board member of a smaller not-for-profit organization, looking to enhance your contribution to the board, to address governance issues and to improve the governance practices in the organization? This course will provide you with the practical guidance you need to become a governance champion on your board, regardless of the size of the organization. This course describes the unique challenges that this sector, and in particular, smaller organizations face. It discusses the various governance models that organizations use and determines whether there is an ideal model that smaller not-for-profits should be using. The instructor illustrates signs of governance problems and success factors using real life governance case studies. The course ends with detailed practical guidance on governance best practice ideas at the board, management and staff/operational levels. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Define governance and its components.
  2. Explain why good governance is critical for the success of every organization, no matter how big or small.
  3. Describe the unique challenges of the not-for-profit sector and smaller organizations.
  4. Describe the differences between types of governance models found in the not-for-profit sector and determine which is the best.
  5. Explain the Governance as Leadership model.
  6. Identify signs of governance problems using case studies.
  7. Identify success factors using case studies.
  8. Identify best practices at the board, management and staff/operational levels.

Topics Covered

  • Definition and components of governance
  • Director’s responsibilities 
  • Challenges in the not-for-profit sector
  • Key differences between public and private not-for-profit organizations
  • Types of governance models, including hands-on model, traditional model, policy model and policy-leadership model
  • Governance failure case studies
  • Signs of governance problems
  • Governance success case studies
  • Governance success factors
  • Board responsibilities, evaluation, size, composition, recruitment, renewal, continuing education
  • Management responsibilities, evaluation, strategic planning, risk management
  • Board and committee mandates, plain language communication, effective meetings,
    employee engagement, capacity building

It is advised to only register in one of 4 governance courses available on this platform, as there is overlap in some course material.

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Good references given in this course.


Founder and Lead Instructor, UltimQuest Knowledge Inc.

Arun K. Mathur, FCPA, FCA, LPA

Arun is Partner at Gerald Duthie & Co. LLP, where he provides professional services to a diverse group of clients. Arun is also Owner and Lead Instructor at UltimQuest Knowledge Inc. He has been delivering corporate training on improving governance, ethics, internal control, performance measurement and related topics. He provides live and online training through CPA bodies across Canada and Bermuda. Arun served for several years on the Board for HealthForce Ontario Marketing and Recruitment Agency, and was also Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee there and for the Trillium Gift of Life Network. He has served on the CMA Ontario's Review Committee prior to the merger.