A boot camp for non-profit governance

As a member of a non-profit Board of Directors, it is increasingly important in today’s society to have board governance training. Whether you are a director at a national bank or a local food bank, the rules are the same. Non-profit organizations are held accountable to standards that, as a board member, you need to be aware of. This move towards increased accountability and transparency is a reality for non-profit organizations competing in their communities for donor dollars. Gone are the days of donations without questions. Today’s donors are looking at financials, strategic plans and metrics. Which is why a lot of organizations are making it a standard to attend boot camps to learn best practices, good governance principles, and responsibilities of a board member.

As the President of the Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region Foundation Board, I attended the Capacity Canada Board Governance Boot Camp in the Fall of 2015 as a participant. The Boot Camp provided me with an intensive learning experience with some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders. Not only did we learn from the teachings and experiences of our instructors but we were also encouraged to participate through group conversation and facilitator lead activities, furthering our understanding of the principles.

I came away from the Boot Camp with tools to be a better board member and a better leader including, good governance principles, understanding the role of a board member as a strategic thinker and planner, and knowing how to ‘stay out of the weeds’. There were plenty of takeaways that have made immediate impacts on our board and the way we govern.

The experience has also become invaluable in my day-to-day role as Regional Manager at Frank Cowan Company, providing municipalities and not-for-profits with insurance and risk management solutions. This is one of the reasons why it is particularly gratifying to be able to present on risk management at this year’s Boot Camp.

From governance principles to risk management to strategic planning – this Boot Campprovides essential knowledge for any non-profit Board of Directors. Get out of the weeds, don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage in generative thinking!

See you at Boot Camp.



Jessica Jeremchuk B.A., LL.B
Regional Manager
Frank Cowan Company