Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With so many Legislative Requirements on Non-Profits, How is an exec to stay on top?

With so many changes that occur in federal legislation on a regular basis, how do associations and non-profits keep up? Often it is best to look outside your organization for assistance. The addition of an unbiased member can prepare your organization for issues that you've never considered.

The proposed changes to non-profit incorporation should remind non-profit and association executives that systematic changes require strategic organizational planning. With revised incorporation regulations and standards, non-profit and association executives must focus on effectively preparing for these changes and guiding their organizations through organizational restructuring. Adding to the mix, the requirements for registration under the Lobbyist Registration Act also require added vigilance.

Ensuring Transparency is Communicated throughout the organization

When I work with non-profit executives concerned about complying with government legislation or simply monitoring what's out there, I advise that legislative change requires strategic planning to effectively communicate with all levels of an organization. From executives down to members, all parties must be involved.

From the perspective of Bill C-4 and the newly proposed transparency requirements placed on non-profit organizations, boards of directors’ roles are sure to be affected. Directors must be aware of these changes. A clearly expressed strategy for communicating these requirements is needed. From the board straight through to the membership, the direction that your organization has undertaken needs to be visible.

The Task at Hand

Like it or not, government regulation is a framework within which most organizations must operate. You cannot afford let legislation derail your mission and it should not be an impedance to your organization’s performance. A well-executed advocacy plan in tandem with expert counsel will prepare your association to succeed within the legislative and regulatory framework. More importantly, the aid of strategic planning will help your organization survive the daunting task of adapting to legislative changes that Bill C-4 will impose on you. It will also ensure you are in compliance with the Lobbyist Registration Act.
Mark Buzan is Principal of Action Strategies, a GR Consultancy for non-profits. If you have questions on how Bill C-4 impacts on your organization, please contact him. Subscribe now to his Lobbying tips newsletter at www.actionstrategies.ca/Action_Strategies/Newsletter.html


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