Web Resources


ACLCO has posted these website resources for information purposes only. ACLCO assumes no liability regarding how the resources may be used.  As these resources are located on the world wide web, ACLCO cannot assure protection of your privacy. Please familiarize yourself with the privacy and disclaimer clauses of these resource websites should you have concerns.


Help us out:

If you have ideas about web resources that might be of interest to other clinic board members, or would like to provide us feedback on those posted here please provide us with you comments and/or suggestions through the link provided.

Resources with Specific Board Tools

Maytree Foundation

The Maytree Foundation has a very popular series entitled "5 Good Ideas".  Board members and senior staff grab some lunch and listen to industry or issue experts discuss powerful yet practical ideas on key management issues facing non-profits. Maytree then posts the key points on their website at: http://maytree.com/training/fivegoodideas.

McKinsey & Company

This is a self-assessment tool to help boards evaluate their current performance against promising practices. McKinsey Board Assessment tool.

Note: if the results indicate that there is an area requiring improvement, check out the Bite Size Pieces to see if your board can improve through self-directed learning. 

The Muttart Foundation & the Government of Alberta

The Muttart Foundation has a number of board development workbooks available covering such topics as: Recruitment & Development; Drafting & Revising Bylaws; Developing Board Member Job Descriptions; Hiring and Performance Appraisal of the Executive Director; and Financial Responsibilities of Non-Profit Boards.  You can assess all of these workbooks here: http://www.muttart.org/board_development_workbooks.

Center for Voluntary Sector Research & Development

This study represents a unique database of Canadian non-profit governance practices; identifies trends and issues that affect the governance of Canada's non-profit organizations; provides an inventory of successful board governance practices to address common challenges; and offers some suggestions on ways to measure the accountability of non-profit boards.  It was developed in partnership with the Centre for Voluntary Sector Research & Development. This document can be accessed through the Imagine Canada website: click here.

Community Legal Clinics Self-assessment Tool This self-assessment tool, developed by Legal Aid Ontario's Quality Service Office, provides board members with a framework for reviewing a clinic's governance using specific best practice criteria. It provides a means for identifying clinic governance strengths and areas for improvement, and contains a template for improvement planning.

Primer for Directors of Non Profit Corporations

The 'Primer for Directors of Non Profit Corporations' was commissioned from the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy as part of Industry Canada's consultation work on reforming the Canada Corporations Act. It's a very easy to follow resource for board members who are well-intentioned and time-pressed and who want to know more about their responsibilities. 

At the very beginning it offers the reader a list of Terms and Definitions to guide their reading.  In each chapter it offers a number of Examples and Synopses of the points made for either a quick scan or quick review.  At the end of each chapter it offers a Checklist of the key points made.  

And best of all...at the very end it suggests that board members' best tools are their Board Manual and Self Evaluation techniques. Two tools already available to clinic board members through this website!

Don't let the size of the document scare you off!  An easy way to begin using this Primer is to go to the end of a chapter and review the Checklist. If everything on there jives with your understanding of your role as a board member, then go on to another Checklist at the end of another chapter.  If not, read through the chapter. Better still, save the document to a file and print out all of the checklists (about a dozen pages) and then go through them one at a time and pinpoint those areas where you think you or your board colleagues could use some further knowledge or training and bring it up at your next board meeting.


CPA 20 Question Series

The Chartered Professional Accountants in Canada (CPA) have a series of booklets covering topics of interest to Non-Profit boards.  They include:

Fiduciary Duty: 


Board Recruitment, Development & Assessment


Overseeing the Management of Risk


Human Resources


In Camera Sessions

Here are a number of resources that provide helpful advice on holding In Camera sessions - for the board and its committees:

Dalhousie University published this article by Grant MacDonald entitled In Camera Board Sessions: Careful How You Use Them which does a good job of explaining the value of holding such sessions and also the challenges.

This article from Exchange Magazine on In Camera Meetings by John T. Dinner, covers the misconceptions board members may have about the use of In Camera sessions and how they should be managed. 

The University of Saskatchewan has developed Guidelines for In Camera and Board-only Sessions.  It contains some good definitions and provides some excellent ideas for providing structure and clarity around such sessions.

Resources of General Interest

Center for Voluntary Sector Studies

The Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies (CVSS) was established in May, 1995 in order to provide a focus for much needed research towards understanding the unique problems faced by voluntary organizations and has published material on organizational effectiveness and board governance.

Institute on Governance (IOG)

The Institute On Governance (IOG) is a non-profit organization with charitable status founded in 1990 to promote effective governance. From our perspective, governance comprises the traditions, institutions and processes that determine how power is exercised, how citizens are given a voice, and how decisions are made on issues of public concern.

Altruvest Charitable Services

Altruvest Charitable Services is a registered Canadian charity founded in 1994 by a group of business leaders. Our mission is to expand the talent pool, and enhance the governance skills of charitable sector boards and senior leaders, fostering more effective charities and stronger Canadian communities.

Charity Village

Charity Village  is Canada's online community focused on careers, work life and human resources issues in and around the social profit sector.  There are many resources on this site that would be of interest to clinic board members:


Trebilcock Report

In August of 2007, the Honourable Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario, asked Professor Michael Trebilcock of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law to undertake  a review of the legal aid system in the Province.  Professor Trebilcock reviewed legal aid in Ontario since 1999, focusing on the tools and capacities to maximize effective administration and good governance of the legal aid system.  He was specifically mandated to consider best practices in other jurisdictions, to take into account the historical context of legal aid in Ontario, and to hold such consultations as he considered appropriate.  The link provided takes you to a report which is a comprehensive and very accessible summary of his work and findings:  http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/trebilcock/legal_aid_report_2008_EN.pdf

Miniature Earth Project

As part of this project a very powerful video was developed to help us better understand world population statics: http://www.miniature-earth.com/