PLEI for Non-Profits Social Innovation Project

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Call for Participants:

Innovative Legal Self-Assessment Diagnostic Tool to be piloted in Spring 2014

The non-profit sector in BC consists of more than 29,000 non-profits generating $11 billion dollars in revenue annually. The sector employs people who provide services and programs that touch virtually every citizen of BC. Yet the sector is invariably struggling financially. The Non Profit and Charities Legal Outreach (NPCLO) was founded to enable the sector to better access legal information, education and advice.

This spring the NPCLO will introduce a new legal self-assessment tool for the non-profit sector. Its aim is to help identify legal flashpoints early and therefore reduce risks associated with any issues that may be present in five areas of law: governance, privacy, leasing/contracts, employment, human rights and CRA compliance.

The self-assessment tool builds upon the curriculum of the successful “Preventing Legal Pitfalls Bootcamp” developed by lawyer Martha Rans (Legal Director of the Artists Legal Outreach (ALO)/NPCLO) and Alison Brewin, consultant. Users of the tool will be better able to identify any gaps in legal compliance and take steps to rectify issues that get flagged in the process.

The tool development and initial pilot is being funded by the City of Vancouver and the Vancity Community Foundation Social Innovation Fund. The project is the second phase in the development of an integrated strategy to improve the access of non-profits to legal information, education and advice. The project is led by Martha Rans, with the project team including Alison Brewin, Rob Gloor, Ingrid Liepa and Tracey Axelsson.

In April, we will begin to identify groups to participate in the pilot. We will be seeking 10 participant groups to work with us to ensure the self-assessment tool is both comprehensive and easy to understand. Participants will play an essential role in development. We will host roundtable workshops to see what works, what doesn’t and what could be made better. We will begin the process of piloting the tool with non-profits in the month of May.

If you would like to add your organization’s name to be a potential participant or learn more about this innovative project, please contact Martha at mrans@shaw.ca.