Have you seen this logo on our web site and printed materials? It comes from an organization called Imagine Canada, and it certifies that Threads of Life is accredited under the Imagine Canada Standards Program.
We’re pretty proud of this accomplishment. There are 85,000 registered charities in Canada (that means ones that are recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency), and only 240 of those are accredited through the standards program. As Imagine Canada puts it, “accreditation is given to charities and nonprofits that have taken action through the Standards Program to bolster trust with the public by identifying and reducing organizational risk, improving board governance practices, being transparent and accountable with finances and fundraising, and fostering a strong workforce.”
The Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support – Threads of Life has been accredited by Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. The Standards Program Trustmark is a mark of Imagine Canada used under licence by Association for Workplace Tragedy Family Support – Threads of Life.
The families we work with, and our partners and volunteers, place a lot of trust in Threads of Life. We want to live up to that trust, and the Imagine Canada standards are a way for us to make sure we do. We first achieved accreditation in 2013 (before that, we were members of Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code) and it’s not a lifetime membership – you have to submit updates annually and re-apply every few years. Late in 2018, we started the process to be re-accredited.
And it’s no easy task, meeting those standards! The standards focus on five areas:
- Board Governance
- Financial Accountability and Transparency
- Staff Management
- Volunteer Involvement
Last fall, we started assembling all the documents we needed to demonstrate to Imagine Canada that we are being transparent and accountable, and continuing to develop the organization. There were policies, minutes from board meetings, job descriptions, and written explanations of how we do things. There were strategic plans, financial reports, declarations and samples of printed documents.
Once all the information was assembled and submitted, it was reviewed by Imagine Canada program staff to ensure it was complete. They had a few questions and requests, so we went back through some of the documents and dug some more to find the answers. Then our application went to a team of volunteer peer reviewers. Finally in early January, we learned that our re-accreditation had been approved.
The Imagine Canada Standards Program logo is called a “trustmark”. We take that literally. It’s a mark proving that Threads of Life can be trusted. For a small organization like us, meeting those standards is not easy. But we think you’re worth it!