Not-for-profit forum

Break the mould and accelerate your organization’s impact at Canada’s leading national event for not-for-profit leaders.

Event Details

Location and date:
Toronto February 6-7, 2019

With change happening at a record pace, not-for-profit executives and managers need to be innovative leaders who can drive performance and maximize their organization’s impact.

CPA Canada’s annual Not-for-Profit Forum will inspire you to lead, innovate, transform and thrive as an industry leader in today’s complex NFP environment.

The 2019 forum will provide actionable insights to help you tackle critical issues facing the sector and your organization. We will also provide the most current insights and thought leadership from industry leading organizations and professionals as to where the sector is heading in key areas like regulation, compliance and disruptive technology.

Make meaningful connections with NFP professionals from across the country and leave prepared to take on the accelerated pace of change with new ideas at Canada’s top national event for not-for-profit leaders.

Optional full-day post-conference workshop:

Accounting and Taxation Issues
February 8, 2019 | CPD: 7 hours

CPA Canada Toronto office

Workshop fee is $595 or $435 with conference registration

View the agenda

Special offers/promotions

New for 2019 - Option to attend one day (in person and virtual conference): Attend any single day of the forum for $499 (in person) or $399 (virtual). Choose between day 1 or 2 of the forum.

Early bird discount (in person and virtual conference): $100 off standard conference rate and $50.00 off one day fees until November 15, 2018.

Group discounts (in person and virtual conference):

  • 10 percent off for two or more registrations from same organization
  • 15 percent off per person for groups of 4-10
  • groups of more than 10, please contact our customer service team

Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.

In Person $995; Virtual $895; starting at $450 for 1 day

Up to 21 CPD hour(s)

Who should attend?

  • not-for-profit chief financial officers, senior managers and other finance professionals from associations, membership organizations, charities and educational institutions
  • not-for-profit financial managers
  • board members of not-for-profit organizations
  • other senior not-for-profit executives and managers, both financial and non-financial
  • practitioners and consultants working with NFPs

Note that this event is not intended for public sector entities; for the latter, please refer to CPA Canada’s Public Sector Conference.

More Details:

Session Descriptions

The WEconomy: Creating purposeful partnerships for a sustainable organization
Keynote Speaker: Marc Kielburger, Co-founder of the WE Organizations

Marc Kielburger is an internationally acclaimed speaker, social entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, author of 12 books, including his newest book co-authored with his brother Craig Kielburger and Holly Branson WEconomy: You can find meaning, make a living, and change the world.

Marc will share his story about how he and his brother Craig founded WE, an organization with a start-up mentality that grew from 12 kids in the suburbs to a $50 million a year charity that makes doing good, doable. WE has partnered with some of the biggest companies in the world, helping them tap into their purpose, including KPMG, Unilever, Microsoft and Virgin.

Marc will share learnings on the journey to create these partnerships and provide tangible takeaways for your organization to apply some of the same strategies to your NFP organization. He will share stories from some of WE’s biggest supporters, from world-class business leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and Sir Richard Branson, to the methods of megastars he has encountered like Oprah Winfrey and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who make the world a better place through purposeful—and highly profitable—business strategies. Creating cross-sector partnerships can be a game changer for your NFP. These collaborations aren’t just good for the charity, but can provide significant brand value for the companies you choose to partner with.

Marc Kielburger

Essential Charity Law and Compliance Update
Speaker: Terrance S. Carter, Managing Partner, Carters Professional Corporation

Description coming shortly

Recent trends in the not-for-profit sector - and their legal implications
Speaker: Nick Pasquino, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

In this session, Nick will discuss recent trends he is seeing with his not-for-profit clients: (1) revenue diversification through social enterprise: how to do it as a not-for-profit organization (NPO) without jeopardizing your tax exempt status!; (2) collaborations, integrations and ‘hubs’ - why are people doing it and where are the legal risks?; (3) conflicts 101: what is a conflict of interest, what is a conflict of duty, and what are the best practices to manage conflicts in an NPO setting?; and (4) a brief update on the status of implementation of the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010.

The importance of culture for successful chaneg management
Speaker: Deanna Heroux, Partner, KPMG People & Change Advisory Services

Culture determines how an organization operates and ‘gets things done’ in response to internal and external challenges. It is the product of shared basic assumptions, that underpin the values, norms and behaviours found in the organization. People talk about culture in many different ways……but although you may struggle to pin it down you can’t afford to ignore it since an organization’s culture will either support or inhibit its short and long-term performance. So how do you ‘shift’ culture and all the related underpinnings to be resilient, agile, nimble to align with and drive outcomes? In a word - leadership. In four words – tone at the top. When looking to effect culture change, we believe you need to focus twice as much attention on leadership and behaviours as on other organizational levers for change. Getting a pulse on leadership will drive the pulse for culture change.

Best practices and lessons learned in mergers and partnerships
Panelists to date:
Lynne Hudson, President and CEO, Canadian Cancer Society
Brad Park, President and CEO, United Way Halton & Hamilton

Workplaces and spaces – It’s all about your people
Peter Davies, Vice-President and Co-Chair of Colliers Not-for-Profit Advisory Group
Arlene Dedier, Principal of Colliers Project Leaders
Matthew Johnson, Vice President and Co-Chair of Colliers Not-for-Profit Advisory Group
Andrea Wolf, Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation

Employees today are highly sophisticated and seek more than a desk and a phone when it comes to their work space. Today’s workplace is often the first impression that organizations are able to provide as donors, volunteers, prospective employees, Board members and stakeholders enter your premise. Thus, it is vital to maximize the overall impact this impression creates.

We will discuss trends in workplace strategy and design that demonstrate the importance of employing a people-first ideology in the development of work space strategies. Real estate is a substantial organizational cost, yet people costs are significantly greater. Understanding your people and translating this knowledge into a real estate strategy is the key to ensuring your office premises maximizes productivity, attracts the best talent, retains your valued talent, promotes your organizational identity and develops an overall culture that drives success for your organization well into the future.

Bridging the innovation-aspiration gap in the not-for-profit sector
Speaker: Daniel Marquez, Executive, Accenture Strategy

80% of non-profit leaders aspire to innovate, but only 40% say they have the capacity to do so. In this session, we will explore why innovation is an essential attribute of successful non-profits, and how leaders can infuse it into their organizations to keep pace with a rapidly evolving Canadian ecosystem.
Daniel Marquez, B.ASc (Hons.)

Before brand, before mission, before vision, let’s talk about purpose: Why does the organization exist and what is it purpose?
Speaker: Speaker: Giselle Commissiong, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Many organizations can describe what they do and how they do it, but very few organizations can articulate why they do it. Giselle Commissiong will share how having a clearly defined purpose can inform what you communicate to your stakeholders to convince them to support your organization. Examples will be shared of organizations who have a clearly defined purpose, and the negative impact that occurs when your organization doesn’t have a clearly defined purpose to guide it’s decisions. In this highly competitive environment for dollars and support, having a clear and concise purpose may be the difference between someone supporting you or another organization.

Managing social deficit and sustained growth
Panelists to date:
Narinder Dhami, Managing Director, Leap Pecaut Center for Social Impact
Cathy Barr, VP, Mission Effectiveness from Imagine Canada

Clutter to clarity: Where on the spectrum are your financial statements?
Speaker: Bridget Noonan, Partner, Clearline Consulting

Producing external financial statements that are not overly complex and provide a level of general understandability, while meeting standards for not-for-profit organizations cannot be done through the use of template notes and disclosure checklists.

Boilerplate solutions for financial statement presentation and disclosures need to be reconsidered. This session will look at a few areas where disclosures can be improved to provide understandable information in a move away from clutter and towards clarity.

Bridget Noonan

From describing data to predicting outcomes in the world of not for profits

Victor Anjos, Co-founder Data for good
Brad Parry, CMO & Advisor Data for Good

The Data for Good team has been helping organizations leverage their data to gain insight in their business operations for years. Victor Anjos and Brad Parry will showcase how these organizations have begun and continue to take steps down their data journey with a hands on immersive session on how to prepare yourself and your data for real world use.

Topics covered will include:
• What is AI, really? And is it coming for my job?
• The Artificial Intelligence Anonymous 12-step program to predicting the future
• Is your organization actually looking for AI or should you step back and start with understanding your data?
• Charting the path to get the organization thinking of AI, predictive and prescriptive modelling.

Accounting Standards Board Update
Speaker: Linda Mezon, Chair, Accounting Standards Board

Attend this session to learn about the numerous activities underway with the Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) with regards to the evolution of accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

Disruption in US, UK and Australian philanthropy and its impact in Canada
Speaker: Mark Blumberg, Partner, Blumberg Segal LLP

With the Trump administration in the US there have been significant changes affecting philanthropy which now mean that 19 out of 20 US citizens will receive no tax benefit for donating to a US charity (501c(3)). The UK has been rocked by a number of scandals and a vicious tabloid media. Australia has had many challenges in terms of regulation of charities. This presentation will provide an overview of these events and how they may affect the partners of Canadian charities but most importantly the Canadian charities themselves. If UK tabloid media attacks on charities are followed in Canada there could be a significant reduction in public confidence in charities. Now that our most important trading partner the US has dramatically altered their tax incentive structure it is quite foreseeable that one day Canada will follow suite. These dramatic changes present tremendous opportunities and risks for Canadian charities.
Mark Blumberg

Talent management – building and maintaining an effective team
Moderator: Lois Fine, Director, Finance and Information Technology, YWCA Toronto
Panelists to date:
Tara George, Senior Vice President & Partner, Ketchum Canada Inc.
Owen Charters, President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Poll the Executive Leader
Panelists to date:
Michael Herrera, VP finance and administration United Way Greater Toronto,
Esther Vise, Director of Finance Stephen Lewis Foundation

Our panel of executive leaders will cover the most significant issues they face in their organizations to generate discussions that allow participants to share common challenges and solutions.

This interactive facilitated session will include audience quesitons from participants about the issues facing the not-for-profit sector. Our panel of CFOs will cover the most significant issues they face in their organizations to generate group discussions that allow participants to share common challenges and solutions and learn from each other. This session will provide participants with some "take aways" that can be carried back to their respective nonprofit organizations.

Accounting Standards overview
• Key differences with NFP’s and for profit entities
• Updates (proposed future changes to NFP accounting standards)

Taxation overview for NFP and Registered Charities
Canadian tax rules that impact tax exempt status, risks and considerations, and planning techniques to minimize the risk
• Political purposes (interpretation and compliance)
• Disbursement quota
• Operating related/unrelated businesses
• Revenue generation and the impact of the structure within which you earn revenue
• Any legislative updates

NFP Rules
• Section 149(1)(l)
• Earning a profit and planning for surpluses
• Reserves

Undertaking business activities
• Rules and risks
• Considerations and options for Charities and NPO’s

Gifting considerations
Overview of different type of gifts, taxation implications and receipting
• Taxation, administration and other issues to look out for with different types of gifts (including bequests, securities, in-kind, insurance, online, third-party and more…)
• Receipting different types of gifts (CRA receipting guidelines and examples of different receipting types).

HST rules for NFP’s and Registered Charities
• Common issues
• Practical steps to protect your organization

Thank you to our advisory committee members
Ninette Bishay, Partner, Charities and Not-for-profit Organizations, Hogg, Shain and Schek

Paul Goodyear, Financial Secretary and CFO, The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda

Lois Fine, Director, Finance and Information Technology, YWCA Toronto

Michael Herrera, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, United Way Greater Toronto

Jeanette Hill, Principal,CPA Canada

Stephen McCourt, Partner, Assurance, RSM Canada LLP

Cheryl Swallow, Vice President, Finance and Administration, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division

Dale Varney, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Bobbi White, Partner, KPMG LLP

Paul Goodyear, FCPA, FCMA ; Michael Herrera, B.Comm., CPA, CA ; Jeanette Hill ; Stephen McCourt ; Cheryl Swallow ; Bobbi White

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Arcadian Court
401 Bay St., Simpson Tower, 8th Floor, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

One of Toronto's most sought after venues, this event complex boasts historic charm and modern sophistication. The grand Arcadian Court has been restored to its art deco glory featuring modern new amenities.


123 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2M9
t.: 416-361-1000

A block of guestrooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Centre Downtown Toronto hotel at a guaranteed rate starting at $235 plus applicable taxes. This rate is available until January 15, 2019, or until our room block is filled. Click here to reserve your room online.

Frequently asked questions:

What equipment do I need to join the virtual conference?

For a smooth virtual conference experience, ensure that you have:

  • the most current operating system and browser on the device you will use to connect to the virtual conference platform
  • access to high speed/broadband internet (or 4G/LTE services for mobile/tablet devices); if you are not on high-speed Internet, your video reception may become patchy at times
  • speakers/headphones to hear the conference speakers, and a keyboard to submit any questions to the speakers

How do I use the available discounts?

Early Bird discounts are available until November 15, 2018, end of day, EST, on standard conference fees.

Group discounts are available until the day of the conference. A coupon code is provided on the registration page; to receive the discount, use this code when registering. For groups of more than 10, contact CPA Canada for your group discount options.

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Please contact:

CPA Canada Customer Service Support
Tel: 416-977-0748 or Toll Free 1-800-268-3793