House of Friendship has reinforced its position as a vital non-profit agency helping those in need by garnering the Manulife Governance Excellence Award last Thursday night. This award is adjudicated and sponsored by Capacity Canada.
The award presentation kicked off the start of Capacity Canada’s Manulife Board Governance BootCamp (Nov. 15-17) at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener. The BootCamp, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will be held Friday and Saturday at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Kitchener. The annual award recognizes outstanding board governance work in Waterloo Region’s charitable non-profit sector.
“Proper board governance is vital to keep non-profit organizations on a solid path when it comes to efficiency and transparency,” said Capacity Canada CEO Cathy Brothers. “And the teams from House of Friendship have demonstrated their commitment to this by attending our Manulife Board Governance BootCamps the last two years. We’re thrilled more of their leaders have returned again this year.”
House of Friendship, which began in 1939 through a women’s prayer group in a downtown Kitchener storefront, has a strong mission to help those who need food, housing, community resources or addiction treatment and now serves approximately 42,000 people annually.
“We received nine nominations from previous boards who have attended BootCamp,” said Brothers. “Each nomination was of solid quality and demonstrated the remarkable growth that is taking place in good governance among non-profit organizations.”
The award is presented to an organization that implements new ideas and concepts to improve the overall board performance.
“It’s been exciting to watch how seriously the board has taken their role and initiated a lot of new things,” said House of Friendship CEO John Neufeld. “It’s really helped us move board governance along.”
House of Friendship identified a series of improvements in terms of increasing transparency and accountability to the many donors it serves after attending the last two BootCamps. It continues to implement these changes as it moves forward towards implementing a revised Strategic Plan which identifies four areas of service to the community.
“I think the board is passionate about ensuring our mission and values are vital in our community and are relevant,” said House of Friendship Board Chair Mary Friesen. “I think we’ve done some work and are improving.”
The winning organization is granted a $5,000 unrestricted prize.
Capacity Canada has held Board Governance BootCamps since 2009 in effort to help board leaders and top administrators better understand their roles in the operation of charitable non-profits. Capacity has hosted BootCamps in Hamilton, Ont., St. John’s, NL., and in Fort McMurray, Alta.