Not-for-profit executive forum 2017

Gain practical organizational insights and learn from industry experts at this annual event for not-for-profit financial leaders.

Event Details

Location and date:
Toronto March 1-2, 2017

In today's not-for-profit (NFP) environment, executives are mission-critical. Success comes from being a strategic leader who can add value to your business and drive performance.

At the forum, you will explore the most current insights on organizational and leadership development in the NFP environment and get a snapshot of where the industry is headed in key areas such as regulatory changes, compliance and fundraising. With an interactive blend of sessions and speakers, attendees will address the important financial challenges facing NFP executives today.

This forum is also an ideal opportunity to develop high-level technical expertise and practical soft skills.

Can’t make it to Toronto? Attend online instead. A virtual conference option is available for this event.

New this year: Post-conference workshop

Accounting and Taxation Issues

  • Full-day workshop
  • March 3, 2017
  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre

View the agenda


Last year’s Not-for-Profit Financial Forum provided a valuable networking experience for NFP executives and launched a new virtual conference option that was attended by professionals across Canada.

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


14 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

Topics include:

  • not-for-profit strategy and leadership
  • key updates from the Accounting Standards Board
  • performance measurement
  • auditing, compliance and tax updates
  • technology and industry disruptors
  • trending topics such as shared services and alternative revenue sources
  • fundraising
  • and many more

Who should attend?

  • not-for-profit chief financial officers
  • not-for-profit financial managers
  • board members of not-for-profit organizations
  • other senior NFP executives, both financial and non-financial

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Registration - Continental breakfast

Opening keynote: How disruptive innovation is changing the not-for-profit world
Speaker: Jim Harris, principal, Strategic Advantage

Choose one of the following:

Strategic planning in a disruptive world
Speaker: Daniel A. Marquez, practice leader - Consumer Facing Technology Strategy, Accenture Canada

In today's rapidly evolving landscape, the one constant is that organizational shelf-life is falling - even those thriving today may be gone in a matter of years. Compounding this, growing operational complexity is driving leaders to focus an increasing share of their time on urgent short term challenges. Not-for-profits must renew their investments in strategic planning, to ensure that valuable capacity is directed towards pursuits that position them for long term viability and success. This session will establish a clear delineation between strategic and tactical planning, and explore methods Not-for- profit organizations can use to prepare themselves for an uncertain future.


Networking break

Choose one of the following:

Mergers and acquisitions: Lived experiences
Moderator: Michael Herrera, vice-president, Finance and Administration, United Way Toronto and York Region

Panellists: Andy Wnek, interim chief financial officer, Canadian Cancer Society; Sara Oates, CFOO, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

With the recent merger announcement of the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and the merger of the United Way in Toronto and York Regions a couple of years ago, this session will focus on the experiences of these three organizations at these different stages. Some specific areas of focus would be:

• Initial barriers and how they were overcome
• The biggest opportunities
• Due diligence highlights
• Combining systems and processes
• Brand integration
• Cultural integration
• Program integration
• Practical issues – combining offices, procedures
• Shared Services and how the process has helped or will help the organizations prepare for the merger between them

Building resilience
Speaker: Heather Maitland, Organizational change management consultant

No matter which way we turn in our workplaces, we face change. Be it staff turnover, the introduction of new technology or shifting funding agreements, we must deal with change. The ability to cope with and bounce back from such change – or to be resilient – is a crucial skill for successful leaders. Luckily, resiliency is a skill that can be developed by all of us. This interactive session applies the fundamentals of resiliency and change management to the real world with practical tips and strategies that will help you build resiliency in yourself, your team and your organization.

Choose one of the following:

Accounting standards update
Speaker: Paul Hargreaves, Chair of the Accounting Standards Board’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee

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.

Alternative revenue sources: Succeeding beyond the box
Speaker: Susan Manwaring, partner, Miller Thomson

Charities can accomplish their missions, and move past their funding constraints by thinking outside the box and creatively employing multiple legal structures. The challenges in doing so are daunting; however, the rewards of success are astounding. Miller Thomson, one of Canada’s leading law firms in the charity sector, will present examples of organizations which have accomplished this goal.


Choose one of the following:

Shared services
Moderator: TBD

Panellists: Walter Kurtz, CFO, Alzheimer's Society; Steve Butz, CEO, YMCA of Greater Vancouver


Choose one of the following:

NFPO reporting: Should you choose the deferral or restricted fund method? Which is best?
Moderator: Paul Hargreaves, Chair of the Accounting Standards Board’s Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee

Panellists: Deryck Williams, national leader - Charities and Not-for-Profit Organizations Team, Grant Thornton; Brian Szabo, partner - local government audit practice, KPMG

Panel discussion on the pros and cons of the Deferral Method and Restricted Fund Method for recognizing revenue from contributions.


Networking break

Managing people and personalities: Overcoming challenges in the NFP world
Speaker: Jennifer Gervés-Keen, professional facilitator, speaker and coach

Managing and working with people with a variety of personality profiles can be a challenging task in any organization. This session will address ways to develop better working relationships as management and with colleagues, by gaining a better understanding of personality types through increasing your own emotional intelligence and awareness of bias as well as using behavioural assessment tools.

Registration – Continental breakfast

Economic outlook: Organizational sustainability and smart growth
Speaker: Brian Emmett, chief economist for Canada’s Charitable and Not-for-Profit Sector, Imagine Canada

Canada’s NFP sector has experienced high growth over the past 20 years. Moving forward however, we may be faced with a social deficit. This session will explore what the future economy is likely to look like for the Charitable and NFP sector, the importance of the sector to the Canadian economy and also look at strategies to minimize the risk a social deficit in your organization.

Choose one of the following:

Fundraising in a disruptive world: The old way isn’t working anymore
Speaker: TBD

Fundraising has to change from transactional to relationship building in our changing landscape of donors.

GST: Are you sure you are getting it right?
Speaker: Christina Zurowski, partner, Grant Thornton

While GST has now been a part of our lives for a number of years, it is surprising how often issues arise. In this session, we will talk about some of the most common issues we see in both the charity and not-for-profit sector and some of the steps you can take as an organization to protect yourself.

Networking break

Choose one of the following:

2017 Workplace trends
Speaker: TBD

The modern workforce is fluid, dynamic and ever changing. The influences which shape it are also in constant flux and the status of the workforce in 2016 certainly demonstrated this.

This session will provide participants with the workplace trends which will impact Human Resources in 2017 considering generations at work, the impact of technology, flexible work arrangements and other trends.

Legal changes
Speaker: Victoria Prince, partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP



Choose one of the following:


Measuring results with limited resources
Speaker: Jac Van Beek, ‎Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Association of Management Consultants

Many small to medium size not-for-profit organizations struggle with the question, how are we doing? This session will provide insight into choosing good key performance indicators as well as communicating those results to stakeholders.

Choose one of the following:

Knowing when you are in trouble
Speaker: Deryck Williams, national leader, Charities and Not-for-Profit Organizations Team, Grant Thornton

Cyber security
Speaker: Marc MacKinnon, lead, Security Management, Privacy and Resiliency practice and partner, Risk Advisory practice, Deloitte

Networking break

Poll the CFOs
Moderator: Michael Herrera, vice-president, Finance and Administration, United Way Toronto and York Region

This interactive facilitated session will use results of a survey completed by conference participants about the issues facing the not-for-profit sector. Our panel of CFOs will cover the most significant issues raised through the survey 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 non-profit organizations.

Accounting and taxation issues workshop
Speakers: Stella Penner, partner, Calvista LLP and Paul Nazareth, vice-president, Community Engagement, CanadaHelps

Registration and Continental breakfast

Accounting standards overview
• key differences with NFPs and for profit entities
• updates (proposed future changes to revenue recognition standards)

Taxation overview for NFPs and registered charities
• Canadian tax rules that may lead to loss of tax-exempt status; planning techniques to minimize risk:
o political purposes (interpretation and compliance)
o disbursement quota
o operating related/unrelated businesses
o revenue generation and the impact of the structure within which you earn revenue; ownership of for-profit corporations
o any legislative updates

• NFP rules
o Section 149(1)(l)
o earning a profit; planning for surpluses
o reserves


Gifting and other unique considerations
• overview of different type of gifts, taxation implications and receipting (new bequest receipting rules, securities, in-kind, insurance, online, third-party and more):
o taxation, administration and other issues to look out for with different types of gifts
o receipting different types of gifts (CRA receipting guidelines and examples of different receipting types)

• unique consideration around different types of organizations with regards to funding and trends:
o healthcare and events, education and endowments, faith-based collections, social service crowdfunding, in-kind giving and more

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front St. West , Toronto, ON M5V 2W6

The award-winning Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) is Canada’s largest and one of North America’s leading convention centres. Its three-year, $29 million modernization project is complete. The project features a new design, functionality and upgraded finishes. The MTCC is known for its top-of-class service, first-class venue, in a world-class city. And yes, it’s the only facility that has hosted both a G20 and a G7 Summit. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, plenty of dining, great hotels, shopping and fun things to do are all within easy walking distance. The MTCC certainly has it all.


InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel
225 Front Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2X3

Frequently asked questions:


Hotel reservations are the responsibility of the participant. CPA has arranged for a special conference rate of $219.00 (plus applicable taxes) at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel. This rate is available until February 7, 2017, or until our room block is full. Early reservations are recommended. The CPA rate of $219/night is available three days prior and three days post conference, subject to availability.

Contact the hotel directly and identify yourself as a participant of CPA Canada's 2017 Not-for-Profit Financial Executive Forum to qualify for the special conference rate:
Tel: 1-800-235-4670
Online reservations

Venue Directions and Parking

Directions to Metro Toronto Convention Centre: The North Building can be accessed through the main entrance doors on Front Street, or from the east via the Skywalk, a glass-enclosed access-way from Union Station and mass transit.



Please contact:

Jeanette Hill, Principal, Professional Learning and Development
Tel: 604-605-5065

Julia Chernin, Program manager, Professional Learning and Development
Tel: 416-204-3415

CPA Canada Professional Learning and Development Customer Service
Tel: 1-888-337-3242


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Gain practical organizational insights and learn from industry experts at this annual event for not-for-profit financial leaders.