Not-for-profit forum 2020

Financial sustainability and digital disruption are influencing the future of NFPs. Be equipped to lead through complex change by attending Canada’s premiere event for not-for-profit leaders.

Event Details

Location and date:
Vancouver February 10-11, 2020

Get the inspiration and practical support you need to thrive in today’s complex NFP environment.

Through a series of talks and interactive sessions, you’ll develop actionable insights that tie mission to growth and boost performance outcomes. Plus, explore the latest issues in policy, compliance, disruptive tech and more from Canada’s top not-for-profit experts.

Forum agenda and optional post-conference workshop are under development. Stay tuned.

View the agenda

Special offers/promotions

Flexible options: Choose one-day only and attend in-person ($549) or online ($449).

Group discounts: Several options apply. To learn more and redeem, contact our customer service team

Optional post-conference workshop (hosted by CPABC):

Morning session: Emerging Areas of Focus and Practice for Boards in the Not for Profit Sector (February 12, 2020; 8:30am-12:00pm)
Afternoon session: Under Pressure – A primer in crisis communications and issues management for not-for-profit organizations. (February 12, 2020; 1:00pm-4:30pm)

Get free access to complementary resources:

Until March 31, 2020, receive direct access to invaluable free resources that will complement your NFP Forum learning experience. These relevant resources include:

  • Not-for-Profit Governance: Summary Resource Guide
  • Performance Measurement for Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs): Case Study – University Canada
  • Performance Measurement for Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs): Case Study – Habuela Springs Swim Club
  • Management Accounting Guideline: Performance Measurement for NPOs
  • Financial Reporting Alert: Accounting Standards Applicable to Canadian Private Sector Not-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs)

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

Members $995 | Non-members $1,095 | Virtual members $895 | Virtual non-members $985

14 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

Who should attend?

  • not-for-profit CFOs, board members and senior leaders
  • other not-for-profit executives and managers
  • practitioners and consultants who work with not-for-profits
  • financial professionals from associations, membership organizations, charities and educational institutions

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Keynote Address: The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
Speaker: Jonathan Gottschall, Professor & author on the intersection of science and art, and the power of storytelling

Humans are the storytelling animal. We thrill to an astonishing multitude of fictions on pages, on stages, and on screens: murder stories, sex stories, war stories, conspiracy stories, true stories and false. We are, as a species, addicted to story. But the addiction runs deeper than we think. We can walk away from our books and our screens, but not from story. We dream, fantasize, and socialize in stories. Story infiltrates every aspect of how we live and think. Did you know that fiction enhances our empathy? Did you know that stories have brought on wars, inspired atrocities, and driven massive social change? Did you know that we all boldly fictionalize the stories of our own lives? In this talk, Jonathan Gottschall leads a whirligig tour of a new science of stories—why we shape them, and how they shape us.

Jonathan Gottschall

Choose one of the following:

Poll the Professionals
Moderator: Ninette Bishay, Partner, Charities and Not-for-profit Organizations, Hogg, Shain and Scheck

Panelists: Terrance Carter, Managing Partner, Carters; Alison Brewin, Executive Director, Vantage Point; Paul C. Nazareth, VP, Education & Development, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)

The panel of industry experts will cover the most significant issues and opportunities they see in the not-for-profit sector to generate discussions that allow participants to ask questions and share common challenges and solutions.

Terrance Carter ; Paul Nazareth ; Ninette Bishay ; Alison Brewin

Getting the Board’s Buy-In: How to Convey Your Message
Speakers: Rayna Shienfield, Principal, Research, Guidance and Support and Gigi Dawe, Director, Research, Guidance and Support, CPA Canada

NFP executives can learn how to make presentations to the board in a manner that is impactful, engaging and helpful. Learn how experienced board leaders want and need information presented to them and how you as a member of senior management can do the following:

• Influencing and guiding your board – how to handle difficult questions while getting your point across
• Getting ready for your board presentation: lessons from the trenches
• Preparing your board presentations for the best impact
• Making clear, purposeful presentations that help boards make decisions
• Get your point across effectively
• Handling the rogue members and their hidden agenda
• How to influence stakeholders while maintaining your calm during question time

Rayna Shienfield, JD ; Gigi Dawe, BASc., LLM

Leadership and Management: Making the Switch from Player to Coach
Speaker: Christoph Clodius, Vice President, Search + Talent, KCI

A successful leader doesn’t stand on skill and expertise alone; they require a robust mix of both hard and soft skills to achieve success. Lead by KCI’s Christoph Clodius, Vice President, Search + Talent, this session will delve into the differences between “leading” and “managing” and share practical tools and approaches to help you grow these skills.
Christoph Clodius

The Secrets of Successful Cloud-Based ERP System Selection and Implementations
Speakers: Tui Allen, Senior Director, Fintech Solutions; Debra Osiowy, CFO, Kids Cancer Care Alberta

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are moving to the cloud. These new solutions enable charities to manage their budgets, grants, fundraising efforts and more from anywhere, at any time. With the right ERP system, organizations can stop spending time navigating data management and start focusing their resources on collaboration and driving their missions forward. Join us for a panel discussion and lessons from the field about the process of selecting and moving your mission critical applications to the cloud.
Tui Allen ; Debra Osiowy

Robotic Process Automation and the NFP Sector
Speakers: Nas Farzan, Principal, Optimus SBR; Kyla Lougheed, Director, Business Solutions, United Way Greater Toronto

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is transforming the ways organizations across different sectors do business. Initially pioneered by the Financial Services Industry, adoption of RPA has since steadily proliferated across the economy; RPA is estimated by Gartner to be the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market with sales expected to reach $1.3B USD in 2019. This presentation is intended to provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of what RPA is, its benefits and risks, the current market landscape, and offer practical advice on how Executives within the NFP sector can harness the power of RPA to achieve operational excellence whether they are beginning their automation journeys or looking to scale existing programs.

Nas Farzan ; Kyla Lougheed

Making your real estate work for your NFP
Speaker: Justen Harcourt, Vice President, Colliers International Consulting

As your real estate assets age and break, the cost to maintain them becomes increasingly challenging to manage on a not-for-profit budget. However, what you may not readily see are the opportunities that your real estate asset can unlock to support your organization’s financial objectives through (re)development.

This presentation will help to equip you with the tools to better understand how to unlock the potential of your real estate assets.

Justen Harcourt

Optional Early Riser Session - Measure What Matters for Not-for-Profits: KPIs for financial health, performance and sustainability in Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations
Speaker: Gordon Holley, President & CEO, Humanity Financial Management

“Social-purpose” organizations (charities and not-for-profit organizations) are very different from “for-profit” organizations. As a result, the metrics we need to track their financial health, sustainability and performance are also different.
Many social-purpose organizations use their budget – and their performance against that budget - as their sole measure of all things financial. A little more analysis with the right tools can help organization leaders and their boards really understand their organization’s financial situation, and use key performance indicators to make better financial decisions about the future.
If you want to improve your organization’s financial health, sustainability or performance, come to this session to learn:
• How to evaluate the financial health of social-purpose organizations
• How to evaluate the financial sustainability of a social-purpose organization’s programs
• How to evaluate social-purpose business models and revenue mix
• How to evaluate the financial performance of social-purpose organizations
Topics will include the unique aspects of budgeting, projections, dashboards, KPIs, and benchmarking for social-purpose organizations.

Gordon Holley

What is Your Organization’s High-Performance Story?
Speaker: Jeff Smith, Founder & CEO, Supporting Lines Institute

One of the most important purpose-driven stories we tell as leaders is the one that inspires and engages our employees. It is the story of how our work together helps communities thrive and realizes our organizational vision. It is the story of how we help our people grow so that their entire life is better because they worked on our team.

What is your high-performance story? What major goal do you dream of your organization achieving? How would achieving that goal make your people feel? How would it make you feel to help your employees realize their greatest personal dreams?

These stories are woven together. They are all realized when leaders cultivate high-performance organizations by doing three things well:
• help teams align
• help teams collaborate
• help people grow

In this highly-interactive session we will change how you think about high-performance and employee engagement - forever. We will cover specific issues for non-profits, such as the unexpected engagement challenge of being purpose-driven.

You will walk away with data-driven insights that will help you make an immediate impact on your organization as soon as you return to the office.

Jeff Smith

Harnessing Blockchain For Social Impact
Moderator: Ashley Alvernaz, Principal, CPA Canada

Speaker: Tanya Woods, Managing Director, Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada

Hype surrounding cryptocurrencies has obscured the fact that blockchain technology provides transparency and accountability to any form of transaction and has the potential to transform the not-for-profit sector. What impact can blockchain technology have on funding, donations, transparency and overhead ? What are the main challenges facing the scalability, implementation and broad use of its applications? Join this informative and engaging fireside chat to learn how your organization can harness blockchain for social impact.
Tanya Woods ; Ashley Alvernaz

Removing the Anxiety from Digital Transformation
Speaker: James Faw, Co-founder and CTO, Sparkrock

How does your organization compare to your nonprofit peers when it comes to digital transformation and enterprise technology adoption? Find out the latest statistics on nonprofit technology use, challenges, and opportunities. Learn how you can guide your organization to a brighter, more effective and efficient future through future-proofed technology.

James Faw

Linking Talent to Your Organization’s Purpose
Moderator: Deborah Versteeg, Director, People & Change - KPMG Management Consulting

Panelists: Tracy Macleod, Director of Human Resources, GEF Seniors Housing; Raquel de Munain, Director of Human Resources, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation; Mary Barroll, President, Talent Egg

Trends in attracting, retaining, and developing talent that is a fit for your organization. Hear from our 3 panelists as to what they are seeing and doing in the workplace.

Deborah Versteeg ; Tracy MacLeod ; Raquel de Munain ; Mary Barroll

Choose one of the following:

Accounting Standards Board Update
Speaker: Paul Hargreaves, AcSB member
Paul Hargreaves, CPA, CMA

2020 Trends in Fund Development
Speaker: Paul C. Nazareth, VP, Education & Development, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP)

Canada has already begun the largest shift in revenue sources for NFP’s and charities in our history. Individual donations, previously cash, are now being made by online transfer and using assets like securities and life insurance. We will discuss recent legal changes to bequest administration, capital funders through Donor Advised Funds, growth of asset donations of securities and the quickly scaling nature of crowdfunding. Public and foundation grant trends are also shifting as corporate foundations change their granting strategy and structure and new NFP partners like B Corporations and social enterprise become a growing element in our ecosystem. Trends and resources will be shared, session is for charities of all sizes and will leave you more confident that you’re ready for the shifting trends in revenue generation.

Session goals
• Confidence in receipting and administration of new complex asset donations
• Raised productivity between finance and fundraising revenue development
• Growth in revenue development opportunity with knowledge of emerging trends

Paul Nazareth

Young Professionals Are Critical to the NFP Sector – Are you Successful at Attracting and Retaining Them?
Moderator: Alex Lau, Partner, Grant Thornton

Panelists: Emily Yung, Director, Finance & Systems, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver; Heather Kerklaan, MBA Candidate, UBC Sauder School of Business, Chair, GenNext at United Way of the Lower Mainland; Angela Randall, Senior Research and Evaluation Analyst, Reichert and Associates

Young professionals are critical to the NFP sector, as volunteers, as employees and as advocates and we will hear directly from four young professionals on what motivates them to become involved. The focus for the panel will be discussing what they are looking for to become involved in the NFP sector. This session will highlight what attracts a young professional to become engaged with this sector and what compels them to stay involved. These panelists will discuss what a NFP organization can do to enhance their experience and help them make an impact.
Heather Kerklaan ; Angela Randall ; Alex Lau ; Emily Yung

Tips and Traps Relating to Mixed Use Housing Projects
Speaker: Margaret Mason, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Mixed use housing projects can create new opportunities for many registered charities and not for profit organizations, but proper planning with respect to operations and structures is critical. There is often a disconnect between government housing strategy and the complexity of implementation from a CRA perspective. This session will review case studies and the issues arising from development projects for both registered charities and not-for-profit organizations.

Margaret Mason

The Continuous Audit and the Need for Better Accounting Data: The Smaller the Organization the Greater the Impact
Speakers: Bridget Noonan, Partner, Clearline CPA; Alex Dundas, Staff Accountant, Clearline CPA

The smaller the organization the greater the impact when accounting processes are automated allowing your external audit team to provide value above and beyond the annual compliance reporting.

Join us for ideas and suggestions for improvement of your accounting processes and the monthly data produced to assist management in making timely decisions. Then we can discuss the value your external auditor can really be providing to your organization.

Bridget Noonan ; Alex Dundas

Keynote Address: The Power of Storytelling
Speaker: Simon Jackson, Movement Builder, Founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition

Storytelling drives change. Simon Jackson founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition at the age of 13 and, across two decades, helped unite the voice of six million young people to help save the spirit bear. How? The power of a compelling, relatable story.

In the telling of his story, Simon will illustrate how storytelling helped the Youth Coalition attract and retain a core volunteer team, communicate the importance of protecting a bear many will never see and underscore the importance of divergent perspectives in decision-making processes. He will also share how he's applying these lessons learned to his new venture, Nature Labs - a virtual high school textbook that seeks to advance nature literacy by re-rooting education in, yes, storytelling.

From cutting through the noise in a cluttered advocacy landscape to creating more resilient non-profits in a changing world to fostering a more thoughtful discourse, Simon's insights into what worked and what failed provides a valuable look at the impact and power of the story.

Simon Jackson

Emerging Areas of Focus and Practice for Boards in the Not for Profit Sector
Join Natasha Himer, governance advisor with WATSON, to review emerging areas of focus for Boards in the not-for-profit sector. Natasha will draw on case studies to illustrate how Boards are improving their governance in areas such as oversight of organizational culture and board diversity. You will explore timely topics and obtain practical tips to take back to your board.

Under Pressure: A primer in crisis communications and issues management for not-for-profit organizations.
Oak trees grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. Can organizations that go through challenging and adverse circumstances survive to emerge even stronger and more resilient? Yes, with planning and preparation. This workshop will help you create an issues management program to predict and even prevent crises that could do irreparable damage to your organization. We will also examine the practical steps to take when (not if) your organization finds itself in a crisis – how to resolve the situation, minimize the damage, stop the spread of misinformation and show your stakeholders you’re in control.

Thank you to our advisory committee members
Ashley Alvernaz, Principal, Performance Management, CPA Canada

Ninette Bishay, Partner, Charities and Not-for-profit Organizations, Hogg, Shain and Scheck

Carol Chiang, Partner, KPMG Enterprise

Donna Diskos, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Nina Eckert, Director, Finance & Operations, United Way of the Lower Mainland

Michael Herrera, Interim Chief Financial Officer, George Brown College

Jeanette Hill, Lead Principal, Member Development and Support, CPA Canada

Grant Mosby, Controller, Community Land Trust

Rayna Shienfield, Principal, Corporate Oversight & Governance, CPA Canada

Cheryl Swallow, Vice President, Finance, Canadian Cancer Society

Joan Valente, Partner, RSM Canada

Ashley Alvernaz ; Ninette Bishay ; Carol Chiang ; Donna Diskos ; Nina Eckert ; Michael Herrera ; Jeanette Hill ; Grant Mosby, CPA, CA ; Rayna Shienfield, JD ; Cheryl Swallow ; Joan Valente

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3


Fairmont Waterfront
900 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5

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)
  • speakers/headphones to hear the conference speakers, and a keyboard to submit any questions to the speakers

How do I use the available discounts?

Group discounts are available until the day of the conference. To redeem, please contact CPA Canada’s customer service team by phone at 1-800-268-3793 or by email.

Sponsors & Exhibitors


Blackbaud Carters Logo Charity Village Icon Humanity logo QuickBooks: Intuit Sage Intacct logo TD logo


BDO logo Blackbaud Charity Village Icon CPA Canada Encasa logo Humanity logo QuickBooks: Intuit Keela logo Royal Roads University logo Sage Intacct logo Sparkrock

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Please contact:

Member Development and Support
Tel: 1-800-268-3793

For Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities