Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards

Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards

November 23, 2009 09:42 ET

Toronto Charities Win Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards

Three local not-for-profits honoured for financial reporting excellence

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2009) -  Three Toronto-based charities were among the winners of the second annual Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRAs), which were announced at a luncheon ceremony in North York on November 20. At a time when financial reporting is becoming increasingly important to organizations of all types and sizes, the VSRAs recognize those organizations within Ontario's diverse and growing not-for-profit sector that have achieved best practices.

For the second year in a row, Covenant House and United Way Toronto tied in the Total revenues over $10 million category. The Lifesaving Society (Ontario Branch) was a first-time winner in the Total revenues over $1 million but below $10 million category.

As Canada's largest youth shelter, Covenant House opens doors of opportunity and hope to 4,000 homeless youth annually. More than just a place to stay, they provide 24/7 crisis care and have the widest range of services under one roof, including education, counseling, health care and employment assistance. For more information, visit www.covenanthouse.on.ca.

"We're delighted to have been recognized by the Voluntary Sector Reporting Award's expert judges for producing clear and accurate financial reports," said Ruth daCosta, Executive Director, Covenant House. "We believe this gives assurance to volunteers and donors alike that we are putting the resources they provide to the best possible use."

Established in 1956, United Way Toronto is a charity working to advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for everyone in Toronto. Working in partnership with others, United Way mobilizes people and resources to address the root causes of social problems and to change community conditions for the better. United Way supports agencies that provide services to strengthen individuals, families, and communities. For more information, visit www.unitedwaytoronto.com.

"We're humbled to receive this important recognition," said Frances Lankin, President and CEO of United Way Toronto. "Each year we strive to improve on our work, to go even further in our efforts to produce a report that is as transparent and informative as possible. We're so pleased these efforts were recognized."

The Lifesaving Society – Canada's lifeguarding experts – works to prevent drowning and water-related injury through its training programs, Water Smart public education, safety management services, water-incident research and lifesaving sport. Annually, well over half a million Canadians participate in the Society's swimming, lifesaving, lifeguard and leadership training programs. The Society sets the standard for aquatic safety in Canada and certifies Canada's National Lifeguards. For more information, visit www.lifesavingsociety.com.

"We're thrilled to be recognized as a leader in this sector," said Dawn Maragh, Lifesaving Society Finance Director. "The confidence of our members and donors is vital in achieving our drowning prevention mission – this recognition cements than confidence. The critique we received will be valuable in making our next annual report even better."

The winners in the four categories are:
National or international NPO headquartered in Ontario

  • World Vision Canada

Total revenues over $10 million (tie)

  • Covenant House Toronto
  • United Way Toronto

Total revenues over $1 million but below $10 million

  • The Lifesaving Society (Ontario Branch)

Total Revenues of under $1 million

  • Sarnia Lambton Rebound - A Program for Youth

"In 2008, the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRAs) program was launched by CA-Queen's Centre for Governance with an eye towards promoting timely and accurate financial statements," said Steve Salterio, Director of the CA-Queen's Centre for Governance. "If this type of award can help charities show current and potential supporters that they practise assessable, clear and transparent reporting about how they handle their resources and fulfill their mandates, then only good things can happen."

The awards recognize best practices for financial reporting by registered charities that produce annual reports in Ontario. Their annual reports are rated for availability, clarity, user friendliness, accessibility and impact. Organizations competed in five categories based on revenue size with the winner in each category receiving $5,000 and recognition as leaders in the field.

"Many of our members either work for or volunteer with not-for-profits," said Brian Leader, FCA, Acting Co-President and CEO and Vice-President of Learning at the Institute. "We believe this type of competition can motivate the entire sector to continually raise the bar for financial reporting and helps them accomplish the many wonderful things they do in communities across Ontario."

About the CA-Queen's Centre for Governance at Queen's School of Business
CA-Queen's Centre for Governance (business.queensu.ca/centres/CA-QCG/) goal is to raise the bar on Canadian governance research and convey that research's implications to fellow academics, students and the public at large. Situated at Queen's School of Business (business.queensu.ca), one of the world's premier business schools, the Centre conducts cutting edge basic and applied research on corporate governance issues dealing with such issues as fraud prevention through better internal control and improving Canadian securities regulation. The Centre is also actively involved in the not for profit sector through the associated Fundamental of Governance for Boards of municipal, provincial and federal agencies, and not-for-profit organizations executive development course, case writing, applied research and now the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards.

About the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario is the qualifying and regulatory body of Ontario's 33,000 Chartered Accountants and 5,000 CA students. Since 1879, the Institute has protected the public interest through the CA profession's internationally recognized standards of qualification and the enforcement of its rules of professional conduct. Ontario CAs contribute greatly to international and domestic investor confidence in the soundness of the Ontario and Canadian economies. The Institute's website is: www.icao.on.ca and the student website is www.guidetorulingtheworld.ca.

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