Community Futures
Leadership Institute
Board Development

Module contents

This page gives a detailed overview of each module. Click on the module heading to open the info window for each module. Clicking on the heading again will close the info window. You can open all info windows by clicking on "Expand All". To close all info windows click on "Collapse All".

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  • Module 1: Community Economic Development (1.5 hours)

    Community Futures plays a significant role in community economic development. Board members will:

    • Understand what community economic development is;
    • Discuss the objectives, principles and strategies of community economic development;
    • Explain the importance of community engagement and accountability in community economic development;
    • Distinguish how community economic development differs from other approaches to economic development and community development; and
    • Describe the role Community Futures plays in community economic development.
  • Module 2: Operations - Board and Staff (3 hours)

    Board members fulfill five major leadership functions: decision maker, advisor, trustee, perpetuator and leader. This module examines these functions and the critical principles underlying them. Participants will:

    • Distinguish between board and management authority and accountability;
    • Identify the relationship between board, management and the staff; and
    • Be aware of organization and structure of a board.
  • Module 3: Legal Responsibilities of Boards (3 hours)

    Board members need to become familiar with the legal environment that exists for non-profit organizations. Participants will:

    • Be aware of the legal framework within which they provide leadership;
    • Know where to find and apply the legal guidelines governing non-profit board of directors;
    • Identify the circumstances that create liability for directors; and
    • Review how boards can protect themselves against liability.
  • Module 4: Financial Management of a Non-Profit (3 hours)

    This module demonstrates the relationship between financial management and long-range goals that boards must establish. Boards must be able to set financial policies and evaluate their organization’s financial performance. Participants will:

    • Recognize roles in financial management;
    • Examine how to establish accountability for achieving the objectives set out in the board’s plans;
    • Identify the financial reports that are used to measure the financial performance of the organization; and
    • Review financial objectives and audits, and understand the role of the audit in maintaining accountability.
  • Module 5: Board Development and Performance (3 hours)

    This module examines the role and accountability of the board of directors. Board members must demonstrate leadership through commitment, integrity and teamwork. Participants will:

    • Examine the role of the board of directors;
    • Discuss the importance of board performance;
    • Examine on-going development for all board members; and
    • Understand the importance of a formal board assessment process.
  • Module 6: Community Futures Lending (3 hours)

    Community Futures boards have a role in loan administration and the overall management of the loan fund. Board members should understand more completely the roles, responsibilities, and functions of a loans committee. The loans committee derives its authority and responsibility from the board, and it is accountable to the board for its actions. Participants will:

    • • Discuss the Community Futures’ economic and social climate in which lending takes place;
    • Describe the roles and responsibilities of the loans committee, the board of directors, and management in the loan process;
    • Recognize the key elements of the lending decisions that will contribute to the performance of the loan portfolio;
    • Be familiar with strategies to manage problem accounts.
  • Module 7: Management, Recruitment, Performance, Evaluation and Development (3 hours)

    The level of board member participation in recruiting and evaluating other management staff varies by non-profit organization, but in general these roles are the responsibility of the executive director. This module will help you:

    • Discuss management recruitment and selection process;
    • Describe the purpose of establishing an equitable compensation package which reflects labour market information and terms of remuneration and compensation;
    • Be aware of options board members should consider when they establish compensation levels for the executive director;
    • Explain a board's role in performance planning, evaluation, and development of its executive director; and
    • Determine how the board can use coaching and counselling to deal with performance concerns.
  • Module 8: Board Leadership (3 hours)

    This module allows participants to evaluate their skills as leaders in the capacity of a non-profit board member, and enhances their abilities as a strong leader. Participants will:

    • Recognize leadership as a fundamental responsibility of all board members;
    • Personalize the idea of leadership in terms of what a leader does;
    • Understand the three different modes of governance; and
    • Understand the principles of governance as leadership.
  • Module 9: Cultural Awareness (3 hours)

    This module delves into the landscape of Canada based on demographic changes resulting from immigration. Participants will be able to:

    • describe the cultural diversity of our country and communities as a result of immigration;
    • define methods of connecting and communicating with our whole community;
    • recognize and implement communication tools;
    • identify the board members’ and executive director’s role in exercising cultural awareness leadership;
    • identify actions the board and staff can take to becoming a culturally-aware organization and community; and
    • define a process for organizational self-evaluation.
  • Module 10: Advances in the Social Economy (3 Hours, See Details in Description)

    Module 10 can be delivered and/or downloaded for free by a CF General Manager or if requested, can be delivered by a CFLI facilitator at cost. The session could take up to three hours, depending on the group size.

    Community economic development supports the social economy through building capacity within not-for profit organizations. Participants will be able to:

    • understand the concept of social economy;
    • clarify the links between community economic development and the social economy;
    • understand the distinguishing characteristics of social enterprises;
    • explore and define the role of Community Futures in the social economy; and
    • discuss how social enterprises can be financed.
  • Module 11: Role of Planning (1 hours webinar)

    Planning is essential to the non-profit organization. Participants will:

    • Describe the role of strategic and operational planning as part of the total planning cycle; and
    • Explain the role of the board in the planning process for the non-profit organization and the community itself.
  • Module 12: The Role of the Chair (3 hours)

    The chair plays an important role in a non-profit organization. The chair’s roles and responsibilities as they relate to the public, stakeholders, partners, funders, the corporation, board members and staff is examined. Participants will:

    • Learn how to approach the role of chair with skill and confidence;
    • Understand the roles and responsibilities associated with the chair’s position;
    • Discuss the specific skills required to be a chair; and
    • Examine how to support their chair and work together as a strong team.
  • Module 13: Strategic Loan Fund Management (3 hours)

    The role of the board of directors in loan administration and the overall strategic management of the loan fund is important. Board members will:

    • Understand the Community Futures lending vision and its role in community economic development;
    • Understand the various roles and responsibilities of the loans committee, the board of directors and management in the loan process;
    • Consider the environment within which the Community Futures operates and the role that strategic lending plays in achieving Community Futures objectives;
    • Recognize the key components and considerations of loan portfolio objectives; and
    • Understand tools for monitoring the health of a loan portfolio.
  • Module 14: Is Your Community Futures Prepared for Natural and Economic Disaster? (1-3 Hours. See details in description.)

    Module 14 can be delivered and/or downloaded for free by a CF General Manager or if requested, can be delivered by a CFLI facilitator at cost. The session could take up to three hours, depending on the group size.

    Community Futures plays a key leadership role in a community and/or region for businesses and economic development. Community Futures organizations have been known to play a key role when natural disasters, emergencies and economic disruptions take place. Board members will:

    • Understand the various types of events that can result in business disruption;
    • Plan for their Community Futures organization to be prepared in case of a major disruptive event;
    • Understand how to support and assist the businesses comprising its loan portfolio;
    • Identify the role their Community Futures organization can play in case of a major disruptive event;
    • Engage stakeholders and participate in or lead key community organizations to develop a proactive plan in case of disruptive events; and
    • Develop potential policies that could be implemented in support of the actions that staff and boards can follow immediately and throughout disaster recovery.
  • Module 15: Volunteer Attraction, Retention and Succession (1.5 hours)

    The foundation and heart of a Community Futures is its volunteers. They serve on boards and committees because they care about their community and they are integral in advancing the Community Futures mission and safeguarding the financial and cultural well-being of the organization. After completing this module, you will be able to:

    • Understand the importance of strategic board succession planning;
    • See the linkage of board succession planning to volunteer attraction, retention, training, development, and assessment;
    • Prepare for board recruitment;
    • Manage the recruitment process;
    • Prepare for board orientation;
    • Understand the importance of board development; and
    • View board and director assessment as an opportunity to strengthen the organization.