Nanaimo hospital foundation earns ‘trustmark’

NANAIMO – Charity that supports health care in Nanaimo region earns accreditation from Imagine Canada.

A Nanaimo not-for-profit hopes to firm up donors’ trust with new accreditation.

The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation is one of 25 non-profits across the country that’s won the right to publish the Imagine Canada accreditation ‘trustmark’ on its literature.

Earning accreditation in the standard program is no small feat, according to Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada, who calls it a rigorous, peer -reviewed process that’s meant to build public trust and confidence in the charitable sector.

The program, started in 2012, looks at the board governance in organizations to their financial accountability and transparency, fundraising and volunteer involvement.

Non-profits that win accreditation hand in compliance reports annually and are monitored by the investigation of complaints and select annual audits.

Maeve O’Byrne, hospital foundation president, said it was a good exercise that helped them look more broadly and deeply at their business, but it was also a big sign of relief when they got the accreditation.

The process took nine months.

“There’s only 150 organizations in Canada that have this so it’s a pretty big deal for us,” she said. “We hope donors look at this and say OK, we know this is a really good organization.”

The hospital foundation has been in Nanaimo for close to four decades, raising dollars for medical equipment, new facilities and renovations.

O’Byrne said they believe in demonstrating to donors they are accountable and transparent and already publish audited financial statements online.

The new ‘trustmark’ can now be used on all of their publications and she said being acknowledged by Imagine Canada reassures donors they can trust the foundation.