Governance and Risk Management

National Board of Directors

Founded in 1918, CNIB is one of Canada’s oldest charities, and has become one of the world’s largest private agencies committed to vision health issues. CNIB is a multifaceted organization made up of about 700 staff and thousands of dedicated volunteers.

As a registered charity, CNIB is governed by a Board of Directors​, made up of volunteers from across Canada, including representatives from the corporate, medical and government sectors, as well as individuals affected by vision loss. The makeup of the Board of Directors reflects the national and geographic nature of CNIB, the diverse background of our clients and members, and an equitable representation of people with vision loss. At each Annual General Meeting, members elect approximately one-third of the Directors to hold office. Following the Annual General Meeting, the Board elects a Chair and Officers for the ensuing year.

The Board of Directors oversee the activities and affairs of CNIB. They establish strategic direction and ensure the plan is consistent with CNIB’s mission and mandate. The Board ensures that CNIB sets realistic objectives and monitors the performance of our workforce in achieving its goals. They manage the hiring, termination, motivation and remuneration of the President and CEO, and ensure that CNIB develops governance policies, procedures and resources that are consistent with its goals. In summary, The Board is accountable for ensuring CNIB carries out its mission.

Risk Management

The Board has the ultimate responsibility for the assessment of risk to which the organization may be exposed. It relies on its committees of the Board in their detailed review of CNIB’s policies, operations and activities to bring to its attention, any areas of significant risk.

CNIB is committed to raising awareness of the principal risks that could affect the organization, and to respond proactively to eliminate, transfer, or manage risk. The Board understands these principal risks, and balances the level of risk to ensure organizational stability, growth and development. The activities of managing risk are already embedded into the day-to-day planning and management activities of CNIB.

As well, the Board monitors risks through regular reporting from management to keep informed of key areas of risk and to be assured that management has put into place methods for monitoring risk to ensure that controls are effective and undue levels of risk do not occur.

Standing Committees of the National Board

From time to time, the National Board establishes standing, special and ad hoc committees to assist in the performance of its duties. The committees are tasked with the pre-work of the Board, monitoring performance, and preparing and presenting recommendations to the Board at its meetings. The Chairs of the committees are National Board members. All Board members serve on a committee according to their skills and expertise, along with additional non-Board members as community appointments. The Chair and President/CEO are ex officio members of all National Board Committees. Committees include:

  • Audit Committee
  • Finance and Risk Management Committee
  • Governance Committee
  • Public Education and Advocacy Committee
  • Fundraising and Philanthropy Committee
  • Programs and Services Committee
  • Research Committee

Together, in consultation with CNIB’s president and CEO, these Committees recommend to the Board policy for the organization and guide management in key strategic decisions, along with ensuring CNIB carries out its mission.

CNIB also has a national office located in Toronto, which consists of several departments that support the efficient administration of the organization’s activities nationwide, and provide functional leadership to key initiatives at the regional level.

In addition to the national office, CNIB has eight divisions, each headed by a Regional Vice President and guided by a divisional advisory board. Each division is responsible for managing the delivery of client services in a specific geographic area or function, and raising funds to support that service delivery. Each division is also responsible for the management and operation of the local offices within its specific geographic area. CNIB has more than 50 local offices across Canada, which vary in size, and are hubs for local service delivery and community engagement.

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