From the Editor

For the spring of 1992 we have description, prescription, and comment, as well as the usual reading list.

Professor Jim Phillips comments on the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Everywoman ‘s Health Centre Society case. The Court held that activities that are socially or politically controversial-in this case an abortion clinicmay nevertheless be charitable in law. Professor Phillips explores some of the consequences of the Court’s reasoning.

Different authors prescribe for different purposes. David Baker sets out some rules for success in raising money over the long term. Ruth Armstrong shows how boards of directors can make themselves over to meet their responsibilities as governors of sophisticated and modern organizations. While not every charitable board will want to take these steps, Ms. Armstrong gives examples of two that did it successfully.

Professor Louis Jolin describes the life of nonprofit associations in Quebec, including their legal framework if any, a number of classification schemes to help analyze their important features, and the challenges that they will face in the 1990’s. Those challenges will be familiar to those outside Quebec as well: secure financing, proper training of managers (voluntary and paid), and an appropriate legal and policy structure so that the different kinds of association can effectively promote the social benefits they exist to serve. Professor Jolin implies that, for example, the rules on political activity by charities may require rethinking, as charities that try to relieve social ills without the right to propose and criticize government actions risk having only marginal impact on those ills. Our pages are always open to views on how best to meet all these challenges.

On the Bookshelf this issue are a number of instructional works from the U.S. National Center for Nonprofit Boards. Canadian readers will no doubt want to read them alongside the eight-volume Handbook for Cooperating Associations and Voluntary Organizations published by the Voluntary Action Directorate of the office of Multiculturalism and Citizenship in Ottawa.

John D. Gregory



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