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Projects: Recent & Currently 'In Progress'

  1. Research
  2. Publications
  3. Series of Web Articles
  4. Invited Presentations
  5. Consulting
  6. Training
  7. Faculty Appointments


  • Research on best practices in governance across sectors used in training and board evaluation to form basis of new book to be published in 2014
  • “Network Governance, Analysis of Alternative Models”. This resulted in development of a new framework for determining optimal degree of integration between organizations…Supported by VON Canada, Ottawa Branch (now Carefor Health & Community Services) & Synergy Associates.
  • “Best in Class Annual Reports: Results from Focus Group” Queen’s University, CA Centre on Governance, 2008
  • Research to derive "Practical Lessons on Governance from Case Studies on 20 Canadian nonprofits" (ranging from a rural Saskatchewan Lions Club through health and social service organizations, school boards and the B.C. Fast Ferries project.
  • Research was supported in part by PricewaterhouseCoopers (now IBM) Endowment for the Business of Government; Human Resources Development Canada; Health Canada; Canadian Heritage; Agriculture Canada; and, the Alberta Ministry of Children's Services.
  • Literature review combined with these case studies resulted in development of a new framework of governance models used by Canadian nonprofits.
  • Researched and developed 'Governance Self-Assessment Checklist' (administered to 50 non-profit organizations). Research supported by Health Canada and Human Resources Development Canada.
  • Research to establish linkages between good governance practices and organizational effectiveness in partnership with University of Ottawa, Centre for Research on Community Services, 2001-03.
  • Conducted and supervised Governance Reviews of five Canadian and international non-profit membership network organizations (Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the National Action Coalition on the Status of Women, the Canadian AIDS Society, the National Audubon Society, Amnesty International Canada), 2001
  • Principal Investigator, CIDA funded project to examine relationship between governments and non-profit organizations in development of public policy in Canada and four Southeast Asian countries, 2002 to 2004


  • “What’s in Your Annual Report?” 2008, Ezines, Queen’s University, CAP – Centre on Governance
  • Governing for Results: A Director's Guide to Good Governance . BEST SELLER. Handbook for Directors. Trafford Publishing Inc., Victoria, B.C., 2005. Book cover, table of contents, excerpts, reviewer commentary and ordering information available at www.synergyassociates.ca .
  • " The Governance Self-Assessment Checklist: An Instrument for Assessing Board Effectiveness " Mel Gill with Dr. Robert Flynn and Dr. Elke Reissing. Nonprofit Management and Leadership March 2005 15 (3). Paper on preliminary findings initially presented at 2002 ARNOVA conference in Montreal.
  • Sample By-law for nonprofit organizations, 2005. Available on CD ROM from author.
  • Sample Governance Policies , 2005. Also available on CD ROM from author.
  • " Prospecting for Practical Methodologies: To Examine Links Between Governing Boards' Performance and Organizational Effectiveness " Boards and Beyond Invitational Conference, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri, Kansas City, March 2005, conference proceedings.
  • " Conflicted about Conflict of Interest?"" Publication pending in Spring 2007 issue of The Nonprofit Quarterly.
  • " Building Effective Approaches to Governance ", Mel Gill. Non-Profit Quarterly , Vol. 9 no. 2 Summer 2002 pp. 46-49. Paper initially presented at 2002 ARNOVA conference, Montreal.
  • " What Governance Model is Right for Your Nonprofit Organization? The Options Available to Health and Human Service Organizations " Open Minds: The Behavioral Health & Social Service Industry Analyst , 15(5) 2003, Gettysbury, PA
  • " Policy Partnerships: Essential Elements of Effective Government/NGO Relationships ", June 2003.
  • " Benefits for Children: Case Study on the Role of Canadian Nonprofits in Development of Public Policy ", Institute On Governance, Ottawa, January 2004.
  • " Guide to Good Governance: A New Framework for Understanding and Strengthening Governance ", February 2002. This working paper provided the foundation for development of the book, Governing for Results.
  • " Governance Do's and Don'ts: Executive Summary " The 'Journal', Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, Vol. 46, no. 1, April 2002; and, ARNOVA News, Fall 2003 Vol. 32(4).
  • " Corporate Governance after Enron and World Com: Applying the Principles of Results-Based Governance " keynote luncheon address at conference on Corporate Governance, Calgary, Dec 3, 2002.
  • " Governance Do's and Don'ts: Practical Lessons from Case Studies on Twenty Canadian Non-profits " 2001
  • " Synopsis of Governance Models and Frameworks ", 1999, occasional paper prepared as background for further research and book on governance.

Series of Web Articles

  • "Governing for Results: How Boards Can Add Value" Association: Canada's Association Management Magazine Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) Oct/Nov 2005 22(6)
  • "Conflicted About Conflict of Interest" The Volunteer Newsletter CSAE Aug/Sept. 2005
  • "Confused about Governance Models? You're Not Alone!" October 31, 2005
  • "Governing for results - Essentials of an Added-value Approach" August 31, 2005
  • "Rewarding Good Behavior", commentary on case scenario re: executive director evaluation', Board Member , Board Source, Washington D.C., December 2005
  • "Good Governance and Board/Staff Relations" , January 19, 2006, Charity Channel,
  • "Board Evaluation and Ethical Governance" , Association Forum March 2006, Association Forum of Chicagoland, Chicago and Charity Village
  • "Board Evaluation. Why Bother?", May 11, 2006, Charity Channel
  • "Signs of a Board in Trouble" , Social Service Journal May/June 2006, National Council of Social Service, Singapore
  • "Defending the Policy Governance Model.Again!", June 15, 2006 Canadian FundRaiser
  • "Can our board members donate to other causes?" Charity Village Sept 2006
  • "What Type of Board do you want 'Yours' to Be?" November 2006 Charity Channel
  • "Governance models, board types or best practices?" January 2007 Charity Village
  • “Seven Pillars of Democratic Governance” 2 part installment, Charity Channel, 2009
  • “Board Conflicts at the Toronto Zoo Threaten its Reputation and Future” Canadian FundRaiser, 2010
  • “Term Limits for Not-for-Profit Boards” 2011
  • “Defending the Policy Governance Model (NOT)” Charity Channel, 2011
  • “Does Your Board Need Committees?” The Volunteer Newsletter CSAE Nov. 2011

Invited Presentations

  • BCNHA (B.C. Nonprofit Housing Assoc.), Governance & Leadership, 2008 & 2009
  • Public Employees’ Benefits Agency, Waskesiu, Sask. ‘Fitness Routine for Boards’, 2008
  • "Board and Organizational Effectiveness" , Legal Aid Ontario - Community Clinics Governance Conference, Toronto, May 2007
  • "Networks on the Move", Conference Plenary Keynote Presentation, "Networks, Stakeholders and Nonprofit Organization Governance", Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri, Kansas City, April 2007
  • "Directors' Dialogue" University of Victoria, School of Public Administration and Centre for Nonprofit Management, Oct 2006
  • "Governing for Results: Boards that Lead and Leaders that Govern" , Canadian Society of Association Executives, annual conference, September 2006, Edmonton
  • "Performance Evaluation in Health Care" , MHA class, University of Ottawa, July 2006
  • "Governing for Results: Planning Strategically - Measuring What Matters Most" , Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations, May 2006
  • "Governing for Results: Boards that Lead and Leaders that Govern" , pre-conference workshop for Volunteer Leadership Development Program, United Way Canada annual conference, April 27, 2006, Edmonton
  • "Best Practices in Governance: Audits of Third Party Governance" , Conference on 'Internal Audits for the Public Sector', Crown Conferences , December 2005, Ottawa
  • "Building a Best Practice Corporate Governance Framework", Pre-conference workshop, 'Corporate Governance in the Public Sector', IQPC (International Quality and Productivity Centre) , Ottawa, November, 2005
  • "Board/Staff relations in Nonprofits", Inaugural Keynote presentation, Altruvest Leadership Alumni networking breakfast, Toronto, October, 2005
  • "Prospecting for Practical Methodologies: To Examine Links Between Governing Board's Performance and Organizational Effectiveness" 'Boards and Beyond' Invitational Conference, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership , University of Missouri, Kansas City, March 2005
  • "Linking Board Governance to Organizational Performance: Prospecting for Practical Methodologies" Annual Conference, ARNOVA (Association for Research on Non-profit Organizations and Voluntary Action), Los Angeles, November 2004
  • "Structures and Strategies for Influencing Public Policy: A Canadian and International Comparison on Strengthening Policy Partnerships" Annual Conference, ARNOVA , Los Angeles, November 2004
  • "Governing for Results" , Canadian Association of Police Services Boards , Annual Conference, Vancouver, August 2004
  • "Strengthening Government/NGO Partnerships: The Role of Canadian Voluntary Sector Organizations in Development of Public Policy Related to Benefits for Children" 'Building Effective Government-Civil Society Social Policy Partnerships', Research Roundtable sponsored by IOG and funded by CIDA , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 2004
  • "Governing for Results" , Master's level training, Association of Fundraising Professionals , International Conference, Toronto, March 24, 2003
  • "Governing for Results" Luncheon Keynote, Insight Conference on 'Corporate Governance' Calgary, Dec 3 2002
  • "Governance Models: What's Right for Your Organization" and "The Governance Self-Assessment Checklist: Links Between Good Governance & Organizational Effectiveness" Annual Conference, ARNOVA , Montreal November 14-15 2002
  • "Lessons on Governance from Canadian Research" , Annual Conference, ARNOVA , Miami, December 2, 2001
  • "Practical Lessons on Governance" , Annual Conference, YMCA Canada , Vancouver, June 2001


  • Finning International/CAT, Board, Chairs &Committee Performance Reviews, 2007 to 2013
  • OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Dealers Industry Council), Board & Chair Performance Reviews, 2009 to 2013
  • Hockey Canada, Board Assessment & Training, Montreal, 2011
  • TimberWest Forest Corp., Board, Chair, Committee Reviews, 2008 to 2010
  • Federal Superannuates National Association, Environmental Scan, Strategic Plan, Governance Policies, Board Training, 2008
  • Prairie Valley School Division, Regina, Sask. Board and CEO reviews, 2012 & 2013
  • Municipal Employees’ Pension Commission, Governance Audit, 2009/10
  • L’Arche Canada, Governance Review, Policies and Training, 2011
  • Public Employees’ Pension Board, Regina, Sask. Governance Audit, 2008/09
  • Moncton, N.B. School Division 2, Governance Audit and Training, 2009
  • Ottawa-Carleton School Board, Board evaluation & retreat facilitation, 2009
  • Air Canada Pilots Assn. Toronto, Governance Review & Training, 2007 & 2010
  • CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining), Governance Review; Bylaw and Policy Development, Training, , 2007 to 2009
  • Development of governance policies; advice on CEO compensation and employment contract, RCEN, Fall & Winter 2006
  • Development of governance policies and board training, Carefor Health and Community Services, Ottawa, Fall & Winter 2006/07
  • Bylaw and policy development; review of governance structure and training material, VON Ottawa-Renfrew, Summer 2006
  • Board, Board Chair, Director & CEO annual performance evaluation, CODE Inc. Ottawa, June 2006
  • Advice on network governance, VON Ottawa-Renfrew, Spring 2006
  • Review of Governance Structure, Children and Family Services of Prescott-Russell , ON March 2006
  • Facilitation of Board meeting, Parkinson Society of Canada , Toronto, February 2006
  • ‘Strategic Implementation Framework' for Corporate Plan, Parkinson Society of Canada , Toronto, December 2005
  • Advisor to United Way International Global Standards Initiative: Reference Group on Governance, Privacy and Ethics, 2005
  • Advisor, United Way Canada on revamping of Board Basics website and Volunteer Leadership Development program, 2005 and 2006
  • Governance Assessment using GSAC, Parkinson Society of Canada , Summer 2005
  • Governance Assessment using GSAC, Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre of Calgary , Spring 2005
  • Governance Assessment using GSAC, Canadian Stem Cell Network , Spring 2005
  • ‘Strategic Plan' development. Canadian Environmental Network , Winter/Spring, 2005
  • Governance Assessment using GSAC, Ottawa Hospital Foundation , Summer 2004
  • Governance Assessment using GSAC, Police Services Board, Port Moody, B.C. February 2004
  • Compensation review, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Network , March 2004
  • Governance and Executive Director performance review process, John Howard Society, Kingston , Ontario, Feb. 2003
  • Development of Comprehensive Governance Policies including ‘donor confidentiality' policy, Canadian Hemophilia Society, Dec 2002 to April 2003
  • Development of Outcome Measurement/Evaluation Framework, Health Charities Council of Canada and NVO Health Division , December 2002 to March 2003
  • Review of the governance of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority , spring 2002 •  Governance Assessment using GSAC, Child Find Manitoba , April 2003
  • Governance Reviews, Canadian Environmental Network and Affiliates (First Nations Environmental Network and New Brunswick Environmental Network); facilitated implementation of new governance structure and by-laws, 2001-02
  • Governance Assessment using Governance Self-Assessment Checklist (GSAC), National Association of Friendship Centres , April 2001
  • Governance reviews of 20 Canadian nonprofits as part of research project noted under research heading, 2000-01
  • Governance Review, Child and Family Services Authority, Grande Prairie, Alberta , 2000-01
  • Review of the relationship between the Health Promotions and Programs Branch of Health Canada and its Territorial Government counterparts, Spring 1999


Governance, Leadership and Learning Organizations

  • SNOLABI, Network Governance & High Performance Boards, 2011
  • Saskatchewan School Boards Association, ‘Fundamentals of Effective Governance’ 2009 & 2011
  • Manitoba Association of School Trustees, Governing for Results, 2007
  • Network Centres of Excellence, Governing for Results & Managing the Board, 2007
  • McInnes Cooper Law, Halifax, Board Performance Review and training, 2007
  • "VCARS Board on Track" West Parry Sound ON Victim's Services, March 2007
  • "Governing for Results: Focused Leadership for CIM" Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Montreal, February 2007
  • "Boards that Get Results" Sierra Club of Canada, Ottawa, February 2007
  • "Governing for HOPE" HOPE Volleyball, Ottawa, Sept. 2006
  • 'Governing for Results: Boards that Lead and Leaders that Govern', Canadian Society of Association Executives , annual conference, Edmonton, September 2006
  • ' Board Evaluation and Trustee Recruitment' , tele-seminars, Ontario Library Boards Association, May 2006
  • 'Governing for Results: Best Practices for Better Boards', Canadian Nurses Protective Society, April 2006
  • "Governing for Results: Aligning Board Work with the Strategic Plan" , Canadian Community Newspaper Association , Toronto, February 2006
  • Canadian Assn of Landscape Architects, Toronto, January, 2006
  • Credit Institute of Canada, Toronto, January 2006
  • " Governing for Results: Boards that Add Value " Canadian FundRaiser workshop, November, 2005
  • Open Hands Society, Cornwall, September, 2005
  • "Governing for Results" workshop, United Way of Ottawa annual conference, June, 2005
  • Parkinson Society of Canada, June 2005
  • Canadian Stem Cell Research Network, November 2004
  • Canadian Environmental Network, June 2003
  • North York General Hospital Foundation, Toronto, March 24, 2003
  • John Howard Society, Kingston, Ontario, Feb. 2003
  • Community Arts Ontario: Provincial Board, February 2002; Kingston Regional group, May 2002; & Training Provincial Trainers, Toronto November 2002
  • New Brunswick Environmental Network, October 2001
  • United Way Volunteer Leadership Trainers, South Central Ontario, October 2001
  • United Way Volunteer Leadership Trainers, Vancouver, June 2001
  • Hospice at Maycourt, Ottawa, October 2001
  • Child and Family Services Authority, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Spring 2001
  • Services to Children and Adults, Prescott-Russell, February 2001 St. Leonard's Society of Canada, 2000

Faculty Appointments

  • “Strategic Management for Directors”, Directors Education and Accreditation Program, (ICSA) Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Canada, 2008 & 2009
  • Developed and presented “Nonprofit Governance” module, ICSA, 2008 & 2009
  • "Fundamentals of Governance" Executive Development Course, School of Business, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, 2007 & 2008
  • "Board Work Plans that Add Value to Organizational Performance" 5th Annual Conference on Health Care Governance, Federated Press, Toronto, March 2007
  • "Performance Evaluation in Health Care" Masters in Health Care Administration, University of Ottawa, March 2006
  • "Politics of Change" School of Social Work, University of Regina, Saskatoon Campus, Winter sessions 1985 & 1986
  • "Mental Health Services" School of Social Work, University of Regina, Saskatoon Campus, Fall session 1985

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