Transparency is our way of life, not just a necessity

January 27, 2011

While listening to the radio yesterday morning, I happened to catch a story about a church in Newfoundland and Labrador that was victim to fraud by its former business manager (“NL church left itself open to fraud: accountant” CBC News, January 25, 2011). The article said “single-bookkeeper accounting practices used by many charities may have left the door open to fraud.”

This statement hit a cord with me. Being the Managing Director of Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC), I am responsible for our daily financial management. The reason for my discontent was not due to fear or doubt in me or our practices, but more because this may have caused some people to question the practice of charitable giving. With our largest fundraiser fast approaching, this concerned me.

One of my first thoughts when I joined the YACC team in 2007 was, “wow, this place is so open, they will tell anyone anything about their operations.” Coming from the business world, this was a new concept to me. Now, at the start of my fifth year with the organization, it is just a way of life. Transparency is a core value and it is paramount in everything we do, from how we develop programs, to how we raise money, to recording where all of that money goes.

YACC has developed a very thorough financial process that includes weekly reporting to the entire team, monthly checks by a second staff member, double signatures on all cheques (with required board member signatures on large amounts), and quarterly and annual reporting to our board of directors (which currently has two Certified Accountants). YACC’s annual financial statements are completed by an external licensed CA firm and are available on our website through our Annual Report.

We want you to feel secure in knowing your donation is safe and appropriately designated to helping survivors in our community. Thank you to all who have supported us in the past and those that will continue to do so. Your help has created the sustainable, life-changing organization that we are today.

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