Jane Garthson is the founder of Garthson Leadership Center, a Toronto-based consultancy.

Since 1992, she has dedicated her work and volunteering to creating better futures for our communities and organizations through values-based leadership. She is a respected international voice on interim leadership, executive transition, governance, strategic thinking, and ethics.

Jane is a veteran member of the CharityChannel professional community. She served on the CharityChannel Advisory Board and as editor of CharityChannel’s online journal, Nonprofit Boards and Governance Review, now incorporated into CharityChannel’s online articles for busy nonprofit practitioners. She is a contributing author to the CharityChannel books You and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers, and Provocateurs and YOU and Your Nonprofit: Practical Advice and Tips from the CharityChannel Professional Community.

Jane is currently Secretary, Chair of Governance, and Director of Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. Past roles include

  • Interim Executive Director, Toronto Cat Rescue and of Ontario Equestrian Federation
  • Cofounder and Past Chair, Ethics Practitioners Association of Canada
  • Author of the monthly Governance and Ethics column for Charity Village 2003 – 2013
  • Treasurer, Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.

Jane is active in the Canadian Society of Association Executives, Centre for Social Innovation, and Ontario Nonprofit Network. She is a former Commissioner of the Ontario Racing Commission, and as a regulator and tribunal member worked to enhance integrity and fairness in Ontario horse racing.

Her clients for leadership services and presentations include Canadian professional and industry associations, charities, community groups, NGOs, and government agencies of all sizes and geographic scope.

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You Are Now the Interim Executive. Now What?

Stephen Nill has invited me to share with you my most recent experience where I stepped in as the interim executive and successfully led the nonprofit organization to a healthy place, ready for its next full-time executive director. I’ll do that and go further – I’ll give you the benefit of my experience by talking about the questions you should be asking and steps you should take both for the organization and for yourself, should you find yourself facing, as did I, this kind of a challenge.

Strategic Boards in All-Volunteer Organizations

When board members are also doing staff work because there is no staff, many people assume a ‘working board’ is the only possible approach. I’ve never really understood the term myself, as any board member of any type of organization should be hard-working. I realize they mean the board members are doing operational work that…

The Real Beginning to the Journey

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tzu How often have I heard, or even said, that statement? It is meant to encourage people to take some small action towards their dream. A thousand miles can seem impossible, but surely anyone can take one step. But no true journey begins with…

Reviewing Governance Part 2 - The Process

Part 1 of this article was about the when and why of governance reviews in community, public and mutual benefit organizations. It mentioned some warning signs that indicate a governance review might be warranted, noted some times when such a review should be deferred, and spoke to the benefits. So let’s now help you get…

Reviewing Governance Part 1 - When and Why

People frequently ask me to give them one simple red flag issue to help them determine if their governance needs reviewing. I ask them, “Do all your board agendas look the same?” Unfortunately, they often admit that only the dates change. The agenda is a tool designed to let all directors determine in advance of the meeting which issues…

The Independent Director (Part 2): Can We Have Truly Independent Decision-Making?

In part one of this article, I examined some of the principles underlying the concept of independent directors. I listed four types of situations that can bring into question the role of individual board members and the decisions of a board of directors: business relationships; employment relationships; family and personal interests; and the expectation of…