Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Questions from an Imagine adoption family

As a fellow creditor of Imagine I would like to share some questions/comments regarding the recent proposal. As creditors, we all have an important decision to make and I personally believe information is the key to good decision making. I have been consulting to the nonprofit sector for 20 years, which leads me to the questions I have about the restructured organization.

 What role will fundraising play in the new organization?
 Can a financial plan be posted?
 Who will be deciding on the next Executive Director? Will the families have input into this key decision?
 How did the Board of Directors get selected? Can we have a more democratic process going forward?
 What will be the criteria for determining if the new organization will continue in March 2010?
 What does the proposal mean when it says that if the new organization doesn’t succeed our money will be returned on a “pro rata” basis?
 What key activities will be happening between September and March 2010?
 Why have we not approached the Ontario Government to help fund the cost of starting up the organization rather than looking once again to families who have already lost a great deal financially? Why are we not asking the government to take responsibility for not properly monitoring this not for profit organization?
 Will anyone be starting a class action lawsuit against Sue Hayhow and the Board of Directors to try to retrieve some money for the new organization?
 If most of the creditors have withdrawn their claims, why has the Goodyear family not done the same, considering their hands on role with the organization?
 In most organizations, the Executive Director selects their own staff. Why have we assigned full time positions to individual without the input of the ED? Can we hire people on a contract basis until approved by the ED?
 Can staff temporarily work from home offices to keep the costs down until the organization is back on its feet?
 Can we use volunteers to help offset the costs?
 How can families get involved outside of the FIA or with the FIA?
 When will referrals begin again?
 How can we create more transparency and not repeat the mistakes of Imagine?

I also have some recommendations of a newly restructuring organization:

 I would like to know who the ED is before voting to accept the proposal. The leader of the organization will be crucial to the success of a future organization and as a creditor and someone asked to contribute another $4,000, I would like to have a voice in this. I’m going to assume that this will not be a former Imagine Canada staff.
 I believe the Board of Directors should be elected by the creditors and there should be a possibility for other families to get involved. There is a sense that a lot is happening without the comment or consent of the families.
 We should collect a summary of all of the skills and experience of the families and utilize this very willing and able group of individuals to ensure the organization succeeds. Let’s use the skills of those who are now our “family”. Some of us who didn’t make it to the first meeting might like to get involved and have an impact including those who have already adopted. Let’s get more inclusive. We all have a very big stake in the success of a new organization.
 A list should be made available with all families and their dates for submitting their dossiers and the age and sex of the child. To deal with confidentiality we could assign a number to each file rather than a name. This would help build a sense of trust with families.

I look forward to anyone’s feedback on these points.

Sandra Paquette

September 8, 2009 11:46 AM

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