Complaints Policy

1.0        Background 

Make-A-Wish® Foundation of Canada (the “Foundation”) is a registered Canadian charity that is committed to high standards of conduct.  We acknowledge that feedback and complaints allow the Foundation to become a better and more effective organization. Feedback helps us know what we are doing right, and complaints help us know what needs to improve.  We further believe that the process for resolving concerns and complaints should be timely, fair, and respectful.

2.0        Purpose  

The purpose of this policy is to outline a transparent and fair method of receiving, responding to, and reporting on complaints from the public.

3.0        Policy

The Foundation will respond to complaints about interactions with the public as related to the content and application of the Foundation’s policies and procedures or the conduct of the Foundation or its representatives.

4.0        Scope and Application 

This policy applies to complaints from the Foundation’s public stakeholders, such as donors and volunteers.  This policy is for external stakeholders of the Foundation.  Internal concerns should be reported under the Foundation’s Whistleblower Policy #4.8, or Managing Workplace Issues Policy #4.7, as appropriate.

5.0        Important Points About the Policy 

The Foundation will respond to a complaint that has been received within two (2) business days and then make every reasonable effort to make inquiries into the complaint in a timely manner (within 10 business days). Complaints will be addressed in a fair and consistent manner.  Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a decision should not form the basis for a subsequent complaint under this policy.

6.0        Process for Raising a Concern

Many concerns can be resolved easily and quickly, often at the time they arise, by speaking with the Foundation representative or by contacting the Foundation’s general inquiries line.  If a problem or concern cannot be resolved in this way, or if a member of the public wishes to make a complaint (the “Complainant”), the complaint should be submitted in writing directly to the   Foundation at [email protected]. The Foundation will use its best efforts to acknowledge the receipt of a complaint within two (2) business days.

A Complainant should be able to demonstrate that they have made a report in good faith and provide evidence to substantiate the complaint where possible. When the Complainant submits its complaint, the Foundation requests that the complaint contain the following information (as applicable): a general summary of the concern; when and where the issue occurred; the person(s) involved; the names of witnesses (if any); and any supporting materials.  Unless the Complainant wishes to remain anonymous as set out below, the Foundation requests that this written statement be signed and dated by the Complainant.

6.1        How the Complaint will be Handled

Initial Inquiries The Foundation will assign an appropriate inquiring party to investigate the complaint (“Inquiring Party”).  The Inquiring Party shall make inquiries about the complaint and may seek further information from the Complainant, as well as any other relevant person.  If necessary, the Foundation may collaborate and consult with legal counsel or employ outside advisors to assist.

If the complaint is about a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the complaint will be referred to the CEO. A complaint about the CEO will be referred to the Chair of the Board of Directors.

The actions taken by the Foundation with respect to a particular complaint will depend on the nature of the reported violation.  If, after making initial inquiries, the Inquiring Party determines that no further investigation is necessary, to the extent possible and appropriate, the Complainant will be informed of this decision.

Investigations – If it is determined by the Inquiring Party, that an investigation is required, the Foundation will handle any complaint reported pursuant to this policy respectfully and with discretion.  If the facts warrant it, the Foundation will take corrective action or disciplinary action appropriate in light of the severity of the offense based on the findings of the investigation of the complaint. If the Foundation deems it necessary, the Foundation may report matters to law enforcement authorities.

The investigation may include all or some of the following:

  • Interviewing the Complainant to seek clarification or gather additional details about their concern;
  • Informing the alleged respondent (if any) of the concern; and
  • Interviewing any person involved or having knowledge of the concern including witnesses as required.

Reporting Back – To the extent possible and appropriate, the Foundation will respond to the Complainant about the outcome of the investigation after the matter has been reviewed and a determination has been reached of the overall result of the review. Respondents and witnesses may be advised of the outcome of the investigation as deemed appropriate by the Foundation, acting reasonably.

Confidentiality – The Foundation will make appropriate efforts to protect the identity of a Complainant with an appropriate regard for confidentiality, with the understanding that the identity of parties involved, and other details may need to be shared with others on a need to know basis in order to investigate such concerns properly, facilitate oversight and receive advice as needed.

Anonymous Complaints – Thorough investigation often depends on an ability to gather additional information. The Foundation encourages a Complainant to put their name to their complaint as the Foundation may be limited in its ability to investigate and take appropriate action on anonymous statements. The Foundation will explore anonymous inquiries to the extent possible but will weigh the prudence of continuing an investigation against the likelihood of confirming the alleged facts or circumstances from attributable sources.

Continuous Improvement – The Foundation will keep a record of complaints received. The data will be reviewed to assist and inform the Foundation’s ongoing continuous improvement efforts.

7.0 Report to the Executive Leadership Team and the Board

The Foundation shall keep a record of the complaints received pursuant to this policy and shall inform its Executive Leadership Team and the Board at least annually of the aggregate number, type, and status/outcome of complaints received, but not disclose in the report any personally identifiable information.