Niagara Health Foundation (hereinafter referred to as NHF) is committed to carry out its mission to support the Niagara Health System in providing quality, caring healthcare to the patients it serves. Every gift is important to us regardless of size.   
NHF is a registered Canadian charity that is committed to high standards and service excellence.  The NHF believes that any external stakeholder has the right to raise a complaint, have that complaint acknowledged and have said complaint followed-up in timely, fair and respectful manner.
External Stakeholder

“External Stakeholder” means anyone from outside the NHF and could be, but not limited to, donors, recipients of Foundation marketing and communications, suppliers, volunteers, event participants, partners and sponsors.
This policy and procedure applies only to external complaints received by the NHF about our activities (programs and services), a staff member, a Board member, and/or volunteer.

  • We value all donors and others who make a complaint and view this as an opportunity to refine and improve our procedures.
  • Privacy is respected.
  • Requests for anonymity are respected and strictly adhered to.
  • Complaints will be dealt with promptly and sensitively by the appropriate staff member.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the activities, actions or lack of action by the NHF as an organization or by a staff member, Board member or volunteer acting on behalf of the Foundation.
Examples include but are not limited to:

  • perceived failure to do something agreed upon;
  • failure to observe policy or procedures;
  • error made by a staff member/Board member/volunteer; or
  • unfair or discourteous actions/statements by staff member/ Board member / volunteer.

Anyone personally affected in such a matter is entitled to register a complaint, and it shall be dealt with in accordance with this policy.
Registering a Complaint

Many issues can be resolved easily and quickly, often at the time they arise, by contacting the NHF at 905-323-3863. 
If the issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily, you are able to make a formal complaint by submitting a statement of facts - a detailed description covering the what, when, who, how, where and why - to the Chief Privacy Officer either:
By email:   
By mail: Attention: Niagara Health Foundation
                 Chief Privacy Officer
                 1200 Fourth Avenue
                 St. Catharines, ON  L2S 0A2
The NHF will acknowledge the receipt of a formal complaint within five (5) business days.

A submitted formal complaint will be handled by the Chief Privacy Officer, yet the President & CEO of the foundation has the discretion to assign the handling of said complaint to another staff member or Board member.
In those cases were the assigned staff member or Board member cannot resolve the complaint satisfactorily, it will be escalated to the President & CEO. 
If the complaint is about the President & CEO, the Board Chair and/or the Executive Committee will be notified but the President & CEO reserves the right to appoint an external third party to investigate said complaint.
The NHF will investigate the complaint and may seek further information from any employee, Board member, volunteer, vendor or other stakeholder as appropriate. The actions taken by the NHF with respect to a particular allegation will depend on the nature of the reported violation.
Each case is unique, but the NHF will handle any allegation reported pursuant to this Policy respectfully and with discretion. If the facts warrant it, the NHF will take corrective action and/or disciplinary action as necessary.
Although a complainant is not expected to prove the truth of an allegation, a complainant should be able to demonstrate that he or she has made a report in good faith.
Complainants will be kept informed of the status of their complaint.  Every attempt will be made to resolve a formal complaint within an additional twenty (20) business days so that the complaint will be resolved within a month of having been received.  The NHF will respond to the complainant as soon as possible after the matter has been investigated, findings reviewed and a recommendation has been submitted.

Anonymous Allegations
Thorough investigation often depends on an ability to gather additional information. The NHF encourages a complainant to identify themselves when registering a complaint. The NHF will explore an anonymous complaint 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 NHF will track complaints received. The tracked data will be reviewed periodically to identify any significant trends. Significant trends will be analyzed to determine a root cause(s) and will be promptly addressed to mitigate any future risk.
Report to the Board
The NHF on an annual basis will submit to the Board an External Complaints Report, which shall include at a minimum: number of complaints in the reporting period, type of complaint (informal/formal) and the disposition of the complaints received.

  • To ensure that complaints are kept to a minimum, we will adhere to strict ethical practices in all our fundraising activities.
  • If a serious complaint cannot be reasonably addressed by the appropriate level of staff member outlined in the attached procedures “Complaints Resolution Hierarchy”,  it will be forwarded to the Foundation CEO for resolution, and if necessary to the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
  • All requests for donor anonymity will be respected to the extent possible in order to effectively review and resolve the complaint.
  • All complaints directed to the Foundation office will be acted upon immediately. They will be documented and monitored by the supervisor of the staff member assigned to address the complaint.
  • Normally, all complaints will be brought to the attention of the Niagara Health Foundation President & CEO, and will be addressed by the most appropriate person possible.
  • Niagara Health Foundation’s designated Chief Privacy Officer will act upon all complaints related to privacy.       
  • An annual report on complaints will be prepared and presented to the Senior Management Team and Governance Committee of the Board to review and take corrective action.