Submitted by martha on February 26, 2013 – 3:39pm

A Public Legal Education Project for BC’s Non-Profits and Charities: PLEI for Non-Profits

The Artists Legal Outreach Society and The People’s Law School are pleased to announce that they have joined forces to collaborate on “PLEI for Non-Profits”, a joint project funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

PLEI for Non-Profits is the first phase of an integrated response to the legal needs of Non-Profits and Charities in BC. With $11 billion dollars in revenue annually, the sector consists of more than 20,000 non-profit organizations. These groups provide British Columbians with everything from health care to housing, theatre to pottery classes, and seniors support to swimming pools. Although they share a common legal structure, the lack of access to legal information, education and advice is a serious risk management issue for many of them. The PLEI for Non-Profits project brings a coordinated response to their legal needs.

PLEI for Non Profits is designed to build a lasting foundation in creating a clearinghouse of legal resources for BC’s non-profit and charitable sector. There are two overarching goals: firstly to build the capacity to address legal issues in any size organization on an ongoing basis (regardless of revenue and staffing level), and secondly, to build and integrate connections between the sector and the legal community.

Due diligence on the part of Board members and staff includes legal as well as financial issues, so it is imperative that organizations have timely affordable access to appropriate Canadian legal information and services. This project will assess currently available resources, identify gaps, begin to fill the gaps with the development of high-priority materials, and create a centralized, online and accessible clearinghouse. By accessing the clearinghouse, and other tools to be developed as resources allow, organizations may avoid legal pitfalls that can overwhelm them.

Lawyer Martha Rans has begun building the document and resource database and is pulling together the legal information available. The People’s Law School is providing key infrastructure and technical skills for building the Clearinghouse, and Alison Brewin has been retained as Project Manager. Martha Rans can be reached at

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