OMC Terms of Reference


The Ontario Mentoring Coalition exists to achieve our vision of partnering to transform the potential of Ontario’s children and youth through mentoring.  Mentoring organizations in Ontario can join us in support of this vision by becoming members of the Coalition.  Mentoring is not limited to a particular setting and can take place in a variety of places such as in a school, in the workplace, at a faith-based organization, at a corrections facility, in a community setting, and in the virtual community (e-mentoring).  Since Children and Youth Mentoring can take place just about anywhere, our members help achieve the vision of the OMC in a wide variety of environments and industries.  Our members consist of groups as well as individuals who are from non-profit organizations, government agencies, corporate sector, and communities including rural, remote, urban and Aboriginal communities.

The Ontario Mentoring Coalition is supportive of several types of Children and Youth Mentoring in a variety of settings across Ontario and may offer: traditional mentoring (one to one) group mentoring (one to several); team mentoring (several to one); as well as peer mentoring (children or youth mentoring other children or youth).

Membership is open to individuals and representatives of organizations who are actively involved in mentoring for children and youth, are interested in developing their mentoring capacity, or are organizations that support the development of mentoring.  To encourage maximum involvement, the cost of participating as a member of the coalition will be free until a time when it is no longer viable to do so.  Membership fee changes must be passed by a majority vote of the Leadership Team.  Participation in potential Coalition events (e.g. conference, workshop, etc.) may be subject to one time fees in order to cover the cost of providing the event.


Governance is defined as the structures, processes and behaviours used to manage the affairs of an organization. The OMC has adopted a “collaborative and consensus-based” governance model, with leadership and guidance provided by the following:

  • Joint Chairs
  • Leadership Team acting as the governing body
  • Sub-committees carrying out the expectations of the Leadership Team and the Joint Chairs

The governance model is based on the following fundamentals:

  • Governed by OMC’s vision, mission, values, processes and procedures, and the interest of OMC’s stakeholders;
  • The work of the Joint Chairs, Leadership Team and Ontario Mentoring Coalition is all interconnected and each does not act independently of one another. They are committed to open, effective and constructive communications with all coalition members, community organizations, OMC partners and other stakeholders.
  • Work and accountability are facilitated through role clarity and the assignment of duties and responsibilities to the Joint Chairs, and through the preparation and implementation of an annual Leadership Team operational plan;
  • Decisions are made following full discussion and agreement by a quorum of members.


Joint Chairs

The Leadership Team is jointly chaired by three people: one representative from the fiscal agent (currently Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada); a government representative from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, or the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration; and a community representative.

One of the Joint Chairs must always be a representative of the fiscal agent for OMC unless the Coalition members vote to change this requirement.  In the inaugural year, the Joint Chairs will be selected by the Steering Committee.  Thereafter the Joint Chairs are selected from the Leadership Team.

Leadership Team

The Leadership Team acts as the governing body, guiding the work of the OMC, and is made up of elected skilled community stakeholders, government, corporate representatives from the Coalition membership.

The Leadership Team is to consist of no fewer than twelve (12) and no more than eighteen (18) members.  A minimum of one (1) of the members are to be from a rural or remote community, and one (1) from an Aboriginal community or agency.  The Leadership Team will be comprised of various types of organizations and will have no more than eight representatives from a single type of organization.  The Joint Chairs and Sub-Committee Chairs are on the Leadership Team and count as part of the twelve to eighteen members.

The Leadership Team has the option of filling any vacancies on the Leadership Team that occur during the year in consultation with members and member organizations and will also ensure that no one category listed above will dominate the membership.


Sub-Committees will assist the Leadership Team to operationalize the work of the Leadership Team and will consist of Sub-Committees focusing on Convening, Building Knowledge and Capabilities, Building the Case, and Raising Awareness.  Additional ad hoc Sub-Committees may be formed at the discretion of the Leadership Team and Joint Chairs.

The Sub-Committee Chairs will also sit on the Leadership Team and act as the knowledge transfer agents for effective collective action.  The Sub-Committee Chairs are selected by the Leadership Team.



Coalition Members

The principal duties and responsibilities of the members are as follows:

  • Demonstrate leadership by supporting and promoting OMC to the best of his/her ability;
  • Attend meetings fully prepared to discuss the matters on the agenda and if unable to attend a meeting, appoint an informed alternate.

Joint Chairs

The Joint Chairs ensure the integrity of the Leadership Team’s processes and the Coalitions directions. The Joint Chairs leads the coalition and ensure that the Leadership Team performs in a way that is consistent with its own Terms of Reference (ToR). Meeting discussion content will be only those issues that, according to TOR or any OMC policy, clearly belong to the Leadership Team to decide.

The authority of the Joint Chairs consists only in making decisions on behalf of the Leadership Team and the Coalition that fall within and are consistent with any reasonable interpretation of governance process and of the Leadership Team plans, policies and vision.

The Joint Chairs are accountable to the Coalition and the Leadership Team and guide the Coalition to become an effective group, give leadership to the Leadership Team and sub-committees in carrying out its tasks, and represent OMC to other organizations.  In addition to the duties and responsibilities of the Coalition and Leadership members, the Joint Chairs shall:

  • Effectively involve the members in the work and activities of the Leadership Team;
  • Communicate effectively on any other matters of mutual concern on a regular basis;
  • Provide leadership and encouragement in the orientation of new Team members and in the training and development of members;
  • Preside at all meetings and at sub-committee meetings when deemed necessary
  • Take the lead role in preparing an agenda for all meetings and ensuring that adequate information is available for study beforehand;
  • Review the minutes of all meetings before they are distributed to members;
  • Receive reports and minutes from all committees, but not necessarily attending all meetings;
  • Interpret, clarify and communicate Leadership Team policies and decisions;
  • Take responsibility for government relations;
  • Represent OMC in relationships with the community, with governments, and other organizations as assigned by the Leadership Team.


Leadership Team

The Leadership Team sets policies to meet desired ends, in consultation with the others as appropriate.  OMC’s goals and objectives are established through annual business planning and budgeting and are aligned with any deliverables.  The Leadership Team:

  • Monitors management of assets, financial and operational performance and identifies emerging trends;
  • Approves the OMC budget and work plan;
  • Reviews and accepts reports including the quarterly financial statements and the annual audited financial statements from the Fiscal Agent; and
  • Brings influence and direction to OMC.

The Leadership Team representatives are accountable individually to each other and to their respective organizations/ministries and collectively to the public.  Membership of the Leadership Team will be reviewed annually.


The Sub-Committees have been identified as the following:

  1. CONVENING –At the direction of the Leadership Team and Joint Chairs, invite and involve groups and individuals with a passion for children and youth mentoring so we can fulfill the Coalition’s mandate/mission
  2. BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND CAPABILITIES – Collect knowledge, articulate elements of effective practice, create communities of practice and disseminate information so we can enable organizations to develop and implement the best possible children and youth mentoring programs
  3. BUILDING THE CASE – Establish standard metrics to identify the impact of children and youth mentoring so we can enable effective sector advocacy
  4. RAISING AWARENESS – Communicate the value of mentoring thereby increasing engagement of all sectors so mentoring programs are accessible to more children and youth

The Sub-Committees will meet at the discretion of the Sub-Committee Chairs and will take guidance from the Leadership Team and Joint Chairs.

Agenda Structure

To make the best use of committee members’ time, the agenda is structured to begin with items that require decision and progress through items that involve updates and/or presentations.  Standing agenda items are established as required.


Meeting Frequency

Coalition meetings are held at minimum three times a year or as required in February, June and October and meeting dates are established at the beginning of the calendar year.

The Joint Chairs shall finalize meeting agendas and ensure that a record of the proceedings is produced and circulated to the Coalition.

The Leadership Team will meet at least 5 times a year and/or at the discretion of the Joint Chairs.  When voting is required at the Leadership Team, a vote of 51% of the Leadership Team members present (in person, on phone, or virtual) is required to constitute a valid vote.


The terms of reference will be reviewed annually.   A vote of 2/3 of the Coalition membership is required to change the terms of reference.