CanadaHelps Welcomes New Chair, Treasurer, Director

CanadaHelps is thrilled to welcome Anita Ferrari as its new Chair of the Board, Sonya von Heyking as its new Treasurer, and Karim Harji as a new Director. 

As a public foundation, CanadaHelps is governed by a dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors who follow best practices for board governance, and provide broad strategic oversight to ensure that all of our resources are used in pursuit of the organization’s Mission and mandate. As a technology organization serving charities and donors, CanadaHelps strives to have expertise representing the charitable sector and tech and digital business. 

Meet Anita Ferrari, FCPA, FCA

“CanadaHelps is an amazing organization that continues to play an important role in the charity sector, helping Canadian charities have the capacity to increase their impact.  I’m excited and honoured to take on the Chair role as we continue on our journey.”

Anita joined the CanadaHelps board in November 2017, and has held the roles of Treasurer and Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee, and Vice Chair. In November 2022, Anita moved into the role of Chair of the Board of Directors.

Anita retired as a partner with Grant Thornton LLP in 2017 after a career spanning almost 34 years, including over 15 years in senior leadership and management roles and where she negotiated several successful mergers. As a client service practitioner, she provided audit, assurance and business advisory services to a variety of clients that ranged from small, entrepreneurial, growth-oriented owner-managed businesses, to multinational organizations. She developed a large real estate practice over the years which she transitioned to others, and she grew and embraced a significant and high profile charity and not-for-profit practice towards the end of her public accounting career. In addition to financial and reporting requirements, Anita has also advised clients on governance, structure, control and sustainability matters.

Anita has held a number of Board and Advisory roles with various organizations over the years including the Toronto and Region Board of Trade, Sick Kids Hospital Foundation, the Aphasia Institute, and the University of Toronto, and she was a founding member of the Grant Thornton Foundation. She completed terms as Treasurer, Vice Chair and most recently Chair of the Board of CPA Ontario, which serves 90,000 chartered professional accountants and 20,000 CPA students in Ontario.

Meet Sonya von Heyking, Treasurer

“CanadaHelps is an essential part of the philanthropic ecosystem in Canada. The solutions and support CanadaHelps provides to its charity partners allows them to focus on their mission-driven activities, while building sustainable organizations. I am proud and excited to contribute to this wonderful organization.

Since 2014, Sonya has been a program Director with the Dhillon School of Business and teaches in the accounting faculty. She has been recognized with three teaching awards and has been appointed a University of Lethbridge Teaching Fellow for 2023 – 2025.

Prior to joining the Dhillon School of Business, Sonya was an accomplished accounting and assurance professional with a specialization in internal audit leadership. She published several articles in professional journals and was a frequent speaker at conferences across North America. In 2012, Sonya was recognized with an Early Achievement Award, by CPA Alberta.

Over her career she has occupied several different seats at the board table, including eight years as a direct report. Sonya currently serves on the boards of CPA Alberta and Legal Aid Alberta and is an appointed public member on the Audit Committee for a local school division.

In addition to her CPA, CA designation, Sonya holds the ICD.D and CIA designations, as well as certifications in risk management and internal controls.

Meet Karim Harji 

“CanadaHelps is unique in Canada, and even globally, with its distinctive model and track record. It continues to be a strong mission-oriented organization focused on strengthening the capacity of small and mid-sized charities, while also equipping Canadians to find and support charities across all issue areas and regions. I’m honoured to return to the Board and to have the opportunity to support the organization’s mission, evolution, and impact.”

Karim works with investors and ventures to describe, measure, and improve their social impact. He is the Programme Director of the Oxford Impact Measurement Programme at the Said Business School, University of Oxford; and Managing Director at Evalysis, an impact measurement and advisory firm. He was previously a co-founder and Director at Purpose Capital (now Rally Assets), and served on the CanadaHelps Board from 2012-2018.

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