Complaints Policy and Process

I. Purpose

We, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (“Heart & Stroke” or the “Foundation”) recognize the importance of the role our constituents, donors and the general public play in our work. While we strive for excellence in the pursuit of our mission, we recognize there may be instances where we have an opportunity for improvement. In order to ensure you receive the highest level of service, we have developed this policy and procedure to address and escalate any complaints you may have about the Foundation or that may arise in your interactions with Heart & Stroke. 

II. Guiding Principles

  • Heart & Stroke is committed to excellence in all aspects of its work.
  • A complaint about the Foundation is welcome as long as it is communicated in a respectful manner.
  • Heart & Stroke is committed to a complaints review process that is:
    (1) fair and impartial;
    (2) transparent in process and method;
    (3) respectful to all involved;
    (4) timely and efficient while balancing an appropriate allocation of resources.
  • Responses and action shall be proportionate to complaint raised.
  • Complaints shall be escalated as appropriate.
  • Outcomes and resolutions shall be communicated clearly to complainants.

III. Application

This policy applies to all external Foundation stakeholders including, but not limited to, donors, constituents, and members of the public, that want to communicate with, and register a complaint about Heart & Stroke.

IV. Policy Details

The complaints process is available to address dissatisfaction about the services, actions, lack of action, or interactions with Foundation staff and/or volunteers.

Any individual may bring a complaint forward to the Foundation in writing, either by e-mailing at or by mail to:

c/o Heart & Stroke
2300 Yonge St., Suite 1200, Box 2414
Toronto ON M4P 1E4 

A complainant should include as much detail as possible about the issue or problem as well as a contact number and/or address where a response should be directed, if they feel comfortable doing so. Where a complaint is of a confidential or sensitive nature, this should be included in the subject line of the correspondence and your complaint will be immediately directed to the Foundation’s General Counsel or Senior Vice President, Culture, Talent & Diversity.

All complaints will be reviewed in a timely manner and escalated to the appropriate department or staff person for a response and action, if necessary. Complainants should expect to receive a response regarding their complaint within 5-10 business days, if not sooner. Where a complaint cannot be resolved within that time frame, the Foundation will notify the complainant of the steps being taken and the anticipated timeframe for resolution.

A response may not be provided in circumstances where a complaint is abusive or harassing in nature; where a complaint has no direct connection to the Foundation; where a complaint is illegible; where a complaint has clearly been sent as part of bulk mailing or email. Where an anonymous complaint is made, no response will be provided however, the Foundation will review the complaint in an effort to improve its services.

All complaints will be recorded on a complaints tracking worksheet, including a description of the complaint, who handled it, actions taken to resolve the complaint and the timeframe for resolution. Where the complaint cannot be immediately resolved, a name and contact information of the complainant may be recorded to ensure proper follow-up.

A summary of all complaints received, including the number and type of complaint, will be reported to the Foundation’s board of directors annually.

V. Effective Date

This Complaints Policy and Procedure becomes effective April 2019 and will be reviewed as necessary.

  • Reviewed and approved by the executive champion in December 2022

VI. Executive Champion

The executive champion responsible for this policy is the Executive Vice President, Marketing and Fundraising.