Complaints Policy

This policy and procedure applies to complaints received by staff or board members of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (“BBGV”) about our activities, programs, services, staff or volunteers.

Guiding principles

  • It is in the interest of all parties that complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Review of complaints is fair, impartial and respectful to all parties.
  • Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome.
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints.
  • Updates are provided to complainants during review processes.
  • Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures.

Types of complaints

Definition: A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the programs, service, actions, or lack of action by BBGV as an organization, or by an employee or volunteer acting on behalf of BBGV. Complaints may come from the general public, donors, volunteers, clothing donation partners or donors, etc. (NOT an exhaustive list). Employees wanting to make a complaint should follow the appropriate agency Human Resources policies.

Complaint receipt and handling

A complaint may be received verbally (by phone or in person) or in writing (by mail, fax, email). An employee or volunteer who receives a complaint should first determine the proper person to handle it. This will generally be the person who has the primary relationship with the complainant or has the specific knowledge that is needed to resolve the problem. It is the responsibility of the person who receives the complaint to either resolve it or transfer it to another person who can resolve it. If the complaint is transferred, the recipient must acknowledge to the transferor that he/she has received it and will act on it.

The person who initially receives the complaint should acknowledge to the complainant that the complaint has been received and will be acted on either by him/herself or another employee. If a time-frame for action can be determined, that should be included in the acknowledgement. Basic contact information including name, phone number and email address should immediately be recorded.

Resolving the complaint

Every effort should be made to resolve complaints received in a timely fashion. When receiving a verbal complaint, staff should listen and seek to understand the complaint, and may attempt to resolve it immediately. Complaints received in writing shall be acknowledged within two business days, and staff shall attempt to resolve the matter within ten business days.

Where a complaint cannot be easily resolved, it shall be escalated to the Board Chair. If the complaint is about the Executive Director, it shall be handled by the Board Chair. Complainants should be kept informed of the status of their complaint. Every attempt should be made to resolve an escalated complaint within an additional ten business days, such that the complaint is resolved within a month of having been received.

Documenting the complaint

It is necessary to keep a record of any complaint that involves a dispute over money as well as any complaint that cannot be resolved on the same day that it is received. Information about such complaints will be recorded and tracked internally. Information recorded is to include a description of the complaint, who handled it, what was done to resolve the complaint, time-frame, and a description of the resolution. A summary of the complaints received, including number and type, shall be reported to BBGV’s Board of Directors annually.

ALL Clothing donation and bin related complaints should be submitted by completing the following web form.


ALL allegation of abuse complaints should be sent to:

Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
ATTN: Program Director - Private and Confidential
5118 Joyce St Unit #300
Vancouver, BC V5R 4H1
Phone: 604-986-1039
or by e-mail: bbgvprogramdirector@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca

All OTHER complaints should be sent to:

Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver
ATTN: Executive Director
5118 Joyce St Unit #300
Vancouver, BC V5R 4H1
or by e-mail: bbgvcomplaints@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca

On behalf of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, we thank you for your support.

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