RC2. My organization is a “non-profit”. Is it a registered charity?
A non-profit organization can be set up for any legal purpose as long as its members do not receive a direct financial benefit from the revenues or assets of the organization. A non-profit can operate fully without registering as a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
A registered charity, on the other hand, is a technical and precise term that refers to an organization that
- is established exclusively for charitable purposes
- uses its resources (personnel, funds, and property) for charitable activities
- does not operate for profit
- has applied and is registered as a charity under the Income Tax Act (ITA)
- has received a Notice of Registration from the CRA
- has been assigned a charitable registration number (See FAQ RC4) by the CRA
For further explanation of the differences between a registered charity and a non-profit organization, go to our Fast Fact on Registered Charity vs. Non-profit Organization