RC2. My organization is a “non-profit”. Is it a registered charity?

RC2. My organization is a “non-profit”. Is it a registered charity?


Short Answer

Not necessarily.

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
More…

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