Canadian Charities

Charities are registered in Canada under the Income Tax Act and governed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  Being a registered charitable organization in Canada allows the charity to provide donors with an official donation receipt.  CRA has a variety of policies that govern the operation of these more than 78,000 registered charities in Canada.

One of the requirements is that registered charities must submit a T3010 return to CRA annually. The T3010 is the key primary document for researching registered charities in Canada.  It includes information on program goals and operation, directors, financial information and some basic information on compensation.   Much of the information on the T3010 is available publicly on the CRA website.  CRA also provides information on revoked, annulled, penalized and suspended charities.

There are a number of organizations that repackage information from the T3010.¬†The CRA’s list of Charities – Basic Search and Charity Focus
are also great sources. Charity Focus includes colorful charts and graphs and provides links to historical annual reports of charities. Charity Intelligence Canada provides important information on the charity sector.

The Charities Glossary is also a helpful resource for first-timer researchers

On this site we will use only free sites commonly available on the internet.  Note that there is section at the end of each question of websites that are available only to Carleton University students which the general user will not have access to. These are excellent sites for corporate research and you should check with your local public library, university or college library to see if these sites are available to you.

Explore the Nonprofit Research Chart. It provides a visual representation for the kinds of information that needs to be gathered and a sequence for conducting the research on a Canadian charity. Look in the Resources Section to find various print versions of this chart.

To begin, start with Question 1 on the right and work down the list to complete a basic profile. Good luck!