Overview

A charitable organization is defined as an organization that asks for contributions to be used for a charitable purpose or charitable organization.

A charitable purpose is defined as any purpose that is:

  • philanthropic
  • benevolent
  • educational
  • health-oriented
  • humane
  • recreational
  • religious
  • cultural
  • artistic

Who has to register

A charitable organization must be registered under the Charitable Fund-raising Act (PDF, 555 KB) if:

  • it uses a fundraising business
  • it intends to raise more than $25,000 in gross contributions in its financial year from solicitations (requests for contribution) to individuals in Alberta
  • during or after the campaign, it finds it has raised more than $25,000 (if so, the charity must register within 45 days after the contributions reach $25,000)

Any party that meets the above registration criteria must register, including:

  • incorporated or unincorporated organization formed for a charitable purpose
  • organization incorporated under the Societies Act (PDF, 309 KB) or registered with Canada Revenue Agency (Revenue Canada)
  • person asking for contributions to be used for a charitable purpose or charitable organization, even if that person isn’t connected to any charitable organization

Who doesn’t have to register

You don’t have to register your charitable organization if your organization is:

  • only asking for contributions from its members or their immediate families
  • only asking for goods (such as furniture for an office, not for resale) or services (such as volunteers) that will be used for its administration or other non-charitable purpose
  • raising funds through raffles, pull tickets, bingos or casinos

Cost

There is a one-year registration fee of $60, payable to the Government of Alberta.

How to register

Failure to provide complete information will delay processing of your application and may result in a refund of your fees and closure of your file.

Step 1. Fill out the application form

Application for a Charitable Organization (PDF, 86 KB)

Step 2. Gather solicitation materials

All charitable organizations registering for the first time must submit copies of the materials and scripts that will be used to solicit donations. These will be reviewed to make sure the information meets the Charitable Fund-raising Act's (PDF, 555 KB) disclosure requirements.

Rules regarding solicitation materials

Disclosure requirements in the Charitable Fund-raising Regulation (PDF, 485 KB) state that the following information must be provided verbally or in writing to all people being solicited for contributions:

  • name of the charitable organization making the solicitation or on whose behalf the solicitation is being made
  • the charitable purposes for which contributions will be used
  • the charitable organization's estimate of the costs of making the solicitations and the activities directly related to making the solicitations, as well as the charitable organization's estimate of the contributions that it will receive as a result of the solicitations
  • address of the charitable organization and, where applicable, the place of incorporation
  •  name and telephone number of a contact person within the organization who will respond to public inquiries
  • if a fundraising business is used to make or manage solicitations on behalf of the charitable organization:
    • the operating and full legal names of the fundraising business
    • how the remuneration of the fund-raising business is determined

Step 3. Submit the application form

Email your application form and solicitation materials to sa.businesslicensing@gov.ab.ca. You will be contacted to set-up online payment for the one-time $60 registration fee.

You may also mail or drop off your application form to:

Consumer Services Licensing Office in Edmonton
3rd floor, Commerce Place
10155 – 102 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 4L4

After you register

Registration takes effect the date that the registration is issued.

Renewing a registration

You may use Service Alberta’s online registration system PABLO (Province of Alberta Business Licensing Online) to renew your registration.

Organizations are required to update officer/directors when renewing.

Your responsibilities as a fundraiser

Contact

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088 (Edmonton and area)
Toll-free: 1-877-427-4088 (toll free in Alberta)