Table of contents

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 Fundraising Act 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 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 is not connected to any charitable organization

Who does not have to register

You do not 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

If your organization does not need to register, you do not need to proceed further.

How to apply

You will need to provide:

  • information on your organization
  • a criminal record check or police information check
  • a copy of your solicitation materials
  • payment of a registration fee

To get started, follow the instructions below to save and open the application form.

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Application form

Application for a Charitable Organization (PDF, 85 KB)

Your responsibilities

Registration holders must notify the Minister in writing within 30 days of a change in:

  • name and address
  • objectives or purpose of the charitable organization
  • names and addresses of its officers and directors
  • name and address of any chapters or branches that will be making solicitations under the authority of the registration
  • dates when its financial year begins and ends

A registered charitable organization or licensed fundraising business must maintain complete and accurate records of all its operations in Alberta for at least 3 years after the solicitations are made.

It is your responsibility to ensure your registration is in force as long as you continue to do business. Once your registration is issued please make note of the expiry date and ensure your registration is renewed prior to this date.

Compliance

Note: applicant, directors, officers and partners are required to read the Charitable Fundraising Act and its regulations associated with this registration and understand that certain sections are of significance, including but not limited to the specific sections noted below.

Charitable Fundraising Act

  • Section 6 regarding providing information during solicitation
  • Section 7 regarding the duty to maintain records
  • Section 8 regarding financial statements

Charitable Fundraising Regulation

  • Section 4 regarding providing information during solicitation
  • Section 5 regarding records to be maintained
  • Section 7 regarding the financial information return

Responsibilities and requirements of fundraisers asking Albertans for charitable donations

Charitable Fundraising Tipsheet

Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Alberta Queen’s Printer.

Contact

Connect with the Consumer Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088 (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]