How to Register a Charitable Organization
A charitable organization must be registered under the Charitable Fund-raising Act if:
- It uses a fund-raising business
- It intends to raise more than $25,000 in gross contributions in its financial year from solicitations (requests for contributions) 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)
The Act applies to any incorporated or unincorporated organization that is formed for a charitable purpose. It applies even if the organization is incorporated under the Societies Act or registered with Canada Revenue Agency (Revenue Canada).
It also applies to any 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.
A charitable purpose includes any philanthropic, benevolent, educational, health, humane, recreational, religious, cultural or artistic purpose.
- A charity asking for contributions from its members or their immediate families
- A charity asking for goods (e.g. furniture for an office, not for resale) or services (e.g. volunteers) that it will use for its administration or other non-charitable purpose
- A charity raising funds through raffles, pull tickets, bingos or casinos; contact the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (external site) for licensing information
To register a charitable organization you must provide the following to Service Alberta:
- A completed Application for a Charitable Organization (pdf) form
- The registration fee is $60, which is for a one-year registration
Note: Registration takes effect the date it is issued. The department will send you a renewal notice, the appropriate forms and instructions before your registration expires. You must tell Service Alberta if your organization’s address changes. Send this information to Service Alberta, Consumer Programs, 3c, 10155 – 102 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4.
- All charitable organizations registering for the first time must submit copies of their solicitation materials and telemarketing scripts that will be used to solicit donations (these will be reviewed before the registration is issued to make sure the information meets the Act’s disclosure requirements)
- The tipsheet Charitable Fund-raising (pdf) includes information on the following:
- Charities using a fund-raising business
- Rules charities must follow about contribution records
- Information that charities must give to donors
- Information Sheet - Requirements for Charitable Organizations who Solicit Donations for a Charitable Purpose (pdf)
- Standards of Practice - all principals, directors, and employees of charitable organizations must comply with these Standards (pdf)
- Search for a registered charitable organization or a licensed fund-raising business
- How to licence a fund-raising business
- Call Canada Revenue Agency, Charities Division (external site) (used to be Revenue Canada) at 1-800-267-2384 for information about registering a charity for income tax receipt purposes
Copies of Alberta Acts and regulations can be ordered from the Queen's Printer Bookstore in person, by phone, fax, mail or on-line.
Charitable Organization Registration Change (April 1, 2007)
Registry agents in Alberta will no longer provide registration application services to charitable organizations.
Charitable organizations will now have the option of renewing online, or by completing the Application for a Charitable Organization (pdf) form and submitting it to Consumer Services by mail or in-person.
The fee to register or renew a charitable organization with Consumer Services is $60. Your cheque should be made payable to the Minister of Finance.
If you are applying in person, you may also pay this fee using Debit, Visa, MasterCard or cash. If you have questions, please contact us in Edmonton at 780-427-4088 or toll free at 1-877-427-4088.
Consumer Services Office
3B, Commerce Place
10155 - 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4