Fact sheet

Be an informed donor

November 2005

Charities play a very important role in Canadian society. As a donor, it is important to be informed and make wise decisions about your donations. Unfortunately, there are people who pretend to raise money for charity but keep the donations for their personal gain. Do your homework and gather some important facts before you make any donations.

How can you become an informed donor?

Before making a donation, beware of…

What is the CRA's involvement with charities?

The CRA registers qualifying organizations as charities, gives technical advice on operating a charity, and handles audit and compliance activities.

Registered charities are required to file an annual return with the CRA, part of which is available to the public, and must meet certain requirements of the Income Tax Act concerning their expenditures and activities.

What are the advantages of being a registered charity under the Income Tax Act?

There are two basic advantages of being a registered charity:

Charitable donations are a critical source of funding for many worthwhile causes. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is fully committed to creating an environment where Canadians can donate with confidence, knowing that the money they give will be used for the purpose for which it is intended.

For more information on registered charities, please visit the Charities Directorate Web page on the CRA Web site or call our bilingual toll-free number at 1-888-892-5667.

This document is also available for download in PDF format.

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