Fundraising for your charitable work

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) accepts that as a registered charity you may incur costs in efforts to raise funds for your charitable work. However, these expenses should be reasonable. Fundraising is not a charitable activity. Your registered charity can raise funds to support its charitable purposes, but:

  • if the fundraising activity becomes the primary emphasis of your charity, then it’s not operating for exclusively charitable purposes
  • if a substantial portion of your charity's revenue is devoted to the fundraising activity, it is not considered to be devoting its resources to charitable activities

Spending excessive amounts on fundraising could also result in the charity not meeting its disbursement quota (spending requirement).

A registered charity that engages in fundraising as a primary activity, or that devotes a large portion of its revenue to fundraising activities, is putting its registered status in jeopardy.

For more information on fundraising activities, go to Guidance CG-013, Fundraising by registered charities.

Lotteries, bingos, charity casinos, etc.

Charities may choose to raise funds through lotteries, bingos, and charity casinos. However, in addition to following the guidelines above, registered charities should contact the relevant provincial, territorial and municipal government departments before engaging in these activities, to obtain any necessary permissions, permits, or licenses.

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