Changing a charity's purposes

A registered charity must be established for charitable purposes (sometimes referred to as 'objects'). If a charity introduces purposes that do not qualify as charitable, it is placing its registered status in jeopardy.

By consulting with the Charities Directorate before making changes, a charity can avoid the need to further amend its purposes. The charity should provide both its proposed purpose(s) and a detailed statement of activities for our review. The statement of activities should fully describe in detail how the charity intends to accomplish its new purpose(s).

After the charity has legally changed its purposes, it should provide the Charities Directorate with the applicable documentation as identified below:

Charities that are incorporated

Provide a copy of the amended incorporation documents (for example, supplementary letters patent, articles of amendment, or special resolution) bearing the seal, stamp, or signature of the incorporating authority.


Charities incorporated under the Corporations Act of Ontario: To amend the objects listed in the incorporation documents, a registered charity must submit an Application for Supplementary Letters Patent to the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) for its approval. Once approved, the OPGT will forward the application to the Ministry of Government Services of Ontario, which will then stamp the application and return it to the organization. Please refer to the Not-for-Profit Incorporator's Handbook on the Ministry of the Attorney General's website for detailed guidelines.

Charities established by a constitution

Provide an amended constitution with the signatures of three directors and the effective date of the change.

Charities established by a trust document

We recommend that a charity get legal advice before making any changes to a trust document to ensure that changes can be made and that they are legally valid.

Mail or fax the information to:

Charities Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L5

Fax: 613-954-8037

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