Alternative formats and transcript - Giving to Registered Charities 101

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Video 1: What's it all about


Ever since you were a kid, you've seen charities in action. From car washes to bottle drives, to door-to-door canvassers, to concerts and events… and today you can even text donations to many charities! Raising money for doing good is everywhere.

When you support charities, you help make a positive impact on the daily lives of all Canadians, including yours.

Not to mention that giving to certain organizations can have a positive impact on your personal bottom line.

We're the Canada Revenue Agency, and we've prepared this three part video series to talk to you about registered charities.

Okay, wait—did you hear that word—registered? That's an important word. Let's have a look at what it means to you.

There are over 85,000 registered charities in Canada. Registered charities are different from not-for-profit organizations, like clubs and sporting leagues, because they operate under a specific set of rules that are administered by… you guessed it… the Canada Revenue Agency.

A lot of these rules relate to how charities need to conduct their business affairs:

  • about being sure the money they raise goes to charitable activities;
  • about keeping proper books and records;
  • about sharing their financial and activity information with all Canadians annually through the CRA—; and
  • lots of other things you can read about by visiting our Web site—

In return for sticking to the rules, charities earn the right to a charitable registration number. That number is important to you.


Because when you make a donation, Canadian registered charities and other qualified donees can provide donors like you with an official donation receipt.

That receipt can translate into a substantial tax credit.

That tax credit can have real value for you when you do your income tax and benefit return.

So: lots of ways to give, all good. But one way to give to others that can give back to you is through a charity that is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Hey—you try to be accountable for the things you do, right?

Registered charities are accountable too… to all Canadians, including you. 

This video is part of a series of three that explains the relationship between Canada's registered charities, the CRA, and you. If you think this series would be of interest to a friend or colleague, please send it to them. Thanks for watching!

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