Sector Source FAQs

Can you help me start a charity or nonprofit organization?

Imagine Canada does not specialize in setting up organizations. We do provide subject guides to inform and direct start up organizations to the appropriate sources. See our website section "Starting an Organization".

Can you recommend a lawyer or consultant?

Imagine Canada does not provide recommendations for these services nor do we provide legal support. There are several legal firms across Canada providing support in charity and nonprofit law. These links are provided to guide your search:

Can you help me with my fundraising?

Imagine Canada does not directly assist with fundraising activities. Our Fundraising section contains practical resources to assist you with your organizational fundraising.

We also produce a subscription database of Canadian funders, Grant Connect (formerly loved as the Canadian Directory to Foundations & Corporations). Free guided tours are available; to book a tour or for more information, visit the Grant Connect website.

Do you have a list of all charities and nonprofits, nationally or in my area?

The Canada Revenue Agency offers a Charities Listing. You will be able to find their public information on this site including tax return data, charitable purposes, among many other facts. The Canada Revenue Agency is the source of this data, which regulates charities only.

At this time there is no definitive listing of nonprofit organizations apart from registered charities. Some provinces offer a listing of incorporated nonprofits on the website of whichever provincial ministry or agency oversees them.

Which is the best charity to donate to?

Choosing the best charity to donate to is very personal. Imagine Canada does not rank charities in Canada nor do we endorse any ranking system as charities are highly varied in size, scope, and services provided.

We additionally recommend following charities you are interested through various sources (e.g. their website, news items, communicating with them directly) to better understand the organization and their activities. Using this information, you can then make an informed decision about where to donate. The Canada Revenue Agency offers a Charities Listing. You will be able to find their public information on this site including tax return data, charitable purposes, among many other facts. 

What should my fundraising / administrative costs be?

The ratio of fundraising costs to fundraising revenues is used by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a starting point when assessing a charity's fundraising performance & considers percentage ranges of spending over annual revenues. See the chart on our site's Charity Tax Tools section. 

Calculating administrative costs is a more subjective matter and depends on the type of organization, what services are delivered and general operating principles. Charitable spending was at one time regulated through a complex Disbursement Quota that was simplified in the 2012 federal budget. See more on our Charity Tax Tools site page. For more information on fundraising ethics see Imagine Canada's Guide to Giving and read about our fundraising standards