Charities are a special type of not-for-profit which make an important contribution to the lives of the people of Ontario.
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) plays a role in protecting the public interest in charitable property. This page gives basic information to people who use, run, or donate to charities.
Learn more about: how to make sure your donations are being used wisely; how to make a complaint about possible misuse of charitable property; how to establish a charitable not-for-profit corporation, and the duties and responsibilities for directors or trustees of charities
- I want to donate to a charity
- I want to complain about a charity
- I want to start up a charity or not-for-profit corporation
- I am a director or trustee of a charitable corporation
- I want to contact the Charitable Property Program
- Charitable Donations: Know the Facts Before You Give
- Be an informed donor: ask questions, check facts, don't be pressured, and give when you know your money will help people in need
- Tips for Donors on Charitable Giving
- Tips on choosing charities, avoiding scams, and dealing with canvassers and telephone solicitations
Making a complaint
- Complaining About Charities
- Do you have concerns about the way a charity is using its property? Learn how to make a complaint about possible misuse of charitable property
Starting and running a not-for-profit
- Not-For-Profit Incorporator's Handbook
- Provides general information on the nature of a not-for-profit corporation, including charities, and guidelines on how to organize, start up, and maintain such a corporation
- Incorporating a Charity with or without Pre-Approved Objects
The Government maintains a standard set of charitable object
clauses (called "Pre-approved objects") that describe the
most common types of work carried out by charities. If the
work intended to be carried out is accurately described by
one or more of the pre-approved objects, then it becomes
easier to apply to incorporate a charity.
This page explains when and how to apply using pre-approved objects
Information for Directors and Trustees
- Duties, Responsibilities and Powers of Directors and Trustees of Charities
- Directors manage charitable corporations. Trustees manage unincorporated charities and trusts. Directors and trustees are sometimes referred to as "charitable fiduciaries"
- Investments by Directors and Trustees of Charities
- Directors of charitable corporations and trustees of charitable trusts are responsible for the assets of the charities they manage. They have a duty to manage the funds responsibly
- How to get a Court Order on a Charitable Matter Without Going to Court
Describes an inexpensive and simple way to get a Court Order
under section 13 of the Charities Accounting Act. To
get an Order, the consent of the OPGT and every other
person who would have been served is required.
Court Orders that you may be able to get in this way include:
- choosing a new trustee when a current trustee retires and the charitable trust has made no provision for appointing a replacement
- giving more time to a charity to dispose of a business interest
- applying funds to a new charity when it is no longer possible to apply charitable property or money to its original purpose (for example, where a charity has shut down or ceased to exist)
- Liability Insurance and Special Purpose Trust Funds
While certain conditions apply, a regulation under the
Charities Accounting Act allows charities to:
- indemnify or buy liability insurance for their directors, officers or trustees to protect them against losses with which they may meet while managing the charity in good faith
- combine special purpose trust funds (money given to the charity to be used for a particular purpose) for investment purposes
- Charitable Fundraising: Tips for Directors and Trustees
- A successful fund-raising campaign can make a significant difference to a charity's future operations and raise its profile in the community. However, when fund raising campaigns are not conducted appropriately they tarnish the reputation of a charity and of the charitable sector as a whole. Poorly managed fundraising campaigns may also have legal consequences for the charity and its directors or trustees.