In this section, you will find information relevant to operating a registered charity or non-profit in Alberta, as well as information on charitable giving.

The resources on this page were hand-picked by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta's staff as a good place to start.

Non-Profit Legislation - Provincial

Non-Profit Legislation - Federal

You may also find helpful resources listed under the legal topics: Business, Non-profit and charity law

For information and resources specifically for registered chartiies see: Charity Central -

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

Charity Central is a Canada-wide charity law education initiative which supports Canadian charities in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Income Tax Act in the areas of receipting, fundraising, record keeping, and accountability and transparency practices. The audiences for the resources are small, medium and large charities; staff, board members and volunteers involved with charities; and professionals and educational agencies that support the charitable sector. Charity Central is a website of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA).

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Taxation, Volunteers

Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) is a national network of law schools and community organizations that matches law students who want to do pro bono work with public interest and non-governmental organizations, government agencies, tribunals and legal clinics during the academic year and during the summer. Over the past decade the program has expanded to include the Family Law Project, where students provide legal information to unrepresented individuals at the Provincial Family Court.

Related legal topic(s): Legal services, Non-profit and charity law

Volunteer Lawyer Services is a pro bono legal services program that was initiated in 1995 as a joint initiative of the Canadian Bar Association, Alberta Branch, the Law Society of Alberta, the United Way of Calgary and Area and the Association of General Counsel of Alberta to assist registered charities and not-for-profit organizations who would otherwise not be able to receive these services due to a lack of financial resources. VLS matches charitable organizations and low income individuals with volunteer lawyers who provide pro bono legal services which they would otherwise not receive due to a lack of financial resources. The VLS program has a roster of volunteer lawyers who are advised of requests for pro bono services, according to location and area of practice. VLS then provides the organization with the volunteer's contact information and they subsequently contact the volunteer directly. The volunteer decides whether to retain the applicant as a client and the scope of that retainer.

Related legal topic(s): Legal services, Non-profit and charity law

Alberta Resources

This site provides links to community grants, programs and services designed to assist non-profit organizations, communities, and volunteerism, as well as links to tools and resources to help.

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Volunteers

This resource has been specifically developed for commissions, committees, societies, and associations that require training and support. Created by the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, and Solicitor General and Public Security, the material is aimed at helping your organization perform oversight functions consistently, effectively, and transparently. The resources is divided into 2 parts and 8 sections and covers the following topics: What is governance?, Board Structure, Roles and Responsibilities, Risk Management, Board Development, Planning and Strategis Cirection, Communications, Board Meetings, and running effect meetings.

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law

Service Alberta oversees and enforces Alberta provincial legislation and regulations that set standards for charitable organizations and professional fundraisers, provides legal authority for non-profit societies to incorporate and helps protect the public from fraudulent, misleading or confusing solicitations. This section of their website provides information on these topics.
Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law

Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes access to justice in Alberta by creating and promoting opportunities for lawyers to provide pro bono (free) legal services to persons of limited means. PBLA does not provide direct support to members of the public; their website lists clinics and projects that may be helpful to individuals. Lawyers on PBLA's volunteer roster are available to provide assistance on legal issues that impact non profits and charities such as: policy/governance; employment law and contracts; volunteer waivers;  incorporation; or charitable registration.

Related legal topic(s): Lawyers, Legal services, Non-profit and charity law, Public legal education organizations

The Foundation works to strengthen the charitable sector through policy research, public awareness research and analysis, consultations on the regulation of charities, seminars and workshops on key issues and concerns affecting charities as well as special projects. Particular areas of concern are management development and leadership and building capacity within organizations devoted to early childhood development. They provide a variety of publications related to this work.

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Volunteers

VARC is a an online library of resources related to: nonprofit organization management; voluntary sector leadership; fund development; volunteer program management; board leadership; and governance voluntary sector issues. 

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law


List of the top 10 things charities and not-for-profits need to do to comply with Canada's Anti-Spam law.

Related legal topic(s): Communications and media, Consumer protection and fraud

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) registers qualifying organizations as charities, gives technical advice on operating a charity, handles audit and compliance activities, and provides donors with relevant information about donating to charities.
Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Taxation

The Canadian Revenue Agency's guide to donating, from how to find registered charities to how to claim the donation for your taxes. Includes a large glossary of terms used within charity laws.

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Taxation was created by the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (HR Council). Incorporated as a nonprofit from 2005 to 2013, the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (HR Council) took action on nonprofit labour force issues. As a catalyst, the HR Council sparked awareness and action on labour force issues. As a convenor, it brought together people, information and ideas in the spirit of collaborative action. As a research instigator it built knowledge and improved the sectors understanding of the nonprofit labour force.

Related legal topic(s): Volunteers, Workers' compensation, Workers' health and safety, Workers' rights and employment standards

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities and nonprofits. They support and strengthen charities and nonprofits so they can, in turn, support the Canadians and communities they serve. Sections include: Ethical Code program; Insurance and liability resource centre for non-profits; Charity tax tools; and Non-profit library.

Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Volunteers

The Institute On Governance (IOG) is a non-profit organization with charitable status founded in 1990 to promote effective governance. Their mission is ‘advancing better governance in the public interest,’ which we accomplish by exploring, developing and promoting the principles, standards and practices which underlie good governance in the public sphere, both in Canada and abroad. The IOG’s vision is to be the pre-eminent, independent Canadian source of knowledge, research and advice on governance and its continuous improvement.


Related legal topic(s): Non-profit and charity law, Public policy

Mentoring Canada, is a not-for-profit informational site that provides resources and training to mentoring organizations and other charities.  The Mentoring Canada website provides up-to-date, relevant resources for mentoring organizations, and other service delivery organizations, through an on-line Library of downloadable materials and interactive training modules.


Related legal topic(s): Volunteers