Registering a Non-Profit (in Canada)

I was wondering if anyone would have experience moving their team away from a school in Canada (e.g. Registering for Charitable Status, making yourself a non-profit etc)

We would like to ask if any team could share some tips on how to get registered as a non-profit in Canada (We are located in Vancouver, BC) . We know that most teams are from the United States but at this juncture any help would be great and we are really looking for general things to look out for when completing this process.

Send a message to 1360 from here in Ontario, they should be able to help you out!

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Perhaps a face to face meeting with the school administration … Even if your team can run separately in terms of build space and finances, you will still need their cooperation to get time off to go to competitions.

Having said that, it may still be a good thing to set up a non-profit organization to bypass the bureaucracy associated with financial entanglements with the school, even if they are being cooperative.

Learning to deal with situations like this in a positive way can be very beneficial to you and your teammates.

It is great to see FRC growing in my hometown. Hope to see you and your team here in Houston this April :slight_smile:

Here’s a summary of 1114’s experience.

We formed a not for profit corporation which is not the same as a charitable organization so we can’t issue tax receipts and many grant-giving organizations can’t help us. Not for Profit is provincial, Charitable is federal. The NFP reporting is also less onerous than Charitable.

Setting up the organization we got a lawyer involved and the up-front work is figuring out who the members/shareholders are, who the directors are and dealing with the bylaws of the company (filling out a Letters Patent). There’s an Ontario handbook which could help: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/nfpinc/Not_for_Profit_Incorporators_Handbook_EN.html but of course you’re going to want to look for the BC equivalent.

To start we needed name, head office, 3 directors, objects (purpose of company). Then after incorporation we needed bylaws, appointment of accountants, appointment of officers. Also required a first annual meeting within 18 months of incorporation and within 15 months each subsequent year (present financials, vote on a budget, anything else). Our members are set up in classes between parents/kids/mentors for who has voting abilities and what rights/responsibilities each have.

We get our own liability insurance for the organization (which was the motivating factor for us in the first place). And the organization “rents” the school after-hours which gives us flexibility for more mentors who aren’t school board affiliated.

We separate finances between the school and the org, with the vast majority of the day to day still through the school (makes deliveries, credit card payments, etc) simpler. Also since the school board is a registered charity it is better for sponsorship donations. But the kids do give team fees to both the school and the NFP as we have expenses on the NFP side too (liability and trailer insurance and any big one-time expenditures)

Hopefully this touches on some points that will be helpful. We also reached out to 1360 in the beginning and they were able to provide guidance as well.

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You can try reaching out to 1305. They are community based, used to be school based, and have charitable status.

Posts edited at the OP’s request to remove references to a misunderstanding.

I left the thread in place, in case anyone else is interested in establishing a Canadian non-profit.

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