CRA is encouraging non-profits that want to apply to become registered charities to use their new CHAMP system for the application process.   They recently made an announcement that they will still however accept paper applications using the old Form T2050 until September 30, 2019.   It is not clear whether they will not accept paper applications after that date or if they really want you to use CHAMP but they will accept a newer paper form called the T1789 (E) 19 for those who cannot access the CHAMP system.  We will see.  No doubt it is better for CRA and obtaining a timely response from CRA to use the online system but in light of the current challenges that some are having with that system they may still for a while continue to accept paper applications even if it slows down the process. We have been using a mix of online and paper applications depending on the client and whether they can authorize our firm to access their RR number on CHAMP.

Here is the announcement from CRA:

On June 1, 2019, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched a suite of digital services, including an online application form that replaces Form T2050, Application to Register a Charity under the Income Tax Act. The new online application is accessible through CRA's My Business Account.

While we will continue to accept complete applications submitted using Form T2050 until September 30, 2019, we encourage you to apply using the online application form. The online form contains the most up-to-date questions, designed to help us process your application more quickly.

To help applicant organizations get started online, we have added more information on our My business account and Submit your application webpages. Make sure to consult those pages before applying for registration or re-registration as a charity.

If you need help accessing our digital services, or have questions regarding the application process you can contact the Charities Directorate.

Also here is a note that a colleague of mine received from CRA:

You will find enclosed the paper application titled, Apply to be a Registered Charity Under the Income Tax Act. 

To reduce the administrative burden on charities, the Canada Revenue Agency has modernized its Information Technology systems to provide new digital service options. Beginning June 1, 2019, the Charities Directorate is offering the following services online: 

– Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act, was replaced by a new online application for registration.
– Registered charities are now able to complete and file their T30 I 0. Registered Charity Information Return, online.
– Registered charities can also update their account information online and correspond with the Directorate electronically through My Business Account.

We also recommend that you try our application document checklist tool at Click on “Registering for charitable or other qualified donee status,”' followed by “Apply to become a registered charity,” then “3. Apply for registration” and lastly, '·Create an application document checklist.” 

Your personalized checklist will provide important information about the activities your organization plans to do, as well as, a list of all of the documents you will need to send with your application. The checklist will help you ensure that your application is complete. 

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Service Section at 1-800-267-2384. 
Charities Directorate 
Canada Revenue Agency 
Ottawa ON KIA OL5 

Then they attached paper form T1789 (E) 19.

CRA is the most adept organization at picking weird acronyms and now it seems form numbers.  With all the frustration that some people have had over the last few months trying to do online charity applications that frustration could have lead to a revolution (except we are Canadians!) so the paper form is aptly the T1789 to remind us of the French revolution in 1789!