As we noted on April 18, 2020, we have updated There have been further recent improvements especially relating to searches/filtering of all Canadian charities and their categories/subcategories. Canadian charities are actually divided by the Charities Directorate of CRA into over 250 subcategories which in some cases could be helpful for some purposes.

You can now on sort charities under the Four Heads of Charity, Categories and Subcategories.

The Four Heads of Charity are:

  • purposes for the relief of poverty
  • purposes for the advancement of education
  • purposes for the advancement of religion
  • other purposes beneficial to the community in a way the law regards as charitable

So if you want to look at all religious charities then you select “Advancement of Religion”.

If you want to look at Christianity, Judaism and Islam you can directly select the subcategory.

If you want to see a list of Canadian environmental organizations that are registered charities you can go to under “Other purposes beneficial to the Community” and you will see “Environment”.

Because we are talking about 84,000 charities and 16 or 17 years of information you will need to go slowly (ie. wait about 10 seconds for each step to go through). In pre-Covid times 10 seconds to download stuff was completely unacceptable – but now with our new world view where we are just happy to be alive, and some are spending 14 hours a day on Netflix, it appears that a 10-second wait is acceptable.

First, go to Advanced Charity Search and let it load.

Second, go to on the left-hand side of the page and see “Category” and either select one of the Four Heads of Charity or a Category.

Third, in some cases, the Category will have a subcategory.  For example, the Advancement of Religion has the category “Other Religions” and “Other religions”  includes Bahai, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and yes, funnily enough, it also has a further category “Other”.   In the “Other Religions” “other” category there is only one group!

Fourth, if you wish now that you have picked a group you can sort by revenue, province, city or about 25 other factors such as the total amount of receipted gifts at the top of the page.

Now let us be clear that the categorization in some cases is not perfect.  How CRA works out the categories I think maybe a bit of hard work and/or a branch of magic that was not featured in the Harry Potter films.  Use it or don’t as you wish.   It can help some with their research.