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Not-for-Profit & Charities

Printable Summary

Not-for-profit organizations can be as wide-ranging and complex as their commercial counterparts. However, they operate in a different legal framework because of their special tax status and compliance requirements. Their legal issues therefore require special expertise in the law of not-for-profit organizations.

At Torkin Manes, we have that special expertise. Our Not-for-Profit & Charities Group has many years of experience acting for not-for-profit clients and their directors, trustees, officers and members, on such matters as structuring and restructurings, corporate governance, by-law interpretation, directors' and officers' liability, compliance issues, cross-border and international relationships, gifting, endowment and fundraising issues.

But not-for-profits also require the full range of legal services—corporate/commercial law, real estate law, employment law, health law, estates and trusts law, tax law, and litigation. At Torkin Manes, we can apply our expertise in all of those areas to the special needs of the not-for-profit sector. We act as general counsel for charities and other not-for-profit organizations in such areas as health care, social services, religion, social justice, education, athletics, sports and recreation. We also act for professional associations, industry and trade associations, commercial and business associations, service clubs, sanctioning bodies and other special interest groups.

Lawyers from other firms frequently call upon Torkin Manes for our expertise in not-for-profit matters. We assist them with their not-for-profit clients or with the not-for-profit organizations on whose boards they sit. Our lawyers frequently chair and speak at national and provincial seminars on not-for-profit and charities law. We are also invited to take part in government think tanks on issues related to not-for-profits.

Torkin Manes’ lawyers are involved with the not-for-profit sector not only as professional advisors, but also as volunteers. This volunteer experience enhances and strengthens our ability to serve our clients.

We advise and represent charities and not-for-profits in such matters as: 

  • Incorporation and organization
  • Setting up charitable foundations and trusts
  • Charitable registration
  • Compliance with Canada Revenue requirements
  • Compliance with the requirements of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee
  • Corporate procedures and compliance with the corporate legislation applicable to federal and provincial not-for-profit corporations
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Director and officer liability
  • Risk management
  • Fundraising issues
  • Cross-border and international relationships
  • Contracts and agreements
  • Compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and privacy laws
  • Employment issues
  • Purchase, sale and leasing of real estate
  • Tax planning and planned giving
  • Litigation

Publications & Presentations


Navigating Board Disputes

Ontario Bar Association's Institute — Privacy, Land Development, and Other Key Updates in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law
Feb 5, 2019
Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Charities and Political Activities: Changes to the Law are Now in Effect

Torkin Manes LegalPoint The much anticipated changes to the laws that regulate the political activities of Canadian registered charities have now been made. On December 13, 2...
Dec 18, 2018
Torkin Manes LegalPoint

Important News for Canadian Charities, Non-Profits and News Organizations

Torkin Manes LegalPoint November has been an eventful month for Canadian charities, non-profits, and news organizations.
Nov 26, 2018
Torkin Manes LegalPoint

More News for Registered Charities on Political Activities

Torkin Manes LegalPoint There continue to be more developments in relation to the political activities of Canadian charities. On October 25, 2018, the Department of Finance (...
Nov 8, 2018

News & Media

Firm News

Linda Godel named Lawyer of the Year by The Best Lawyers in Canada for Charities/Non-Profit Law

The Best Lawyers in Canada Torkin Manes is pleased to announce that Linda Godel has been selected as 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® in the area of...
Aug 21, 2018

What are we talking about when we talk about social innovation?

Linda Godel quoted on social innovation in "The Philanthropist".
Jan 23, 2017

My Hope for 2012

We are proud to support many charitable events in our community.
Feb 3, 2016


Linda Godel to speak to the OBA's Privacy, Land Development, and Other Key Updates in Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Program

Join Linda Godel, chair of our Not-for-Profit & Charities Group, for her panel discussion on Navigating Board Disputes at the Ontario Ba...
Feb 5, 2019