Canoe-Landing Toronto with CN Tower in background

Not-for-Profit & Charities

Print Expertise

Not-for-profit organizations—both charitable and non-charitable—can be as wide ranging and complex as their commercial counterparts. However, they operate in a different legal framework due to their special tax status and compliance requirements, and require legal advisors well-versed in the nuances of the laws specific to them.

At Torkin Manes we have that expertise. The members of our Not-for-Profit & Charities Group have many years of experience acting for not-for-profit clients and their directors, trustees, officers and members. Our team represents clients on a wide variety of matters, including those related to mergers, structuring and restructurings, corporate governance, by-law interpretation, directors’ and officers’ liability, compliance issues, cross-border and international relationships, gifting, endowment and fundraising issues. 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.

Charities and other not-for-profits often require a full range of legal services, including corporate/commercial, real estate, labour and employment, health law, wills, estates and trusts, technology, privacy and data management, tax, insurance and litigation. At Torkin Manes, we apply our expertise and  tailor our services in these areas to meet the special needs of the not-for-profit sector. 

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

Committed to gaining a deeper understanding of our clients and their needs, Torkin Manes’ lawyers are involved with the not-for-profit sector not only as professional advisors, but also as volunteers. This volunteer experience further enhances and strengthens our ability to best serve our clients.

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

  • Setting up not-for-profit corporations
  • Setting up charitable trusts
  • Charitable registration
  • Compliance with Canada Revenue Agency requirements
  • Compliance with Ontario charity law requirements
  • Corporate procedures and compliance with the corporate legislation applicable to federal and provincial not-for-profit corporations
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Mergers
  • Director and officer liability
  • Risk management
  • Donation agreements and donor advised funds
  • Fundraising issues
  • Cross-border and international relationships
  • Commercial contracts and agreements
  • Technology, privacy and data management
  • Employment issues
  • Purchase, sale and leasing of real estate
  • Tax planning and planned giving
  • Insurance matters
  • Litigation