A nonprofit is any organization that is not a business, that is, not operating to earn a profit. A registered charity is a type of nonprofit that has exclusively charitable goals. If an organization has exclusively charitable goals, it must be registered as a charity with the CRA.
All registered charities fall into exactly one of the following three categories (or "designations" in CRA's terms):
- a charitable organization
- a public foundation
- a private foundation
CRA provides details about the criteria for designation.