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Opening a bank account for a club, nonprofit or community organization

Most big banks offers discounted plans to help your club, nonprofit or community organization run smoothly.

If you run a charitable organization, you’ll need a dedicated bank account to keep track of payments and purchases. Thankfully, all of Canada’s Big Banks offer discounted bank plans for nonprofits and community organizations.

How to get a bank account for a club or nonprofit

Most traditional banks offer community accounts, which are meant for nonprofit organizations. Your organization may not need to be a registered charity as long as it benefits the community in some way like a school, community group, sports club or society.

You can find community accounts in the business banking section of banks’ website. Usually, you’ll need to visit a branch in person to apply.

How to compare bank accounts for clubs, charities and nonprofits

Consider these points when comparing community bank accounts:

  • Fees. Startup community groups may not have a lot of money. Look for an account with fees that aren’t burdensome for your group. What are the limits for free cash, coin and cheque deposits? How much do deposits over the limit cost?
  • App usability. What do you need to do access online banking? Check user ratings on Google Play or the Apple App Store to see what other customers think about the bank’s app. Is it reliable and easy to use?
  • Customer support. Do you get dedicated business account service over the phone and in branches? Do the operating hours coincide with your group’s operating hours (or whenever you’re likely to manage your organization’s finances)?
  • Payment processing. Does the bank offer payment processing solutions? If so, what is the cost?

Can’t I just use my personal account?

You and your group are separate entities. To safeguard both, it’s wise to manage your organization’s funds separately. This is practical, as you won’t have to sort through personal and business transactions when tracking your group’s finances or in the event of an audit. And considering that charities must keep financial records for up to 10 years, it’s a good idea to keep things organized for easy reference.

Compare bank accounts for nonprofits and community organizations

AccountMonthly feeTransactionsDepositsOther
TD Community Plan

$1.95

5

15 items, $2,500 cashMonthly fee rebate with $5,000+ balance, available in CAD and USD
TD Community Plus Plan

$4.95

30

30 items, $5,000 cashMonthly fee rebate with $10,000+ balance, available in CAD and USD
CIBC Not-for-Profit Operating Account$430$5,000 cash, $500 coin, 30 chequesMonthly fee rebate with $5,000+ balance
Royal Business Community Account$3.7510 debits, 5 credits10 itemsLink an eligible RBC Business card to your Petro-Canada card to save 3¢/L
Scotia Basic Business Account

(large charitable organizations)

$10.9550% off (registered charities), 35% off (community groups)$1-$5 per itemMonthly fee waived with $8,000+ balance, available in CAD and USD
Scotia Community Account Plan

(small charitable organizations)

$31010 items, $2,500 cashNo deposit fees on payment processing, can get funds the next day with Chase Merchant Services
BMO Community Account$2.5020 (including 5 in-branch deposits)25 items, $2,500 cash, $250 coinMonthly fee waived with $5,000+ balance

Information last verified May 22, 2024.

Lower costs through fintech business bank accounts

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Monthly Account Fee Multi Currency Accounts Currency Conversion Fee Corporate Credit Card Accounting Integration Offer
RBC Digital Choice Business Account
$6
CAD only
Varies
Quick books, Sage, Xero
Get unlimited electronic debit and credit transactions, unlimited electronic cheque deposits, unlimited Moneris deposits and 10 free outgoing Interac e-Transfer transactions per month.
Sole proprietorships and corporations accepted.
Loop Global Business Banking Account
$0
CAD, USD, GBP, EUR
0.1% - 0.5%
Quick books, Xero
Eliminate FX fees with a Loop credit card. Spend in CAD, USD, GBP and EUR and earn points to use toward travel and experiences. Get up to a $1M credit limit.
To be eligible, you'll need to have a registered Canadian corporation and provide proof of an active business (bank statements, contracts with suppliers, financial or CRA statements, etc.)
Wise Business
$0
CAD, USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY
0.43%
Quick books, Xero + more
No hidden charges, high rates or monthly fees. Get the mid-market exchange rate. Pay employees, get paid and manage your cash flow in over 70 countries.
To be eligible, you'll need to have a registered Canadian corporation.
RBC Flex Choice Business Account
RBC Flex Choice Business Account
$7
CAD
Varies
Quick books, Sage, Xero
Bank both digitally and in-branch and only pay for what you use. No minimum or maximum transaction limits.
Sole proprietorships and corporations accepted.
Go to site
Vault Business Banking Account
$0
CAD, USD, GBP, EUR
0.35%
Quick books, Xero
Earn 1% unlimited cashback on your Vault multi-currency corporate credit card. No currency limitations. Set up accounts in CAD, USD, GBP and EUR, enjoy $0 local transfers.
To be eligible, you'll need to have a registered Canadian corporation.
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How to open a bank account for a club, charity or nonprofit

Once you find the right community account, make sure you fully understand the fees and features. The monthly fee may be waived if you maintain a minimum balance, or charges may change based on the size of your deposits.

Typically, you’ll need to go to a branch in person to open a community account. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Details of your organization like its name, address and purpose.
  • Registration documents for your organization.
  • Your personal details like your full name and contact information. Also provide the personal information of anyone authorized to access the account.
  • Government-issued ID like a non-expired driver’s license, passport or Permanent Resident card.
  • Proof of residency like a rental agreement, recent bill or utility statement showing your name and address.

Savings accounts for nonprofits and community organizations

Most banks don’t offer savings accounts designed specifically for nonprofits and community organizations. However, business savings accounts in Canada are almost always free, as banks rely on customers’ funds to function.

This means that you likely won’t have to pay a monthly or annual account maintenance fee for a business savings account with TD, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank or BMO. But you may be charged for withdrawals and other transactions.

With no physical branches to maintain, digital banks have lower operating costs than traditional banks, which can translate into lower fees and higher high interest savings account rates. If you’re looking for low-cost savings account with competitive rates, check out Tangerine’s business savings accounts.

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