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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.

Compare bank accounts for nonprofits and community organizations

This information is current as of April 12, 2023.

AccountMonthly feeTransactionsDepositsOther
TD Community Plan



15 items

$2,500 cash

Monthly fee rebate with $5,000+ balance

Available in USD

TD Community Plus Plan



30 items

$5,000 cash

Monthly fee rebate with $10,000+ balance

Available in USD

CIBC Not-for-Profit Operating Account$4.0030$5,000 cash

$500 coin

30 cheques

Monthly fee rebate with $5,000+ balance
Royal Business Community Account$3.7510 debits

5 credits

10 itemsLink an eligible RBC Business card to your Petro-Canada card to save 3¢/L
Scotia Basic Business Plan

(large charitable organizations)

$10.9550% off (registered charities)

35% off (community groups)

$1-$5 per itemMonthly fee waived with $8,000+ balance

Available in USD

Scotia Community Account Plan

(small charitable organizations)

$3.001010 items

$2,500 cash

Up to $5,000 Overdraft Protection (interest applies, requires credit approval)
BMO Community Account$2.5020 (including 5 in-branch deposits)25 items

$2,500 cash

$250 coin

Monthly fee waived with $5,000+ balance

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.

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.

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?

Frequently asked questions

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