The International Classification of Non-profit Organizations
Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.
Non-profit institutions in the satellite account are classified by primary area of activity according to the International Classification of Non-profit Organizations (ICNPO). It is the classification system recommended in the United Nations (UN) Handbook on Non-profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts. The ICNPO system groups organizations into 12 major activity groups, including a catch-all 'not elsewhere classified' category. These 12 major activity groups are further divided into 24 subgroups. Satellite account estimates are published at the major group level. These are briefly described below.
- Group 1 Culture and recreation
- Group 2 Education and research
- Group 3 Health
- Group 4 Social services
- Group 5 Environment
- Group 6 Development and housing
- Group 7 Law, advocacy and politics
- Group 8 Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion
- Group 9 International
- Group 10 Religion
- Group 11 Business and professional associations, unions
- Group 12 Not elsewhere classified
Group 1: Culture and recreation
Media and communications. Production and dissemination of information and communication; includes radio and TV stations; publishing of books, journals, newspapers and newsletters; film production; and libraries.
Visual arts, architecture, ceramic art. Production, dissemination and display of visual arts and architecture; includes sculpture, photographic societies, painting, drawing, design centers and architectural associations.
Performing arts. Performing arts centers, companies and associations; includes theatre, dance, ballet, opera, orchestras, chorals and music ensembles.
Historical, literary and humanistic societies. Promotion and appreciation of the humanities, preservation of historical and cultural artefacts and commemoration of historical events; includes historical societies, poetry and literary societies, language associations, reading promotion, war memorials and commemorative funds and associations.
Museums. General and specialized museums covering art, history, sciences, technology and culture.
Zoos and aquariums.
Sports. Provision of amateur sport, training, physical fitness and sport competition services and events; includes fitness and wellness centers.
Recreation and social clubs. Provision of recreational facilities and services to individuals and communities; includes playground associations, country clubs, men's and women's clubs, touring clubs and leisure clubs.
Service clubs. Membership organizations providing services to members and local communities, for example Lions, Zonta International, Rotary Club and Kiwanis.
Group 2: Education and research
Elementary, primary and secondary education : Education at elementary, primary and secondary levels; includes pre-school organizations other than day care.
Higher education: Higher learning, providing academic degrees; includes universities, business management schools, law schools, medical schools.
Vocational/technical schools: Technical and vocational training specifically geared towards gaining employment; includes trade schools, paralegal training and secretarial schools.
Adult/continuing education : Institutions engaged in providing education and training in addition to the formal educational system; includes schools of continuing studies, correspondence schools, night schools and sponsored literacy and reading programs.
Medical research : Research in the medical field; includes research on specific diseases, disorders, or medical disciplines.
Science and technology : Research in the physical and life sciences and engineering and technology.
Social sciences, policy studies : Research and analysis in the social sciences and policy area.
Group 3: Health
Hospitals. Primarily inpatient medical care and treatment.
Rehabilitation. Inpatient health care and rehabilitative therapy to individuals suffering from physical impairments due to injury, genetic defect, or disease and requiring extensive physiotherapy or similar forms of care.
Nursing homes. Inpatient convalescent care, residential care, as well as primary health care services; includes homes for the frail elderly and nursing homes for the severely handicapped.
Psychiatric hospitals. Inpatient care and treatment for the mentally ill.
Mental health treatment. Outpatient treatment for mentally ill patients; includes community mental health centers and halfway homes.
Crisis intervention. Outpatient services and counsel in acute mental health situations; includes suicide prevention and support to victims of assault and abuse.
Public health and wellness education. Public health promotion and health education; includes sanitation screening for potential health hazards, first aid training and services and family planning services.
Health treatment, primarily outpatient. Organizations that provide primarily outpatient health services e.g., health clinics and vaccination centers.
Rehabilitative medical services. Outpatient therapeutic care; includes nature cure centers, yoga clinics and physical therapy centers.
Emergency medical services. Services to persons in need of immediate care; includes ambulatory services and paramedical emergency care, shock/trauma programs, lifeline programs and ambulance services.
Group 4: Social services
Child welfare, child services and day care. Services to children, adoption services, child development centers, foster care; includes infant care centers and nurseries.
Youth services and youth welfare. Services to youth; includes delinquency prevention services, teen pregnancy prevention, drop-out prevention, youth centers and clubs and job programs for youth; includes Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Family services. Services to families; includes family life/parent education, single parent agencies and services and family violence shelters and services.
Services for the handicapped. Services for the handicapped; includes homes, other than nursing homes, transport facilities, recreation and other specialized services.
Services for the elderly. Organizations providing geriatric care; includes in-home services, homemaker services, transport facilities, recreation, meal programs and other services geared towards senior citizens (does not include residential nursing homes).
Self-help and other personal social services. Programs and services for self-help and personal development; includes support groups, personal counselling and credit counselling/money management services.
Disaster/emergency prevention and control. Organizations that work to prevent, predict, control and alleviate the effects of disasters, to educate or otherwise prepare individuals to cope with the effects of disasters, or to provide relief to disaster victims; includes volunteer fire departments, life boat services, etc.
Temporary shelters. Organizations providing temporary shelters to the homeless; includes traveller's aid and temporary housing.
Refugee assistance. Organizations providing food, clothing, shelter and services to refugees and immigrants.
Income support and maintenance. Organizations providing cash assistance and other forms of direct services to persons unable to maintain a livelihood.
Material assistance. Organizations providing food, clothing, transport and other forms of assistance; includes food banks and clothing distribution centers.
Group 5: Environment
Pollution abatement and control. Organizations that promote clean air, clean water, reducing and preventing noise pollution, radiation control, treatment of hazardous wastes and toxic substances, solid waste management and recycling programs.
Natural resources conservation and protection. Conservation and preservation of natural resources, including land, water, energy and plant resources for the general use and enjoyment of the public.
Environmental beautification and open spaces. Botanical gardens, arboreta, horticultural programs and landscape services; organizations promoting anti-litter campaigns; programs to preserve the parks, green spaces and open spaces in urban or rural areas; and city and highway beautification programs.
Animal protection and welfare. Animal protection and welfare services; includes animal shelters and humane societies.
Wildlife preservation and protection. Wildlife preservation and protection; includes sanctuaries and refuges.
Veterinary services. Animal hospitals and services providing care to farm and household animals and pets.
Group 6: Development and housing
Community and neighbourhood organizations. Organizations working towards improving the quality of life within communities or neighbourhoods, e.g., squatters' associations, local development organizations, poor people's cooperatives.
Economic development. Programs and services to improve economic infrastructure and capacity; includes building of infrastructure like roads; and financial services such as credit and savings associations, entrepreneurial programs, technical and managerial consulting and rural development assistance.
Social development. Organizations working towards improving the institutional infrastructure and capacity to alleviate social problems and to improve general public well being.
Housing associations. Development, construction, management, leasing, financing and rehabilitation of housing.
Housing assistance. Organizations providing housing search, legal services and related assistance.
Job training programs. Organizations providing and supporting apprenticeship programs, internships, on-the-job training and other training programs.
Vocational counselling and guidance. Vocational training and guidance, career counselling, testing and related services.
Vocational rehabilitation and sheltered workshops. Organizations that promote self-sufficiency and income generation through job training and employment.
Group 7: Law, advocacy and politics
Advocacy organizations. Organizations that protect the rights and promote the interests of specific groups of people, e.g., the physically handicapped, the elderly, children and women.
Civil rights associations. Organizations that work to protect or preserve individual civil liberties and human rights.
Ethnic associations. Organizations that promote the interests of, or provide services to, members belonging to a specific ethnic heritage.
Civic associations. Programs and services to encourage and spread civic mindedness.
Legal services. Legal services, advice and assistance in dispute resolution and court-related matters.
Crime prevention and public policy. Crime prevention to promote safety and precautionary measures among citizens.
Rehabilitation of offenders. Programs and services to reintegrate offenders; includes halfway houses, probation and parole programs, prison alternatives.
Victim support. Services, counsel and advice to victims of crime.
Consumer protection associations. Protection of consumer rights and the improvement of product control and quality.
Political parties and organizations. Activities and services to support the placing of particular candidates into political office; includes dissemination of information, public relations and political fundraising.
Group 8: Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion
Grant-making foundations: Private foundations; including corporate foundations, community foundations and independent public-law foundations.
Voluntarism promotion and support: Organizations that recruit, train and place volunteers and promote volunteering.
Fund-raising organizations: Federated, collective fundraising organizations; includes lotteries.
Group 9: International
Exchange/friendship/cultural programs: Programs and services designed to encourage mutual respect and friendship internationally.
Development assistance associations: Programs and projects that promote social and economic development abroad.
International disaster and relief organizations: Organizations that collect, channel and provide aid to other countries during times of disaster or emergency.
International human rights and peace organizations: Organizations which promote and monitor human rights and peace internationally.
Group 10: Religion
Congregations: Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, shrines, monasteries, seminaries and similar organizations promoting religious beliefs and administering religious services and rituals.
Associations of congregations: Associations and auxiliaries of religious congregations and organizations supporting and promoting religious beliefs, services and rituals.
Group 11: Business and professional associations, unions
Business associations: Organizations that work to promote, regulate and safeguard the interests of special branches of business, e.g., manufacturers' association, farmers' association, bankers' association.
Professional associations: Organizations promoting, regulating and protecting professional interests, e.g., bar association, medical association.
Labour unions: Organizations that promote, protect and regulate the rights and interests of employees.