Renewing Charity Buildings has Huge Ripple Effects

A study on the social and economic benefits of renovating and renewing buildings where charitable services are provided shows that there is a profound impact on the charity’s clients, as well as their organization, funders and surrounding community.

The study concluded that the social impacts of renewed buildings are: increased services for clients, higher quality services, better client access, improved efficiency for the charity, and a better ability to achieve their mission.  

Increased revenue, lower costs, economies of scale, increased human resources and enhanced community service were identified as the economic benefits of charity infrastructure renewal. 

The study was led by HeroWork Canada, a charity that enhances other charities by transforming their buildings, in partnership with CIFAL Victoria at the University of Victoria. Funding for the study was provided by the Victoria Foundation.  


Charities in Canada deliver critical services to our most vulnerable community members. Yet, many are limited by outdated facilities that are in poor and sometimes unsafe condition, and have little or no funding sources to address their infrastructure needs.  

Canada’s non-profit sector provides significant social and economic benefit. Imagine Canada reports that the sector contributes $192 billion in economic activity to Canada annually, and accounts for almost 9% of the country’s GDP. It employs 2.4 million people, which is more than the mining, oil and gas sector, or agriculture, transportation and retail.  

A study done in the Capital Regional District in 2018 found that the charitable sector contributes nearly $7 billion annually to the local economy and supports the equivalent of 63,000 full-time jobs, and $300 million in municipal taxes. link:  


“Sustainable funding for improving charity infrastructure is key,” said Paul Latour, CEO and Founder of HeroWork Canada.  “To achieve and maintain safe, healthy and efficient purpose-designed buildings for delivering critical services, the sector needs new funding sources.” 

“Our study shows that charity infrastructure renewal directly advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by expanding critical services to vulnerable populations (SDGs 1,2,3, & 10),” says CIFAL Victoria chair and UVic geographer Crystal Tremblay.  

“A key solution to improving community well-being is strengthening the non-profit sector, and the study from HeroWork Canada and the University of Victoria demonstrates the need for non-profits to have appropriate space for the people they serve and their teams. We see over and over in our own region the difference that having a good space makes to the ability of non-profits to reach people and deliver the range of high-quality programs that we rely on as a community.” Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. 


HeroWork Canada is a registered charity that leverages funds, resources, and people to achieve exceptional transformations of charity buildings at a fraction of traditional costs and time, creating a legacy of renewed infrastructure.   

CIFAL Victoria is an initiative of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the University of Victoria, which serves as a regional hub for capacity building, networking, training and mobilizing research and other initiatives that advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The Victoria Foundation Is a registered charity accredited by Imagine Canada. Since 1936, the Foundation has been managing charitable gifts to create permanent, income-earning funds that support hundreds of charities each year.  

More Info:  

For more information read the full report, or an overview of it. For additional background info also see the Victoria Foundation’s Charity Impact report