A community report from Central City Foundation shows how investing in social purpose real estate can be tangibly measured, and that such investments can yield significant returns for investors. Putting a dollar value on doing good things for community was released today by Central City Foundation to show how Social Return on Investment (SROI) can be measured and how mission-based investing can yield significant financial and social return.

“We invest more than 40% of our capital directly in our mission – much more than most foundations — through social purpose real estate and grants to community partners, and believe that our investment model can stand as an example to others,” says Jennifer Johnstone, President and CEO of Central City Foundation. “We commissioned a report to measure the Social Return on Investment of our foundation, the first analysis of SROI of social purpose real estate in Canada, and have proven that our model works, that investors and communities can see a tangible return when significant investments are made in social purpose real estate.”

The community report shows that for every dollar spent, Central City Foundation (CCF) creates $3.90 in social benefits. The overall social return on capital investment in social purpose real estate is 18 per cent, with $2.4 to $3.4 million in direct community value created each year, and $4 to $11 million in indirect community value created each year. The full report is available at www.centralcityfoundation.ca/sroi-community-report.

When property or facilities are owned and operated by mission-based and not-for-profit organizations or investors for the purpose of community benefit and to achieve blended value returns, this is called social purpose real estate.

Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a way of measuring the value of the benefit society derives from social outcomes of an activity or an organization, by putting a dollar value on the economic impacts of its actions. More than just counting how many people have been served through a program, SROI goes further to capture the external economic impact of outcomes that a service facilitates. The SROI report on Central City Foundation was completed by Urban Matters, and their findings form the basis of this community report.

A leader in Canada in social purpose real estate, Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together for more than 100 years to improve the lives of people in need in Vancouver’s inner city through grants, sustainable social purpose real estate and investments in facilities and programs. CCF owns five buildings that provide low income housing and space and place for community organizations that are improving lives through unique early learning and education programs, daycares, health and family services, addiction treatment centres, and social enterprise.

“With real estate unaffordability rising in BC, social purpose real estate stands as an exemplary model that offers solutions that can help us build a community of hope to help our neighbours in need,” adds Johnstone. “Being able to prove that this model has financial and blended value returns will help non profit organizations address the affordability crisis of acquiring and maintaining space to offer programs and services. By investing a significant proportion of our core financial base in social purpose real estate, Central City Foundation is able to amplify our impact within the community.”

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About Central City Foundation:

Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together to build hope in the inner city since 1907. By building housing and other capital projects, investing in social enterprises that create jobs and opportunities as well as funding hundreds of non-profit organizations, Central City Foundation has provided help and hope to the most vulnerable people in our inner city community for 108 years.


Media contact:

Carla Shore, C-Shore Communications Inc.

P: 604-329-0975, media@centralcityfoundation.ca