Our Contributions

At Urban Matters, our vision is to build inclusive communities where everyone has opportunity to thrive. To do this, we need to invest in people and remove barriers that prevent them and their communities from reaching their full potential.

In launching our company, we intentionally positioned ourselves as both a business and an investor in healthy people and communities. We incorporated our company as a Community Contribution Company, one of Canada’s first. Every year, we make strategic contributions to community-led initiatives that apply innovative thinking and evidence-based strategies to target gaps in our social systems. Since 2016, we have contributed a total of $400,000 back into communities.

Our Contributions

At Urban Matters, our vision is to build inclusive communities where everyone has opportunity to thrive. To do this, we need to invest in people and remove barriers that prevent them and their communities from reaching their full potential.

In launching our company, we intentionally positioned ourselves as both a business and an investor in healthy people and communities. We incorporated our company as a Community Contribution Company, one of Canada’s first. Every year, we make strategic contributions to community-led initiatives that apply innovative thinking and evidence-based strategies to target gaps in our social systems. Since 2016, we have contributed a total of $400,000 back into communities.

PEOPLE Employment Services

Creating employment opportunities is widely recognized as a critical building block in helping to support those who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness and further reduce the incidents of homelessness. In 2019, Urban Matters invested $40,000 to the newly formed PEOPLE Employment Services.

PEOPLE is a Kelowna-based social enterprise that provides training, mentorship and partnerships that lead to paid employment opportunities for people with lived or living experience of homelessness and substance use. Since 2018, we had been supporting the incubation of PEOPLE as a social enterprise – assisting with launching the initiative, designing a sustainable business and incorporation model, developing partnerships with local employers.

Our contribution was used to help hire an Executive Director to support the enterprise, which is now its own non profit entity. As of 2022, PEOPLE employs more than 30 individuals with lived and living experience in a variety of meaningful roles in the community.

PEOPLE Employment Services

Creating employment opportunities is widely recognized as a critical building block in helping to support those who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness and further reduce the incidents of homelessness. In 2019, Urban Matters invested $40,000 to the newly formed PEOPLE Employment Services.

PEOPLE is a Kelowna-based social enterprise that provides training, mentorship and partnerships that lead to paid employment opportunities for people with lived or living experience of homelessness and substance use. Since 2018, we had been supporting the incubation of PEOPLE as a social enterprise – assisting with launching the initiative, designing a sustainable business and incorporation model, developing partnerships with local employers.

Our contribution was used to help hire an Executive Director to support the enterprise, which is now its own non profit entity. As of 2022, PEOPLE employs more than 30 individuals with lived and living experience in a variety of meaningful roles in the community.

AAWEAR

Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibility (AAWEAR) is an Alberta-based organization run almost entirely by people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) of substance use. Their core activities include conducting peer outreach and support as well as community-based peer research, education and collaboration in the communities they serve. Recognizing the value they play in Alberta to elevate and empower PWLLE, and their strategic potential to deepen the local and community based responses to reduce both stigma and overdose deaths, Urban Matters provided AAWEAR with a $100,000 contribution and in-kind mentorship support.

So far, the contribution funding has helped AAWEAR to double peer outreach capacity, secure space for programming and meetings, purchase tools for financial management, and increase administration and leadership support overall. It has also allowed them to grow the skills of three peer members to become provincial leaders for the organization, resulting in two full-time and one part-time position.

AAWEAR

Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibility (AAWEAR) is an Alberta-based organization run almost entirely by people with lived and living experience (PWLLE) of substance use. Their core activities include conducting peer outreach and support as well as community-based peer research, education and collaboration in the communities they serve. Recognizing the value they play in Alberta to elevate and empower PWLLE, and their strategic potential to deepen the local and community based responses to reduce both stigma and overdose deaths, Urban Matters provided AAWEAR with a $100,000 contribution and in-kind mentorship support.

So far, the contribution funding has helped AAWEAR to double peer outreach capacity, secure space for programming and meetings, purchase tools for financial management, and increase administration and leadership support overall. It has also allowed them to grow the skills of three peer members to become provincial leaders for the organization, resulting in two full-time and one part-time position.

Community Action Initiative

The Community Action Initiative (CAI) is a granting organization that, to date, has primarily received funds from B.C. provincial government. In 2021, we contributed $100,000 with matching funds from CAI to deliver a micro-grant program that is designed to help members of the Provincial Peer Network undertake projects that reduce the structural stigma that people with lived and living experience face daily within their local communities. The micro-grant helps to undertake action-oriented projects that have not been able to be funded through traditional avenues. Projects funded through this micro-grant program range from first-aid and Naloxone training, to Indigenous harm reduction education, to public awareness campaigns and events.

Community Action Initiative

The Community Action Initiative (CAI) is a granting organization that, to date, has primarily received funds from B.C. provincial government. In 2021, we contributed $100,000 with matching funds from CAI to deliver a micro-grant program that is designed to help members of the Provincial Peer Network undertake projects that reduce the structural stigma that people with lived and living experience face daily within their local communities. The micro-grant helps to undertake action-oriented projects that have not been able to be funded through traditional avenues. Projects funded through this micro-grant program range from first-aid and Naloxone training, to Indigenous harm reduction education, to public awareness campaigns and events.

Reframe Housing Competition

As a collaboration between Urban Matters and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), the Reframe Housing Competition was created to identify and highlight models and ideas that had the potential to improve community housing across Western Canada and the Territories. The intent was to encourage innovation in Canada’s housing sector and provide resources to help the winning submission take their innovation to the next level.

Contestants were given just over three months to develop and pitch their housing ideas to the judging committee. Winners received a prize of $8,000 cash and $2,000 of assistance for promotional efforts. The committee received applications from across Western Canada, including early-stage innovations and pitches for projects already underway. Winners were chosen for their ability to demonstrate innovation, viability, scalability and a willingness to foster meaningful social outcomes.

Reframe Housing Competition

As a collaboration between Urban Matters and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), the Reframe Housing Competition was created to identify and highlight models and ideas that had the potential to improve community housing across Western Canada and the Territories. The intent was to encourage innovation in Canada’s housing sector and provide resources to help the winning submission take their innovation to the next level.

Contestants were given just over three months to develop and pitch their housing ideas to the judging committee. Winners received a prize of $8,000 cash and $2,000 of assistance for promotional efforts. The committee received applications from across Western Canada, including early-stage innovations and pitches for projects already underway. Winners were chosen for their ability to demonstrate innovation, viability, scalability and a willingness to foster meaningful social outcomes.

Grand Forks Housing Authority

In 2018, the community of Grand Forks, B.C. experienced catastrophic flooding and a significant amount of people were displaced. The non-profit organizations that provided support for housing within the community became overwhelmed by a lack of resources and two organizations unfortunately had to close in the aftermath of the disaster. Urban Matters provided resources and $40,000 to create a backbone community housing organization that would help to increase collaboration and coordination between the various non-profit organizations within the community to better meet their immediate and long-term needs.

Grand Forks Housing Authority

In 2018, the community of Grand Forks, B.C. experienced catastrophic flooding and a significant amount of people were displaced. The non-profit organizations that provided support for housing within the community became overwhelmed by a lack of resources and two organizations unfortunately had to close in the aftermath of the disaster. Urban Matters provided resources and $40,000 to create a backbone community housing organization that would help to increase collaboration and coordination between the various non-profit organizations within the community to better meet their immediate and long-term needs.

Urban Systems Foundation

Instead of searching beyond the Urban family for an opportunity to distribute our impact dollars, we delivered our annual contribution to the well established Urban Systems Foundation. The Foundation shares our vision for creating healthy, thriving communities for all and has been a vehicle for Urbanites to give back to their communities for more than 20 years. In 2020, a $100,000 contribution was distributed to the Foundation to grow collective efforts and reach even more members of the communities in which we live, work and play.

Urban Systems Foundation

Instead of searching beyond the Urban family for an opportunity to distribute our impact dollars, we delivered our annual contribution to the well established Urban Systems Foundation. The Foundation shares our vision for creating healthy, thriving communities for all and has been a vehicle for Urbanites to give back to their communities for more than 20 years. In 2020, a $100,000 contribution was distributed to the Foundation to grow collective efforts and reach even more members of the communities in which we live, work and play.

What is a Community Contribution Company (CCC)?

A CCC is a hybrid incorporation model that supports companies in creating positive social outcomes through business. This means we operate much like any other business, but with a mandate to contribute 60 percent of our profits back into communities. It’s a sustainable business model that benefits the community. Imagine what our world would look like if more businesses were structured like this!

What is a Community Contribution Company (CCC)?

A CCC is a hybrid incorporation model that supports companies in creating positive social outcomes through business. This means we operate much like any other business, but with a mandate to contribute 60 percent of our profits back into communities. It’s a sustainable business model that benefits the community. Imagine what our world would look like if more businesses were structured like this!

Our approach to community contributions

Urban Matters was designed to be both a business and a funder of social development. We create value through consulting and innovation services and then reinvest that value into the systemic issues from which they were derived. Typically, organizations are one or the other: a consultancy that provides services, or a funding agency that pays for them. Our orientation is entirely unique.

We apply the insights that we have learned as conveners and professionals when we think about what and how we contribute back to communities. We ask ourselves: How can our contribution be best utilized to address gaps in the system? How can we target root causes rather than focus on downstream consequences?

Rather than making donations, our focus is to make investments that will spark foundational change. Recognizing our desired trend to continually move the practice toward systems level solutions, we are focused on contributing to truly innovative opportunities that demonstrate what is possible. Increasingly, multi-year investment opportunities are starting to emerge, which allow communities to build upon their mission and effect even more positive impact.

Interested in community investment and partnerships? Let’s chat!

Our approach to community contributions

Urban Matters was designed to be both a business and a funder of social development. We create value through consulting and innovation services and then reinvest that value into the systemic issues from which they were derived. Typically, organizations are one or the other: a consultancy that provides services, or a funding agency that pays for them. Our orientation is entirely unique.

We apply the insights that we have learned as conveners and professionals when we think about what and how we contribute back to communities. We ask ourselves: How can our contribution be best utilized to address gaps in the system? How can we target root causes rather than focus on downstream consequences?

Rather than making donations, our focus is to make investments that will spark foundational change. Recognizing our desired trend to continually move the practice toward systems level solutions, we are focused on contributing to truly innovative opportunities that demonstrate what is possible. Increasingly, multi-year investment opportunities are starting to emerge, which allow communities to build upon their mission and effect even more positive impact.

Interested in community investment and partnerships? Let’s chat!

Annual Reports

As a CCC, we publish an annual public report to disclose our earnings and contributions. Learn more about our growth and how we are looking ahead to create more social impact.

Annual Reports

As a CCC, we publish an annual public report to disclose our earnings and contributions. Learn more about our growth and how we are looking ahead to create more social impact.