CommunityWise Resource Centre

we serve these populations

  • homelessness
  • immigrant newcomers
  • indigenous communities
  • women

we need help with:

  • addiction recovery
  • food security
  • heritage
  • mental health

What we Do:

CommunityWise is a non profit hub, a building and community, for organizations to fulfill their important work. We facilitate the use of space for often marginalized community organizations to operate out of in a safe and supportive environment. We provide office and meeting room space, shared resources and equipment, and operate a very important social purpose heritage resource building in the Belline are a of Calgary.

Why we exist:
We exist to support dozens of critical community organizations and to enhance collective impact. Shared space is powerful and we know that nonprofit hubs are capable of achieving a number of significant benefits. This includes allowing small organizations to spend a higher proportion of their funds in directly impactful ways. The cost savings and stability resulting from nonprofits being located in a shared space are most often re-directed to increased existing program-related spending.

Beyond this, CommunityWise is defined not only by the building as a physical centre, but by the communities, the organizations, and the individuals who occupy it. Playing much more than a landlord role, we strive to learn from, and be in relationship with, our members. This means that the strategies and tactics through which our mandate is carried out are heavily influenced by the groups who use the building. Accordingly, we have been encouraged by our strong, longstanding, and trust-based relationships with our members to meet them where they are at, striving to meet their unique needs to ultimately better enable them to meet their own goals.

5 values guide everything we do:
Mutuality: cultivate relationships, connection and collaboration because of their shared benefits and because together we can withstand individual and shared challenges.
Inclusion: We respect and elevate diverse voices, practices and cultures, individual uniqueness and collective wisdom.
Accountability: We are responsible to our shared space, to each other, to the larger community, and to the planet.
Trust: We have confidence in the knowledge, experience, and ability of our members and partners, and actively work to keep their trust in us.
Equity: We recognize and redress historical and current-day inequities experienced by certain equity-seeking groups and strive for their barrier-free participation.

Our impact
CommunityWise is a nonprofit hub that, for 46 years, has existed to support and strengthen diverse grassroots groups and nonprofit organizations through our central location in the historic Old YWCA Building that we’ve been the stewards of since 1979. We provide affordable office and community space, administrative infrastructure (shared internet, mailboxes, office equipment), and collaborative capacity-building opportunities to 80 member organizations, most of whom are small nonprofits or grassroots groups. We also engage in community and nonprofit sector development work with a focus on anti-racism and equity.
Among the diverse areas CommunityWise members work in and represent, our current focus areas are: groups that are led by-and-for Black, Indigenous, and racialized populations; 2SLGBTQ+ groups; addiction recovery groups; and small arts groups. According to our most recent member survey, 61% of members reported having annual budgets of less than $50,000. This statistic obscures the fact that a large portion actually have annual budgets of less than $15,000 and are entirely run by volunteer support.

Our long-term organizational goals are to:
1) support our members so that they are better able to achieve their own organizational goals and 2) contribute to making Calgary’s grassroots and nonprofit sector more equitable. CommunityWise members collectively serve tens of thousands of people in Calgary and surrounding areas each year. 1500 events, meetings, peer support groups, celebrations, workshops, and more took place at CommunityWise in 2023

Members’ words reveal the impacts of CommunityWise on their work:
“The benefits of being housed at CommunityWise have been immeasurable. We have been able to expand our services and vision from the offering of counselling services to the facilitation of client groups, the hosting of a platform of therapists from all over Calgary, and the organization of workshops with instructors from the city as well as abroad.” – Calgary Narrative Collective
“Thanks for all the terrific community support. CommunityWise helps us do our work better through your supportive staff, reasonable rent as well as connecting to other social justice, environmental and arts groups.” – Alberta Media Arts Alliance
“Of the many positive aspects of the Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC) project, I most appreciate that CommunityWise is committed to promoting inclusion and equity not only as an outcome, but also through its process. Meaningful change that prioritizes the voices of those most impacted by racism is far-reaching and vital, and I am thankful for the learning and growth I have gained with AROC.” (Working Group Participant)

Our programs – how we do it
CommunityWise is a nonprofit hub that, for 46 years, has existed to support and strengthen diverse grassroots groups and nonprofit organizations through our central location in the historic “Old YWCA” Building that we have been the stewards of since 1979.

We provide:
Below-market office and community spaces: inclusive and affordable physical space for grassroots and nonprofit members with a current focus on: groups that are led by-and-for Black, Indigenous, and racialized populations; 2SLGBTQ+ groups; addiction recovery groups; and small arts groups. Shared administrative infrastructure: internet, mailboxes, office equipment. Collaborative learning opportunities with community partners on such topics as: governance, fund development, financial management, first-aid, self-care, community mental health, peer support. As well as neighbourhood oriented programming for people focused on addressing social isolation, and food insecurity.

Anti-Racist Organizational Change (AROC): since 2016, we have led an AROC process. The goals of AROC are to address organizational racism and create greater diversity, inclusion, and equity within CommunityWise while also sharing lessons learned with other nonprofits in the form of trainings, webinars, podcasts, and toolkits. Today we operate a racialized and Queer focused space on the main floor utilized for free by a dozen community groups.

Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Philip McCutcheon

operations director

(403) 261-9660


More Info

Charity Number: #119066694RR0001

Visit our Website

Financial Statements / Annual Reports

Download PDF