P.O. Box 85058, Albert Park PO
Calgary, AB T2A 7R7
Executive Director: Leslie Hill
Board Chair: Simon Scott

Charitable Reg. #:11882 3483 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 83 cents are available for programs.

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About Discovery House:

Discovery House is a 5-star rated charity with an A+ grade in results reporting. The charity has best practices in financial transparency and relatively low overhead costs.

Founded in 1980, Discovery House helps women and children escape domestic violence and live safely in Calgary. The charity reports that 65% of women at Discovery House have experienced physical abuse. Further, 75% of women at Discovery House reported emotional, psychological, or verbal abuse. Discovery House provides housing for women and children escaping domestic abuse. It mainly acts as a second-stage shelter, providing a transition between short-term emergency shelters and long-term independent housing. Discovery House uses a "housing first" model, prioritizing finding stable housing for families. Discovery House provides families additional services and support after safely being housed. The charity states that it assigns each family a case manager, a youth case manager, a mental health clinician, and a housing liaison.

Discovery House operates four main programs: Shelter, Community Housing, Mental Health, and Child and Youth supports.

Discovery House's Shelter program accounted for 36% ($1.5m) of program spending in F2022. In F2022, the charity's 19-unit shelter served 115 people. The charity reports that of the women who completed its intake assessment, 74% were at increased, severe, or extreme risk of being killed by an abusive partner at intake. Discovery House reports that the average stay in the shelter was ten months in F2022.

The charity's Community Housing program made up 31% of program spending ($1.3m). Discovery House reports that it served 100 families in F2022, 70% of which came from racially marginalized backgrounds. The charity helps clients find safe and affordable housing, provides case management, subsidies, and landlord supports. In F2022, the charity helped 146 families through the Community Housing Program.

Mental Health programs accounted for 15% ($627k) of program spending in F2022. Discovery House provides one-on-one counselling for mothers and children, designed to understand the impacts of domestic violence, increase self-esteem, improve communication skills, and address the experience of trauma. The charity served 164 clients, 53 of which were children and youth in F2022. Discovery House provided 3,893 client support hours through one-on-one counselling, group support, resource referrals, and connections to the community.

Child and Youth programs made up 15% ($600k) of Discovery House's program spending in F2022. Through this program, the charity works with parents and children to mitigate the effects of trauma on brain development and strengthen parenting skills. The charity provides access to one-on-one counselling and case management for children and youth. Additionally, 12 mothers completed the charity's Parenting After Violence program.

The charity's Outreach and Bursary program made up the remaining 3% ($121k) of program spending in F2022. In F2022, the charity gave scholarships and bursaries to three different women for a total of $40k.

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Results and Impact

In F2022, Discovery House reports that it served 579 women and children. Of its clients, 340 remained in programs at year-end, and 218 women and children transitioned out of the program into independent and stable housing, free from domestic violence.

Discovery House reports that of the clients in its Mental Health programs that were surveyed, over 50% experienced positive changes in areas of stress, anxiety and depression, as measured by the DASS-21 (Depression and Anxiety Symptom Scale).

The charity reports that in F2022, of the 399 children served, 50% of youth had maintained or improved self-esteem and their ability to cope effectively with changes.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Discovery House’s results and impact.

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Discovery House received $3.2m in donations and special events revenue in F2022. It received $1.4m in government funding, representing 28% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 5% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 12% of donations and special events revenue. For every dollar donated to the charity, 83 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Discovery House has $4.8m in funding reserves, of which $1.0m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, Discovery House could cover just under 11 months of annual program costs.

Updated on July 5, 2022 by Ann Lei.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.0%4.9%4.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.4%13.2%15.1%
Total overhead spending 17.4%18.1%19.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 89.7%80.4%80.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,1302,6571,880
Goods in kind 12262
Government funding 1,4211,4771,544
Fees for service 279340403
Business activities (net) 154206132
Special events 68147291
Investment income (2)2535
Other income 68105124
Total revenues 5,1314,9834,410
Program costs 4,2734,1023,621
Administrative costs 258243177
Fundraising costs 396370327
Total spending 4,9274,7154,125
Cash flow from operations 204268285
Capital spending 187187331
Funding reserves 4,7864,4014,030

Note: Ci adjusted for amortization of deferred contributions affecting revenue by ($319k) in F2022, ($315k) in F2021, and ($350k) in F2020. Ci adjusted for goods in kind reported in the charity’s audited financials affecting revenue by $12k in F2022, $26k in F2021, and $2k in F2020. Ci adjusted for unrealized loss affecting revenue and expenses by ($32k) in F2022. Ci reported strategic planning in administrative costs. Ci reported salaries associated with fundraising from the charity’s financial notes as fundraising costs and removed the amounts from program costs. Ci typically reports lotteries and business activities net of expenses. However, Ci reported gaming and facilities revenues (gross of expenses) in business activities based on information available from the charity’s financial statements. The charity's F2022 T3010 was not available at the time of this update.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 50

Avg. compensation: $62,162

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.discoveryhouse.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 403-670-0467


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001