Workshops: Financial Aspects of Renting, Leasing, and Licensing Space

Are you a  Non-profit, charitable or social enterprise organization renting, leasing or licensing space? Want to learn more about the costs of renting, leasing and licensing space, and how to protect your organization from added expense? Then this workshop is for you! 

NOTE:  These workshops have now ended. Please join the SPRE Mailing List to stay tuned for future events or learning opportunities such as these.


All organizations need suitable space to deliver their services and programs and to house their administrative needs! When your organization is mission-driven, affordability becomes a bigger challenge, especially in the competitive real estate market in British Columbia. Securing real estate that serves your purpose is much less daunting when you have a greater understanding of the terms, conditions, and costs, and how to calculate your occupancy costs.

As part of a major study into space for non-profits and social enterprises being undertaken from Fall 2019 through Spring 2021, Space for Community, you are invited to apply to participate in one of seven workshops taking place in your municipality across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Workshops will be held in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, the City of North Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. If you would like to learn more about the overall Study, please click here.

Each workshop will be limited to 20 participants in order to enable an in-depth, interactive learning environment for non-profit and social enterprise leadership from the participating municipalities. Selection will be based on ensuring a representative mix of organizational types, and from applicants’ qualifications according to the list of criteria below. The knowledge and skills acquired in this workshop will aid senior leadership in social purpose organizations to ensure their rental or leasing situations are appropriate for their organization’s needs. The workshops are being led by Martha Burton, an expert in social purpose real estate, and in particular renting, leasing, licensing space.

What's covered? wORKSHOP topics

  1. “Eleven Essential Lease Clauses” You Need to Know to Survive 
  2. Understanding the Terms that Determine What You Pay 
    • Space: Leasable vs Usable
    • Base Rent: Triple Net vs Gross Rent vs License Fees
    • Deposits
    • Insurance and Real Property Tax costs
    • Tenant Operating Expenses 
      • The financial impact when all possible facility related operating expenses are passed onto the tenant?
      • What can be excluded from operating expenses in your rental, leasing, licensing agreements?
  3. Wrap Up
    • Questions / Comments
    • Key learnings / take aways

Workshop Eligibility and selection Criteria  

  • Workshop applicants with organizational headquarters or operating spaces in Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Victoria and Nanaimo are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must be in a leadership position within the organization with responsibility for finances and/or facilities. This could be a CEO, COO, CFO, a Board Chair, Board Chair of Finance or Facilities Committees, a senior staff or volunteer with responsibility for finances and/or facilities
  • Participant applications will be reviewed by the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative (SPRE) and the participating municipality with a view to creating a workshop co-hort that includes a variety of size, scope, activities, mission and spaces. Criteria for selection will include (beyond those noted above);
    • What is the particular space or real estate challenge, opportunity or initiative that the organization is working on?
    • How does the applicant see the workshop assisting in moving forward that space challenge, opportunity or initiative?
    • Do the applicant and their organization have the capacity to move the challenge, opportunity or initiative forward?
    • Does the applicant demonstrate a commitment to sharing/imbedding the knowledge gained at the workshop within their organization and potentially beyond?

workshop application process

Here's a summary of how to get from here, to participating in a workshop:

  1. You, someone in a leadership position at a non-profit or social enterprise in Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Victoria, or Nanaimo, click on the link below and fill out the application form by November 29th (or 22nd if you work in Nanaimo). 
  2. SPRE Collaborative members and representatives from your municipality review the applicants and choose participants according to the selection critreia listed above. 
  3. SPRE's Workshop Coordinator, Liana, contacts you to tell you whether or not you have been selected to participate in a workshop. 
  4. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, you will receive a package to review in advance, with instructions on what to bring with you on the day of the workshop. 
  5. The day of the workshop, you will arrive with the information the pre-package outlined in hand, and will participate in a free, two-hour, interactive workshop! 
  6. After the workshop, you will receive a survey to fill out. This will include a portion for feedback on the workshop itself, and a portion to report data that will be used in the Rent--Lease--Own Study. Rest assured this data will be aggregated, and your confidentiality will be respected in the study reporting. 
  7. You will receive another online survey in February 2020 which will ask more general questions about your organization's real estate needs. This is also part of the larger Rent--Lease--Own Study. 
  8. You take what you've learned from the workshop and harness it in your everyday work life for the benefit of your organization and your community! 

So, if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of space leasing and renting, then follow the link below to apply for to be invited to this 2-hour workshop. There is no registration fee to attend.