Alberta Ecotrust is something of an art form. As far as we know, there is no other organization like it in Canada.
THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP
Alberta Ecotrust was conceived as a unique partnership between the corporate sector and the environmental community. Established in 1991 by visionary Albertans from the corporate and voluntary sectors, Alberta Ecotrust brings together progressive corporations and pragmatic environmental organizations to catalyze and support grassroots community-based action to protect and preserve the environment. It continues to stand as a unique and innovative model of corporate-NGO partnership across Canada.
Here’s how it works. Volunteer representatives from our corporate and nonprofit partners work together to provide Alberta Ecotrust with leadership, oversight and expertise. Some of these volunteers sit on our board of directors, others staff committees that focus on activities essential to the success of our organization, such as fundraising and communications.
The foundation of the partnership is the collective responsibility of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in nonprofit groups working on environmental issues in Alberta. Volunteer representatives from an equal number of corporate and nonprofit partners sit together on a committee to review grant applications from nonprofit organizations working on environmental projects.
These representatives bring a wide range of experience and expertise to the table — some are seasoned naturalists or environmental advocates, others are sustainability experts or project managers in the oil patch. Each provides a particular perspective on the environmental challenges and solutions facing Albertans; together they provide a diverse wealth of knowledge on how best to invest the money our donors provide to support Alberta’s environmental community and protect Alberta’s environment.
Each year, the grant review committee invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in dozens of environmental projects. Each grant review committee member then monitors and mentors one or more grantees as they use their Alberta Ecotrust grant to implement a project with tangible environmental benefits.
Brokering trust between industry, nonprofits, and government.
LEONA GIBB, TERA ENVIRONMENTAL
The people at our organization love hearing about the diversity of environmental projects we support through Alberta Ecotrust. They feel good about working for our firm, knowing that we are investing in the community in a meaningful way – it’s not just about the bottom line.
THE BENEFITS OF PARTNERSHIP
Partnering with Alberta Ecotrust provides tangible benefits for corporations and nonprofit organizations – as well as Alberta’s environment.
Improving environmental health
Alberta Ecotrust’s partners work together to strategically grant more than $400,000 annually to projects that have very real environmental benefits – on water, on wilderness and wildlife, on air and climate – in Alberta and beyond. Collectively, we have an excellent understanding of the environmental issues that are most important to Albertans, and of which groups around the province are working on them towards positive solutions. This allows us to wisely invest our donors’ support in the best way possible.
Alberta Ecotrust’s partnership model brings together non-traditional allies who do not normally have the chance to collaborate to improve environmental health. This allows a variety of stakeholders to use their diverse skill sets to make the best granting decisions possible, and to help inform and support (and ultimately strengthen) Alberta’s voluntary sector.
Partnership also dissipates misunderstanding and animosity and encourages mutual respect that is carried way beyond the Alberta Ecotrust boardroom. This unique partnership promotes good relationships between the corporate and voluntary sectors by encouraging interactions that lead to an understanding of the barriers, challenges and environmental issues facing us all.
Enhancing your public profile
Involvement as an Alberta Ecotrust partner is an effective way to actualize core corporate and organizational values. By becoming an Alberta Ecotrust partner, you are making a public commitment to protecting our environment and building a strong and effective voluntary sector working on environmental issues. Better yet, you are participating in an organization that makes a real and tangible difference on the ground and in communities.
BECOME A PARTNER
Alberta Ecotrust staff collaborates with our grantees and partners to build the capacity of the environmental community, in Alberta and beyond. What are the tangible impacts of your investment?
The support from our partners has contributed to the success of Alberta Ecotrust and its ability to invest over seven million dollars into environmental stewardship and protection in the last 23 years. This powerful result reflects the commitment of all Ecotrust partners and donors alike.
PARTICIPATORY DECISION MAKING
An investment in Alberta Ecotrust is much more than financial. An investment concretely links industry to environmental and community groups across Alberta. This includes representation and employee involvement on the Grant Review Committee.
Alberta Ecotrust investments are often used to leverage additional matching dollars for environmental groups. Our review process is rigorous yet fair and equitable to all groups. Our funding recipients provide detailed reports on their projects that include measureable results and data, where applicable.
Our partners are the foundation of Alberta Ecotrust. An equal number of corporate and nonprofit partners provide their expertise, passion and time to ensure that the programs and activities of Alberta Ecotrust are transparent, strategic and effective in the support of the nonprofit sector and the protection of Alberta’s environment.