Green Future Fund
Helping Small Eco Groups Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis
Like all Canadians, leaders of environmental groups were worried about their personal safety as well as the safety of their staff, friends and families as the COVID-19 pandemic first hit.
Canada’s small environmental groups work tirelessly with scarce dollars and countless volunteers to create a green future to avoid the dangers of the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution. Their local actions remediate natural areas, fight climate change, reduce waste and educate the public. They also work hard to achieve environmental improvements provincially and federally.
Unlike larger ENGOs, these smaller groups have much less capacity to shrink (and survive), often because they are not charities and cannot issue tax receipts for donations. And they have little access to the resources needed to survive the pandemic.
So we helped some 15 ENGOs from Ontario and the East Coast with everything we had:
- Raised $140,000 from hundreds of donors and foundations for joined projects.
- Assisted the groups with bi-weekly peer-to-peer zoom calls, with direct help accessing government support programs, and with one-on-one advice on management and HR issues.
- Hosted workshops on how to conduct campaigns during Covid-19.
- Created a new website designed to attract donors and provide a “one stop shop” of resources for groups.
- Provided participants with updates on available resources that would help them. Resources focused on communications, campaigning, government assistance programs, HR, fundraising, board governance, and NGO sector wide advocacy.
When the pandemic hit, we did what all Canadians did: help our communities make it through the pandemic.
Flooding harms us all. We are engaging residents to collaborate across the region to install inexpensive natural solutions to flooding. We are creating region-wide support to get new government policies that reduce flooding and that invest public dollars in sensible solutions. And we are raising money for residents wanting to create solutions in their communities.
We are helping community advocates develop the skills they need to succeed. With our experience in strategy development, communications and government relations, we offer assistance to advocates in various aspects such as:
- Developing goals, strategies, objectives, and tactics.
- Communications: framing, audience definition, message development, outlet selection, media training, and op-ed writing.
- Approaching government: lobbying, message development, approach, and meeting preparation.
We understand the difficulties of entering the workplace after finishing post-secondary schooling or when coming to Canada as an immigrant. To help open doors within the non-profit sector, we regularly offer various internships and volunteer opportunities for those interested in community involvement, and Indigenous and environmental advocacy.
Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Program
A program run in partnership with Tides Canada, we offered a unique platform for Indigenous youth to explore and execute their own ideas. We provided small grants up to $5,000 and an opportunity for youth to receive or take on mentor-ship roles, participate in skills training, and expand their networks by connecting with other youth, partners, and funders.