The Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) is a private, non-profit, charitable foundation established by Suncor in 1998 to receive Suncor’s contributions and support registered Canadian charitable organizations. The Foundation complements other forms of community investments by Suncor, such as product or in-kind contributions, sponsorships, employee giving and volunteer efforts.
Why do we have a Foundation?
As a large business, Suncor needed an effective approach to organizing and managing its many philanthropic activities. The Foundation provides the governance needed for setting funding and administration policies, ensuring compliance with government requirements, overseeing approval for major grants and ensuring staff are executing the Foundation’s strategy properly.
In addition, the Foundation allows us to continue supporting our communities during difficult economic times. As seen in 2015, many non-profit organizations, who were reliant on corporate giving and grants, struggled to obtain funding. The Foundation’s reserve fund – an accumulation of surplus contributions made by Suncor – provides us with an opportunity to continue funding in light of budget reductions.
Funded entirely by Suncor, SEF seeks unique opportunities to support community-based initiatives that enhance the quality of life in our key operating communities.
The Foundation is committed to lasting change by supporting transformative organizations and convening partners around critical issues for our communities and Suncor.
SEF is governed by a Board of Directors that reviews all major investments greater than $50,000 through four meetings a year. Since its inception, SEF has invested more than $176M in charitable organizations across Canada.
To further support the community partners we work with, and help explore complex social issues that require collaboration to make progress and see lasting community change, SEF has hosted an event called the Gathering. The event brought together funding partners, community organizations, social innovators, thought leaders, government representatives, and young Aboriginal leaders. Gathering themes focus on working towards strong, sustainable communities. The Gathering provided a forum for diverse networks to:
- connect existing work and initiatives
- take a system-wide view
- explore a variety of perspectives
- strengthen partnerships
To learn more, check out these videos and playlists: