Foundation and corporate giving
Lasting contributions that make a difference
Foundation & Corporate Giving
Community Investment at Suncor, and the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF), embody Suncor’s purpose of caring for each other and the earth by connecting business and community strengths to make a positive difference in society. Through partnerships and relationships with those who are courageously seeking solutions, we help spark change and propel progress for generations ahead.
We take a long view and believe we have the opportunity – and responsibility – to help build a better future. Since Suncor began operations in the oil sands over 50 years ago, this commitment has been demonstrated in our work with communities across our operations, through the efforts of our employees, and with the creation of SEF in 1998.
We believe in partnering and building relationships for the long-term to bring a brighter world to life. These relationships need to be across multiple sectors as no one type of organization can solve the interconnected, complex challenges we’re facing in the world today. That’s why we aim to foster mutual benefit and co-create solutions.
We do so to advance the following Strategic Objectives:
- Connect people across sectors and systems while working to increase equity and belonging.
- Share power and co-create sustainable solutions to complex challenges. To do so, we will lean into courageous conversations and be open to changing ourselves.
- Amplify community-led and community-informed efforts, including the efforts of Suncor employees.
- Support people and communities to adapt and evolve toward more regenerative approaches.
Beyond these big-picture statements, we have a strategy with three interconnected pillars:
We invest in communities where our employees work and live, through donations and sponsorships to local community organizations. We also support employee investments in causes that matter to them through the SunCares program.
We focus our donations within three funding priorities: Indigenous, Community and Energy.
We contribute to the development of the social innovation sector and use social innovation practices to develop our own programs. We define social innovation as any initiative, product, process, program or design that challenges or changes society’s actions and beliefs. Successful social innovations create long-term transformative impact.
History of the Suncor Energy Foundation
The above information applies to both community investment at Suncor, and to the Suncor Energy Foundation. In addition, we know some people are interested in learning more about the history of the latter.
SEF is a private, charitable foundation established by Suncor in 1998. As a large business, Suncor needed an effective approach to organizing and managing its many philanthropic activities. Fully funded by Suncor, the foundation complements Suncor’s other community investments.
In addition, SEF allows us to continue supporting our communities during difficult economic times. As seen in past downturns, many non-profit organizations, who were reliant on corporate giving and grants, struggled to obtain funding. SEF’s reserve fund – an accumulation of surplus contributions made by Suncor – provides us with an opportunity to continue funding more steadily. That’s important for several reasons, including because we aim to make contributions toward long-term, transformative change.
SEF also provides governance for funding and administration policies, ensuring compliance with government requirements, overseeing approval for major grants and maintaining alignment to the strategy outlined above. SEF is governed by a Board of Directors that reviews all donations greater than $50,000 through four meetings a year. SEF is also grateful for the advice of an Indigenous Youth Advisory Council, as formed in early 2019 to bring youth feedback to the Foundation and to Suncor.