Evaluation and learning

The Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) believes in the transformative power of evaluation and learning, for us and with the communities and partners we support.

SEF evaluates its donations and their impact using an approach known as developmental evaluation. Specific evaluation activities include team members’ personal reflections, regular interviews by an evaluator, and qualitative analysis of how each donation supports the SEF strategy.

Our reports

We have several reports from these various tactics (almost always with a shorter executive summary), and we typically follow a “what – so what – now what?” format, leading to actions that are meant to continuously improve our approach.

  • What (i.e., what is the data?)
  • So What? (i.e., what is the data telling us, what can we conclude from its themes?)
  • Now What? (i.e., what are we going to do as a result of this information?)

Findings from our 2023 evaluation and learning efforts include:

2023 Community partners’ impact reporting

We’re noticing a trend where more partners are sharing the power of including more voices in their decision-making. We’re hopeful that more partners will move toward approaches where communities are not just informed but are actively involved, drawing on the lived experiences of people.

2023 Community partners' perceptions

SEF’s way of building relationships remains a strength and differentiator. We continue to see strong, trust-based, learning-centered partnerships. Respondents feel more confident that SEF understands our partners and their work.

2023 Employees’ perceptions

SEF remains a source of pride for Suncor employees and positively contributes to the company’s culture. However, employees feel less informed about SEF’s strategy and its connection to Suncor, as well as details on its support of local communities.

Interested in what we’re learning?

If you are interested in what we are learning, please contact us at SEF@suncor.com for access to any of the following reports or summaries:

  • Community partners’ perceptions of working with SEF
  • SEF team’s reflective practice
  • Assessment of how SEF donations align to SEF strategy
  • SEF team’s assessment of how we work together

Please note, the reports should be reviewed with the knowledge that SEF and Suncor are separate entities pursuing related but distinct strategies.