Alberta Ecotrust Foundation

Suite 250, 305 10 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 0W2
CEO: Pat Letizia
Board Co-Chair: Eric Westrum

Charitable Reg. #:13502 9825 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 1/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 100 cents are available for programs.

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About Alberta Ecotrust Foundation:

Founded in 1991, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation (AEF) aims to partner with groups across the environmental sector to create healthy ecosystems for all Albertans. It funds grants for local environmental projects, creates resources for charities and non-profits, and works with the city of Edmonton to promote sustainability.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation runs three core programs: Environmental Grants, Capacity Building, and Collaboration.

Environmental Grants were 71% of program costs in F2020. AEF’s main grant fund, the Alberta Ecotrust Environmental Grant Program, offers funding for both Major Projects and Community Projects. While Major Projects are comprehensive initiatives with the potential for significant environmental benefits, Community Projects refer to smaller projects that focus on local opportunities for sustainability. In 2019, AEF funded 18 Major Projects and 10 Community Projects, engaging 9,294 people in community service.

AEF also provides EcoCity Edmonton Grants, which fund local projects that aim to help Edmonton reach its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city. In 2019, the charity funded eight EcoCity projects that involved 2,190 participants. To support environmental research in Edmonton, AEF offers CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grants. It helped to fund four research projects on clean energy and climate resilience in 2019.

Capacity Building and Collaboration represented 29% of program costs. These programs aim to offer support, resources, and connections to help underfunded environmental groups. AEF reports that 55% of the environmental groups it works with are charities, 46% are rural-based, and 44% are volunteer-led.

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Results and Impact

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation has not yet posted its 2020 annual report at the time of this update. These results refer to 2019.

To date, AEF reports that it has funded 746 projects, including 387 that focus on land use, 219 that address climate change, and 143 that help to protect water sources. The charity does not report on specific outcomes of its projects and grants.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Alberta Ecotrust Foundation’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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AEF does not disclose any fundraising costs in its audited financial statements. The charity instead reports fundraising costs on its T3010 filing with the CRA, which is only available for F2019. Overhead costs are likely understated for F2020.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation received $1.3m in donations and special events revenue in F2020, as well as $202k in government grants. During the year, AEF also received funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), a non-profit organization, to create two new internally-restricted endowment funds. It recognized $573k as revenue and received an additional $43.1m in endowment contributions, which Ci classified as other income.

Administrative costs are less than 1% of revenues and fundraising costs could not be obtained due to the unavailable T3010 filing. In F2019, the most recent year that fundraising costs could be obtained, administrative costs were 7% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs were 2% of donations and special events funding. This resulted in total overhead spending of 9%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 91 cents went to the cause. This was within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation has $44.4m in funding reserves, which can cover around 27 years of annual program and grant costs. Its funding reserves spiked in F2020 due to the addition of $42.4m in internally-restricted cash from the FCM. This funding will help to launch the Calgary Climate Innovation Fund and the Edmonton Climate Innovation Fund, two new grant funds to support urban climate change projects.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Alberta Ecotrust Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 23, 2021 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 0.4%7.3%5.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%1.5%1.7%
Total overhead spending 0.4%8.8%6.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 2,699.1%108.7%138.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 1,2531,2791,376
Government funding 202595121
Fees for service 5210746
Special events 63538
Investment income 4341(17)
Other income 43,682212
Total revenues 45,2392,0591,576
Program costs 531641450
Grants 1,1161,229697
Administrative costs 19714782
Fundraising costs 01924
Total spending 1,8442,0361,253
Cash flow from operations 43,39522323
Capital spending 600
Funding reserves 44,4472,0331,584

Note: AEF receives a significant amount of deferred contributions each year, amounting to ($577k) in F2020, $320k in F2019, and $747k in F2018. However, its financial statements do not fully disclose the source of this deferred funding and Ci was unable to separate deferred donations from deferred government grants. Ci included unrealized gains (losses) in investment income, affecting revenues by $43k in F2020, $39k in F2019, and ($24k) in F2018. Ci separated government funding from donations using the charity’s financial notes and T3010 filings. Ci included contributions received for AEF’s new internally-endowed fund in other income, affecting revenues by $43.1m in F2020. To show grants on a cash basis, Ci adjusted grants by changes in grants committed. This affected expenses by ($188k) in F2020, ($126k) in F2019, and ($160k) in F2018. Ci gathered fundraising costs from available T3010 filings and removed the amounts from donations. The charity’s F2020 filing was not available at the time of this report.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 5

Avg. compensation: $79,119

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001