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) 91 cents are available for programs.

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About Alberta Ecotrust Foundation:

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is a 1-star charity. It is financially transparent and has acceptable overhead spending. However, the charity has a below-average results reporting score and large reserve funds that can cover over 37 years of program costs. 

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

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation had not yet posted its F2021 annual report at the time of this profile update. The overview and results refer to F2020 and earlier. AEF has a December year end, so Charity Intelligence expected its audited financial statements and annual report for F2022 to be available, but neither were at the time of this update.  

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation runs two core programs: Environmental Grants and Foundation Initiatives. The charity does not give a clear breakdown of spending between these programs.  

Environmental Grants made up the majority of program spending in F2020. In the F2020 annual report, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation says it gave out $1.3m in grants. The F2020 financial statements also said the charity gave out $1.3m that year, but these values were restated in F2021. The F2021 statements said that the charity gave out $980k in grants during F2020. It is unclear the exact amount that AEF gave out in grants, but it does represent the majority of its spending. 

AEF has three grant programs. First, the Alberta Ecotrust Environmental Grant Program funds large Major Projects and smaller Community Projects focused on improving sustainability. In F2020, these Environmental Grants funded 28 projects and engaged 8,203 people. Next, the EcoCity Edmonton Grant Program funds projects to make Edmonton more sustainable. In F2020, AEF funded 8 projects and engaged 753 Edmontonians with its EcoCity Grants. Finally, the CitiesIPCC Legacy Research Grant Program supports environmental research in Edmonton. In F2020, AEF funded 3 projects through its CitiesIPCC Grants. 

Foundation Directed Initiatives made up a minority of program spending in F2020. This program includes all non-grant related work. Alberta Ecotrust Foundation analyzed 78 buildings to see how they could limit carbon output. The charity identified 13 metric tons of greenhouse gases that were being released. AEF also ran 55 Narrative Workshops with 482 participants to discuss climate issues. This work was reported on Alberta Ecotrust Foundation’s website without a date, so it is unclear if these events happened before, during, or after F2020.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence found that Alberta Ecotrust Foundation reported many stories but no numeric results on its work. This 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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Alberta Ecotrust Foundation does not disclose any fundraising costs in its audited financial statements. The charity instead reports fundraising costs on its T3010 filing with the CRA. For F2021, AEF reports no fundraising costs on its T3010. 

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation received $1.3m in donations and special events revenue in F2021, as well as $32k in government grants. During F2020, AEF 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 9% of revenues and fundraising costs are 0% in F2021. This resulted in total overhead spending of 9%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 91 cents went to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation has $44.4m in reserve funds, of which $38.0m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity can cover around 37 years and four months 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 24, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.2%0.4%6.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%1.9%1.5%
Total overhead spending 9.2%2.3%7.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 3,731.0%(2,325.6%)108.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,317,7151,254,0461,279,210
Government funding 31,506202,164595,315
Fees for service 61,06352,250107,077
Special events 3,4006,13034,782
Investment income 1,032,85445,47940,696
Other income 483,77943,101,752321,285
Total revenues 2,930,31744,661,8212,378,365
Program costs 1,271,592831,591641,056
Grants 800,986791,1871,229,152
Administrative costs 175,212197,583146,836
Fundraising costs 023,82519,411
Total spending 2,247,7901,844,1862,036,455
Cash flow from operations 682,52742,817,635341,910
Capital spending 6,3866,0410
Funding reserves 44,438,89444,446,9592,033,310

Note: AEF receives a significant amount of deferred contributions each year, amounting to $116k in F2021, ($577k) in F2020, and $320k in F2019. 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. As such, deferred contributions are included in adjusted for in Other income. Ci included unrealized gains (losses) in investment income, affecting revenues by $520k in F2021, $43k in F2020, and $39k in F2019. Ci separated government funding from donations using the charity’s financial notes and T3010 filings. In F2020, Ci included contributions received for AEF’s new internally-endowed fund in other income, affecting revenues by $43.1m. To show grants on a cash basis, Ci adjusted grants by changes in grants committed. This affected expenses by ($245k) in F2021, ($188k) in F2020, and ($126k) in F2019.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 15

Avg. compensation: $41,432

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001