Winnipeg, MB – December 2, 2011
When the Federal government announced that it was eliminating funding to the Canadian Environmental Network last October, non-profit groups across the country were put on notice that government funds are not as secure as they once were. Large deficits at all levels of government leave many groups vulnerable. In Manitoba, environmental organizations are getting creative and active in broadening their base to attract new sources support.
“We are doing phone outreach to our members for the first time in several years, asking them to consider supporting us,” said Josh Brandon, communications coordinator with Green Action Centre. “We have had tremendously enthusiastic response. Our members really appreciate the work we are doing to promote a greener, more sustainable Manitoba, and are happy to hear from us and to consider a donation.”
Manitobans are incredibly generous; giving over 360 million dollars to charities in 2009. One challenge environmental groups face when fundraising is competition for donor dollars from many other worthwhile causes. More traditional charities related to health and poverty relief attract the bulk of donations each year. Many people think that protecting the environment should be a government responsibility, but when governments do not step up to the plate as much as they need to, the public needs to fill the gap. However, environmental organizations only receive two percent of charitable donations in Canada.
“All of our member groups are doing more this year than in the past to find new funding,” said Kristine Koster, executive director with the Manitoba Eco-Network. “We are working to expand our planned giving programs as well as finding corporate sponsors, doing more fee-for-service activities and broadening our membership.”
The online charity database CanadaHelps.org list over 200 green or environmental charities operating in Canada. These organizations undertake a wide range of charitable activities including education, research, and conservation. Individuals considering donating to an organization should ask for details including how the money will be used, and how much will go to administration and fundraising and how the organization is governed.
Green Action Centre is a non-profit organization providing environmental education to communities, workplaces and households. Manitoba Eco-Network is an umbrella organization connecting environmental organizations across the province. Both are registered charities.
The government funding WAS public money.
Now, the NGOs will have to compete openly for funding instead of kowtowing to politicians. It is actually a good thing because each individual can support the causes they believe in instead of having politicians trade our taxes for votes. There are too many NGOs out there with many duplication of services amongst them.