Edmonton Community Foundation has emerged as a trusted, knowledgeable leading source of support and leadership to Edmonton’s charities and charitable causes. Grants from the Foundation have allowed agencies representing a wide variety of sectors to deliver their core programs and services, enhancing the quality of life throughout our community.
Through in-depth consultation with the charitable sector and other community stakeholders, a need – and, at the same time, an opportunity – was identified to help agencies move from financial dependency toward sustainability while still achieving their social mandates.
The Foundation stepped forward, in partnership with the City of Edmonton and the United Way, to form the Social Enterprise Fund (SEF) with a mandate to help not-for-profit organizations or cooperatives develop their social enterprises, or social or affordable housing projects.
By providing non-profit organizations with flexible financing and business development services, the SEF is helping these agencies create or expand strong, sustainable business ventures, or social or affordable housing projects. Embracing the concept of social enterprise sometimes requires a paradigm shift in thinking for traditional not-for-profit organizations, from focusing on programs and repeating cycles of grant applications to a focus on a sustainable business model.
SEF is collaborating closely with Edmonton’s charitable sector, helping leverage the benefit of investments today and ensuring the viability of the organization over the long term.