Last week, at the Advancing Social Enterprise event hosted by The Calgary Foundation and SVP Calgary, I got quite a few questions about Trico Foundation funding.  Clarity around our funding is in the eye of the beholder.  While we’ve attempted to articulate it on our website, we also understand its not quite perfect yet.  I thought I’d take another stab at it here – in a bit more informal way.

My drawing is a bit tongue-in-cheek and is not meant to discount the complexities of grantmaking – just to visually represent how Trico Charitable Foundation is setting about to grow the social entrepreneurship movement locally, regionally, & nationally.  We’re in the business of learning a lot about the spectrum of social entrepreneurship – from the for-profit side of social business to the non-profit/charitable world of social enterprise.

We know that for-profits can have social benefit,

When we launched, we announced a partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) to fund their “socialprenuer” program in Alberta.  The commitment made was substantial, $500,000 over 5 years, to help CYBF fund youth entrepreneurs (18-34 year olds) across Alberta to develop for-profit businesses that will include a social element.  While Trico Foundation will be a grantmaking entity, this partnership allows us to really acknowledge the leverage that for-profit businesses can have in creating social impact.  The “socialprenuer” program is completely administered by CYBF.

But most of our grantmaking will take place on the non-profit side.

As a private foundation, the reality is that our funding will mainly be for non-profit (including charities) organizations working on social enterprise.  The two initiatives administered by Trico Foundation are Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta (enp-ab) and the Social EnterPrize.

I need help with Business Development of my social enterprise,

Enp-ab will following closely to the work being pioneered at Enterprising Non-Profits based in Vancouver.  Our goals for this year are two-fold: 1) education and 2) funding for business development.  As Alberta-based non-profit organizations are exploring social enterprise, enp-ab wants to provide support.  The first way is through our Intro to Social Enterprise workshops that will give both an overview of social enterprise and allow for a practical exploration for organizations.  The second is through our funding for business development.  This means that enp-ab (as an initiative of Trico Foundation) will provide up to $10,000, matched by the organization,  for non-profits/charities who want to identify opportunities, conduct feasibility studies, produce business plans, or other activities along this spectrum.

In 2011, we’ll be hosting 4 Intro to Social Enterprise workshops and will be conducting 2 rounds of funding (one through July and the second through November).  Details on the grant applications will emerge soon.  And don’t forget, attending a workshop is a pre-requisite to apply for funding.

And I want to recognize an organization & practitioner in this space.

While enp-ab will support the work of business development, the Social EnterPrize initiative will recognize and award organizations and practitioners who are doing great work in social enterprise.  And here’s the neat part – applications will be accepted from across Canada for this award.   In terms of funding, there are 4 categories:  2 organizations, 2 individuals.  That’s a $60,000 award over 3 years per organization and a $10,000 award for one year per individual.

Details are still be finalized on the criteria, but you can save the date for the award announcement and a 1/2 day social enterprise-focused conference – November 17, 2011 in Calgary.

Wait, I still don’t understand your funding.

And if you don’t, that’s okay.  Feel free to contact us anytime for clarification – or for ideas on how to clarify.  We’re incredibly excited to be learning and participating in this space.  It’s really about creating a movement!

(Originally posted at TricoFoundation.ca)

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