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A Quieter Voice

Petroleum Giving
No one knows how much money the petroleum sector gives away each year, but the numbers are large. Imagine Canada, an institute that studies and provides research about the not-for-profits, reported that of 78 “oil and gas establishments” studied Canada-wide, 83 percent donate cash; 46 percent donate goods; 45 percent support employee volunteers; one third donate services.

According to Jocelyne Daw, an Imagine Canada vice president, “In Calgary businesses are more generous than are other companies across the country, and giving has moved toward partnership orientation. Companies work with their not-for-profit partners to try to achieve particular goals.”

She distinguishes between big public companies –Enbridge, EnCana, Imperial, Nexen and Shell, for example – and the industry’s many privately held companies. “Relatively speaking, our research tells us that publically listed companies are a lot more generous than privately held ones.”

With triple-negative precision, Daw says “There is not one person in Canada who is not affected by the not-for-profit sector. In terms of diversity, (the sector) has grown dramatically, especially in response to government decisions to download efforts from the bureaucracy to the community. Today there are groups for the environment, groups for literacy. Homeless shelters and food banks didn’t exist 30 years ago. If you lose your job you may get your EI, but if you want support in getting a job, you go to a non-profit. If you need food, you go to the food bank. When you need an outfit for a job interview you can go to one of these places and borrow clothes to dress for success. The diversity and scope and the role (not-for-profits) play is far greater than it was 30 years ago.”

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Of the companies mentioned, I own EnCana, Talisman, Suncor