2021 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

JUNE 10, 2022 –

There was nothing small about 2021.

Many 2021 Annual Reports will begin with sombre statements about the toll of the pandemic, most of them using the word “unprecedented.” This report is no different, save for the fact that in 2021, the only thing unprecedented at Small Change Fund was our growth and success.

As you know, 2021 was another year of uncertainty, with COVID and its waves continuing to dominate our daily lives. We weren’t untouched: a few team members caught the virus but managed to heal well. The pandemic didn’t and couldn’t break us. As it turned out, nothing could.

In 2021, Small Change Fund experienced the biggest changes in our history. We doubled our staff, tripled our revenue, and at this writing are working on more projects than ever (almost sixty).

November 2021 saw the launch of our new website and brand, and in the process we became the first Canadian crowdfunding platform to accept cryptocurrencies of all kinds. The new site, with its extended functionalities, has been well-received by donors and partners alike.
We won several important victories, but we also lost some. Losing is always difficult for us, because of all the effort our team brings to every project. We also never want to let our donors down, because we know how deep they must dig to make the work possible.

Yet despite all the bad news in the world, and maybe even because of it, we’re working hard to help everyone who believes what we believe — that small groups can do big things. And as the war continues to thunder in Ukraine, the truth of that belief hits home even harder.
Our motivation, our reason and our passion is change, and we thank and appreciate everyone who helped 2021 be a year of great change for us, almost all of it for the better.

These days, that’s no small feat.

Burkhard Mausberg
Small Change Fund
May 2022

2021 Success Highlights

Public Voice Fund

We launched a unique fund that allows environmental groups to hire government relations professionals to help with engaging federal, provincial and territorial governments.

With support from the Trottier Family Foundation, the Metcalf Foundation and the Echo Foundation.

Stop Sprawl Hamilton

Against the backdrop of a sprawl-hungry provincial government, this successful campaign in Hamilton, Ontario saved 3,300 acres of prime farmland: City Council voted against more sprawl and committed to focusing development within the existing city limits. We helped in many ways, including creatively.

In partnership with Stop Sprawl HamOnt.

No Xinyi, No MZO

We raised over $49,000 to protect water, air quality and local democracy in Stratford, Ontario, repelling a draconian government order and saving hundreds of acres of farmland by stopping the proposed Xinyi Canada Glass plant.

In partnership with Get Concerned Stratford.

Supporting Federal Environmental Assessment Requests for Ontario’s Proposed 400-series Highways

The proposed Highway 413 will contribute to increased carbon emissions and traffic congestion, plus threaten the Greenbelt and wetlands. Through the Public Voice Fund, we helped secure a federal environmental assessment for the proposal.

In partnership with Environmental Defence.

Unflood Ontario

We collaborated on a movement to reduce the impact of flooding in Ontario through natural infrastructure, producing educational content (broadcast on CNN!), videos and an interactive map of natural infrastructure around Ontario, hosting webinars and social media campaigns and much more.

View our partners on this initiative at unfloodontario.ca.

Climate Justice Organizing Hub

We continue to support youth climate activists through the Hub and provide coaching, capacity-building and convening services to climate movement groups. This year, we expanded our reach nationwide.

Save 5,000 Acres of Farmland in Halton

By convincing Council to vote 15-9 to avoid inefficient, costly and polluting sprawl, we helped protect 5,000 acres of farmland in Ontario’s Halton region.

In partnership with Stop Sprawl Halton.

Climate Change Education in Chignecto

We concluded our work on climate change education in the Chignecto region, the narrow strip of land that connects New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Three local schools planted food forests featuring signage in English, French and Mi’kmaq, and green roofs were installed in prominent community locations.

In partnership with EOS Eco-Energy Inc.

Pathways to Conservation

With the Public Voice Fund, we supported government relations experts in protecting old growth forests at high risk of development in British Columbia.

In partnership with MakeWay Charitable Society.

Our Work

Advancing Climate Emergency Policy in Canada

We are pushing for the mobilization of genuine climate emergency policies in Canada by training Climate Emergency Ambassadors and boosting public climate literacy across Canada.

In partnership with the Climate Emergency Unit.

A Fossil-Free Future: Renewable Skills Training

We are supporting the rapid upskilling of fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers into emerging solar and wind energy careers.

In partnership with Iron & Earth.

Agency for Water

In the Great Lakes Region of Ontario, we’re supporting a Pilot Residency for Waasekom who is Turtle Clan Anishinaabe and works to raise awareness about water, climate change, and Indigenous sovereign responsibilities.

In partnership with Water Watchers.

Anishnabe-led Moose Research Project

In Quebec, we’re supporting Anishnabe-led research to protect moose populations on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin people in La Vérendrye Wildlife Park.

In partnership with the Anishnabe Moose Research Committee.

Belfountain Needs Your Help

In Belfountain, Ontario, we’re helping fight proposed developments in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve situated in the Greenbelt and the Niagara Escarpment.

In partnership with Belfountain Community Organization.

Bring Birth Home

We are partnering to empower Indigenous women to regain control over their reproductive health and secure sustainable and gainful employment in their communities.

In partnership with Association of Ontario Midwives.

Climate Career Portal

Through this first-ever portal, we are helping fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers find careers in the Clean Energy sector.

In partnership with Iron & Earth.

Cut the Crap, Save the Credit

The Erin Waste Water Treatment Plant is trying to install an effluent diffuser at the Winston Churchill culvert of the West Credit River in Ontario, and we’re trying to stop them.

In partnership with Belfountain Community Organization.

Farms Not Fridges

We are supporting efforts to prevent 27 acres of prime farmland outside Guelph, Ontario from being rezoned to industrial land.

In partnership with Jones Baseline Community.

Gravel Pit Threatens Belfountain

We helped secure expert assistance to investigate the environmental risks of a new gravel pit in the community of Belfountain, Ontario.

In partnership with Belfountain Community Organization.

Guarding the Greenbelt: Getting Permanent Protection for Ontario’s Sensitive Habitats

We continue to protect significant wetlands and green spaces across Simcoe County to enable our ecosystems to thrive and help mitigate the climate crisis.

In partnership with Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition.

Help Toronto Save its Green Spaces from Destruction

We advocated for an ecologically sustainable approach to construction in Small’s Creek Ravine, Ontario, together with a robust restoration plan.

In partnership with Smalls Creek.

Making the Health Case for Climate Action

We highlighted the important role healthcare providers play in the fight against climate change, as well as the immediate health benefits that will result from climate action.

In partnership with the Canadian Health Association for Sustainability and Equity.

Mary Anne Fund

In honour of the late Mary Anne Brinckman, a deeply committed environmentalist, we partnered on an initiative to promote natural burial in Ontario.

In partnership with the Natural Burial Association.

Mobilizing Your People with Class Privilege to Reduce Poverty and Address the Climate Crisis

The goal of this unique initiative, which aims to educate and mobilize wealthy and/or class-privileged Canadian youth, is for all to prosper without exploiting people or the planet.

In partnership with Resource Movement.

Neighbourhood Climate Action Project

We’re supporting residents of Hamilton, Ontario who are working to combat the climate crisis through fostering connections, knowledge and resource sharing and network development.

In partnership with Environment Hamilton.

Next Child in the Woods

Through Nature Immersion programs in Guelph, Ontario, we’re fostering inclusive access for children to reconnect with nature and their communities and improve their health and well-being.

In partnership with The Guelph Outdoor School.

No More Open-Pit Mines on Mt. Nemo

We’re trying to stop two open-pit mines on Mt. Nemo, land that is part of an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in Ontario.

In partnership with Conserving Our Rural Ecosystems Burlington Inc.

No MZO in Blair

A Minister’s Zoning Order in Cambridge, Ontario has approved the construction of a mega warehouse on ecologically and historically significant land without public input. We’re fighting it.

In partnership with Blair Village Engaged.

No Nuclear Dump

In South Bruce, Ontario, we’re supporting a fight against a proposed nuclear waste dump site, which would endanger the community’s groundwater and threaten a Lake Huron tributary river.

In partnership with Protect Our Waterways No Nuclear Waste.

No Place for a Quarry

We helped residents and nature enthusiasts highlight their concerns with a proposed quarry in Bancroft and Faraday Township, Ontario, and get legal representation to achieve a reduced environmental impact from the quarry.

In partnership with No Place for a Quarry Inc.

Plastic People

We are helping develop a ground-breaking documentary that reveals the newest evidence of the harmful effects of microplastics in the human body.

Preserve a Waterfront Property for Nature, Forever

We’re supporting the establishment of the Helen Hutchison Nature Reserve, which will protect 275 metres of riverfront along the Napanee River in Ontario.

Preserving the Forks of the Credit

By opposing a planned blasting quarry, we’re helping to preserve the ecological integrity of Caledon, Ontario.

In partnership with Forks of the Credit Preservation.

Promoting Natural Burial Grounds in Ontario

We’re helping advocate for natural burial options, the most eco-friendly deathcare solution, across Ontario.

In partnership with Natural Burial Association.

Saskatchewan Sidewalk Tax

Through a creative communications campaign, we lobbied the Saskatchewan government to delay their tax on electric vehicles, the first in Canada, until electric cars gained a foothold in the province.

In partnership with Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

Save the Oak Ridges Moraine in Kings Township

We’re supporting efforts to defend the ecologically significant Oak Ridges Moraine in King Township, Ontario from development.

In partnership with Kingscross Ratepayers Association.

Transit Champions

We supported training programs for local organizers who used their experience to encourage their communities to get better, more affordable transit for all of Toronto.

In partnership with TTCriders.

Water for Life

We continue to promote the protection, restoration and conservation of groundwater in the Grand River Watershed of Ontario.

In partnership with Water Watchers.

Your Land, Your Legacy – Help Save the Land that Sustains Us

We’re helping provide retiring B.C. farmers with the tools and knowledge they need to put their land in trust and preserve it as farmland for future generations.

In partnership with Foodlands Cooperative of BC.


Our Team

Our staff, board, volunteers, advisors and consultants are from across the country and are integral to Small Change Fund’s 2021 success. We can’t thank them enough. Read more about our current team on the “About” page of our website.


Our Donors

We’re deeply grateful to the thousands of Canadians who supported Small Change Fund with gifts of every size. We appreciate every penny. Thank you, donors.

We’re also saying a special thank you to the Foundations who support our work. Each one believes that small can get big done, and they prove it through their generosity. Thank you, Foundations.

○ Andrew Chisholm and Laurie Thomson Fund at the Toronto Foundation
○ Benefaction Foundation
○ Beth and Murton Seymour Family Fund at the Niagara Community Foundation
○ Burlington Community Foundation
○ Canada Helps
○ Catherine Donnelly Foundation
o Chawkers Foundation
○ Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation
○ Community Foundation for Kingston and Area
○ Community Foundations of Canada
○ Community Foundation of Lennox & Addington
○ Community Foundation of Mississauga
○ Cole Foundation
o Consecon Foundation
○ Durham Community Foundation
○ Echo Foundation
○ Edmonton Community Foundation
○ Emerald Foundation
○ Flavelle Family Foundation
○ Great Lakes Protection Fund
○ Guelph Community Foundation
○ Hamilton Community Foundation
○ Insurance Bureau of Canada
○ In the Spirit Giving Foundation
○ Investment Readiness Program funded by the Government of Canada’s SI/SF Strategy
○ Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council
○ MakeWay Foundation
○ MakeWay Foundation – Harbinger Fund at MakeWay
○ McCall MacBain Foundation
○ Metcalf Foundation
○ M. H. Brigham Foundation
○ Niagara Community Foundation
○ North Family Foundation
○ Oakville Environmental Fund (a fund held within the Oakville Community Foundation)
○ Peter Gilgan Foundation
○ Prince Edward County Community Foundation
○ Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring
○ SolarWall Foundation
○ TD Bank Group
○ The Gosling Foundation
○ The Houssain Foundation
○ The Illahie Foundation
○ The McLean Foundation
○ Tides Foundation
○ Toronto Foundation
○ Trottier Family Foundation
○ Vancouver Foundation
○ Waisberg Bellwood Charitable Fund at the Toronto Foundation
○ Walker Industries


Finances – Unaudited 2021