The next step in change.
When people want to change something, or support those doing it, what comes next is often a mystery. Since 2008, Small Change Fund has been the easy and effective way for communities across Canada to start right, continue strong and amplify their impact. And the smart way for people with vision to get behind them.
Our mission is to help people and communities improve the environment, reduce poverty and support reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We do it by providing expert advice and an award-winning crowdfunding platform, as well as through our own community and communications projects.
We’ve helped some 230 big, small and very small projects succeed, connected them to more than 5,000 donors, and helped raise over $5 million, including matched funds from corporate and foundation partners.
The experience we bring, which includes leading some of the country’s most prominent environmental organizations, is something most of our partners couldn’t access otherwise. We advise on communications, campaign planning, government relations, fundraising and lots more.
More than anything else, we’ve learned that people know best what’s needed to fix the problems in their community, province and country. So with humility and respect, we bring our skill and teamwork to help them achieve the awareness, action and results they’re after. We’re the next step in change.
These are the folks helping Small Change Fund succeed. They are our Board members, staff, consultants, experts, and advisors. With their skills and talents, Small Change Fund is the next step in change.
Abbie got an early taste for advocacy when she became aware of the controversial management of American Mustangs in elementary school. She began writing letters to the government at eight years old and hasn’t stopped.
Abbie is Small Change Fund’s Communications Advisor, working with our partners to convey messages and actions for a more sustainable planet. She creates social media content, writes blogs and articles, and builds communications plans for our joint projects to amplify the voices of our partners.
Abbie grew up in Southern Ontario and now resides in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. She attended Delaware Valley University, earning a BSc in Animal Sciences and minoring in English. She recently completed her MSc in Animal Biosciences, Behaviour and Welfare at the University of Guelph, focusing on ecology and conservation, and also worked for the university’s Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare as Social Media Specialist.
Abbie has a black rescue cat, Roxy, and a grey Appendix Quarter Horse named Keeper.
Andrea grew up in an oil community in Southern Alberta where she developed a love and respect for the outdoors and the importance of careful stewardship of the land. She realized early on that she wanted to spend her life living and working peacefully within nature’s intrinsic systems.
Andrea studied environmental science and Geographic Information Systems and worked in the mining sector after completing her degree. As the Director of Operations and Administration at Iron & Earth, she now uses her skills and passion for the environment to help others transition their careers to the net-zero economy. One of Andrea’s favorite aspects of this role is connecting with workers across Canada who are passionate about putting their skills to work in service of their communities and our collective good.
Andrea brings her skills and passion to Small Change Fund on the Climate Career Portal and Renewable Skills projects to empower fossil fuel industry and Indigenous workers to create and implement climate solutions.
A leader in Ontario’s environmental/food sector, Burkhard Mausberg has worked for non-profit groups for three decades. He was the founding CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund and CEO of several environmental organizations, including Environmental Defence and Great Lakes United, which he transformed into essential forces for change. He’s served on the boards of NGOs and Government agencies/commissions.
As President of Small Change Fund, Burkhard works closely with grassroots organizations, provides expert fundraising advice and creates innovative programs to propel change. He leads our efforts at sustainable development through preserving, conserving and protecting the environment, fighting poverty, and informing the public.
Burkhard also inspires change by mentoring young talent to become skillful leaders. He writes extensively on vital issues in diverse settings, and in 2017 published the critically acclaimed book Ontario’s Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario Treasure (Barlow Books).
Burkhard studied environmental science at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto, where he also taught for eight years.
Caedmon is the Chief Financial Officer for Small Change Fund. He joined as a volunteer in 2019 and has been proud to support the Fund’s expansion and transformation through the unique challenges of 2020 and 2021. He developed a robust accounting system and new reporting tools to accommodate Small Change Fund’s significant growth over the last three years.
Prior to his time with us, Caedmon spent three years in Tanzania as the Finance and Operations Consultant on rural healthcare, maternal health and education initiatives. He believes that transparent, effective financial management allows organizations to build trust with their partners and de-mystify the accounting process. He loves giving back to his community, one budget at a time.
Dan Hendry has a simple but powerful model to transform public transportation and it starts with training youth. His success in Kingston, Ontario with on-bus orientation and free passes increased high school ridership from 28,000 to close to 600,000 annually. Dan is now working with Small Change Fund to apply Kingston’s model to cities across Canada through the Youth Transit Program. Dan’s concern for the environment is what drives him to take initiative in promoting sustainable solutions within the Kingston community and beyond. His combined interest in sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship, student mentorship, and community have been well integrated into his personal, academic, and professional experiences.
Dan’s credentials include a Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University and an International Business Diploma from Seneca College. In Sweden at BTH, Dan studied under Dr. Karl Henrik Robèrt, the founder of the Natural Step. Dan spent a couple of years teaching English in South Korea and is an active volunteer with YourTV and the local Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management Team.
Olepika Takpanie Kiguktak (Daphne-Anne Takpanie, she/her) was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Of Inuk origin, she has spent most of her life in Quebec. Olepika is currently a student at the University of Montreal in philanthropic management and is involved with many organizations, including Puamun Meshkenu, as a youth ambassador. She is also currently the Indigenous Organizing Coordinator with the Climate Justice Organizing Hub.
Olepeka was involved for a long time in the environmental movement, in particular participating in several marches against fossil fuel projects and sitting on the board of directors of the Coule Pas Chez Nous Foundation, before realizing that she was not putting her energy in the right places. It was then that she founded YIWA (Young Indigenous Women Action), which aims to organize programs related to the land specifically for Indigenous women. Through YIWA, she wishes to provide young women with the necessary tools for the future of their peoples and their environments. There is an urgent need to repair the consequences colonization has on Indigenous women. As it seems to be a difficult and constant battle to claim reparations directly from the current system, she prefers to create change here and now: “We must deconstruct to better rebuild”.
David Love is on our board and has been raising money, mostly for the environment, for over 50 years. His current obsession is helping organizations reap the benefit of the coming legacy tsunami. David inspired his first legacy gift in 1982. He shepherded his most recent one yesterday.
After fundraising from 1969 – 2012 for a number of charities, largely environmental organizations, he now occasionally works with his daughter’s direct response company, Agents of Good, where he is affectionately known as “The Godfather of Good.”
In 2013, the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter recognized his efforts by awarding him their lifetime achievement award. Far from marking the end of David’s career, this recognition spurns him on to be a better fundraiser every day. He does that by continuing to put donors first.
David lives near the Love Mountain Nature Reserve in Happy Valley Forest just north of Toronto. He spends his time there with his wife, children, grandchildren, and golden retriever discovering the magic of the forest.
David’s book summarizing lessons learned in 51 years of fundraising is available at https://hilborn-civilsectorpress.com/products/green-green Enter SN20 at checkout for a 20% discount.
Florence (elle) a grandi et habite à Tio’tià :ke/Mooniyang/Montréal. Allochtone diplômée du Cégep du Vieux-Montréal en arts visuels, elle poursuit maintenant ses études à l’université Concordia à la mineure en études autochtones. Durant son parcours, elle s’est impliquée dans divers initiatives de justice sociale et climatique, et milite de façon continue au sein de la Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social – CEVES depuis janvier 2020. Elle y a notamment fait du travail de mobilisation de grève étudiante dans différents établissements scolaires ainsi que de l’organisation d’actions. En tant que membre de l’équipe de Small Change Fund, Florence est fière de soutenir les organisateurs locaux à travers le Climate Justice Organizing Hub en tant que coordinatrice adjointe de la communication en français.
Florence (she/her) is a settler who grew up and lives in Tio’tià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. As a member of Small Change Fund’s team, Florence is proud to support grassroots organizers through the Climate Justice Organizing Hub as the Assistant French Communications Coordinator. She graduated from Cégep du Vieux-Montréal in Visual Arts and is now pursuing her studies at Concordia University with a minor in Indigenous Studies. She has been participating in various social justice and climate justice initiatives and has been involved in the Coalition étudiante pour un virage environmental et social – CEVES since January 2020. She has done mobilization work within various schools for the student strike movement as well as action organizing.
Franz collaborates with Small Change Fund on select projects as our Special Advisor in Community Engagement. Franz was the Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) for eleven years. Under his leadership, TEA succeeded in getting key environmental policies adopted at City Hall, including a new climate action plan and a zero waste plan. Franz expanded TEA’s community engagement activities in all areas of the city, and enlisted many non-environmental community partners.
He served as Chair of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance for four years and helped the Alliance build vast community support for the Greenbelt. He is currently serving as the OGA Coordinator.
Prior to working at TEA, Franz was the Environmental Advisor to City Councillor Jack Layton and oversaw Jack’s civil society engagement activities in Ottawa.
He has taught numerous environmental policies courses at the University of Toronto and is regularly asked to deliver lectures and talks across Ontario. Franz has a PhD in Political Science at York University, enjoys science fiction and wood working, and lives in Toronto.
Ian is the Climate Campaign Coordinator at Environment Hamilton, pushing for the City of Hamilton to tackle the climate emergency head-on. He is passionate about advocating for a resilient and adaptable Hamilton in the face of a changing global climate through good municipal policy on transit, green infrastructure, and more. As a member of Environment Hamilton, Ian works with Small Change Fund on issues related to climate action including the Neighbourhood Climate Action Project. Ian is deeply invested in empowering others to engage with local governance. He can also be found wearing other hats, organizing and taking action on issues of environmental, economic, and social justice.
Jacqueline Lee-Tam (she/her) grew up on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, in so-called Vancouver as a settler of Chinese descent. She now resides in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). She has organized around pipeline resistance, fossil fuel divestment and mutual aid and is passionate about community care and dreaming into practice the world we want to live in. She studied Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies at McGill University. Jacqueline works with Small Change Fund as Co-director of the Climate Justice Organizing Hub.
Jen Gobby (she/her) is a settler activist-researcher with a focus on climate justice, systems change and settler-Indigenous relations in climate movements in so-called Canada. She completed her PhD at McGill in 2019 and is now postdoctoral researcher at Concordia University. She teaches environmental studies courses at McGill and Bishops Universities. Her current collaborative research projects are about decolonizing climate policy and transforming systems in covid times. She is the author of More Powerful Together: Conversations with Climate Activists and Indigenous Land Defenders. She lives on a small permaculture farm in rural Quebec, with her partner and their gaggle of ducks and chickens. She is Director of Research Partnerships at Le Hub coordinating the Research for the Frontlines initiative.
Whether it’s developing creative strategies and executions, positioning an organization to command attention and stand out, or translating a founder’s vision into words they can get behind, Jim’s strategic and creative skills move supporters, stakeholders and consumers alike.
As Creative Director/Writer, Jim helps both Small Change Fund and its partners with creative ideas, writing and strategies across all platforms, from speeches to social. Recognized with dozens of international creative awards, Jim has worked on hundreds of Canadian non-profits in addition to corporate and government clients. For over 10 years he was Vice-President and Creative Director of Manifest Communications, a social marketing pioneer.
In his non-existent spare time, Jim enjoys running and kayaking and has just published his first book
Joyce serves on our board and is an award-winning senior leader who has worked in the non-profit environmental sector for the past 16 years. Joyce was the Executive Director of EcoSpark, an Ontario-based environmental charity, for eight years. In 2020, she joined Evergreen as a Senior Program Manager, leading national programs that support youth city builders and innovative solutions to increase the supply of affordable housing. Joyce has successfully led community education and citizen science monitoring programs across southern Ontario. She has been active in numerous environmental committees including the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network and the Southern Ontario Stream Monitoring and Research Team. Joyce is also a governor of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
Joyce’s proven success is based on a deep work ethic, strategic thinking, creativity and a collaborative approach. Her expertise lies in leading multi-stakeholder collaboratives, policy and governance, community-based monitoring, education and fundraising.
Juan works with Small Change Fund and the Climate Emergency Unit as the Prairie Organizer based in Edmonton, on Treaty 6 territory. Through grassroots organizing, Juan has engaged with hundreds of Albertans about a just transition, mobility justice, and worker-oriented municipal advocacy. Born in Colombia, multiracial and cross-border perspectives deeply inform Juan’s work, having completed research capstones on environmental peace-building and energy transitions in South America. When they’re not organizing, Juan can be found enjoying local art and theatre, bird-watching, or scheming to amplify the presence of communities of colour in these spaces.
Kenzie (she/they) is a settler residing on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, the Wendat people and many other Nations. They are finishing up a Masters in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph. Kenzie has been involved in the movement for climate justice since 2019. A former member of Climate Strike Canada, most of their efforts have related to banks fossil fuel divestment, Indigenous solidarity efforts and climate justice education. Kenzie is currently a part of Climate Justice Guelph which she cofounded in late 2020. Kenzie also works as the Education Lead for Banking on a Better Future, and is a Trainer with the Climate Justice Organizing HUB.
Laura Doyle Péan
Laura Doyle Péan (they/them) is a queer Haitian-Quebecois poet and multidisciplinary artist, as well as a law and gender studies student and Climate Justice Organizing HUB Trainer, who is committed to social justice and fascinated by the relationship between art and movement work. Born in Nionwentsïo (Quebec city), where they first got involved in intersectional feminist, LGBTQIA2S+, migrant justice and racial justice organizing, they moved to Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang (Montreal) in 2019, to attend university, and joined the fossil fuel divestment movement at the beginning of their first year.
As an active member of the Divest McGill campaign, they got to participate in the 2021 Divest Ed fellowship, where they got to do research on school governance and democratization, and make space for reflection and learning along with other climate justice organizers from across turtle island and beyond. They are also one of the founding members of Collective 1629, a Black-led Quebec-city-based collective fighting against racial profiling and other forms of anti-Black state violence in Nionwentsïo. Laura published their first book, Coeur Yoyo, in 2020, and has participated in many artistic productions with the queer feminist collective Les Allumeuses, as well as with l’Espace de la Diversité. They hold a column in the literary magazine Lettres Québécoises, and have published poems and short stories in many others. The English translation of their book, Yo-yo Heart, will come out in London in the fall of 2022, with 87th press.
Luisa Da Silva
Luisa brings over 20 years of diverse experience in the energy, mining, education, and not-for-profit sectors. She began her career in the fossil fuel industry of northern Alberta, and has been influenced by her mining experiences in Canada and abroad. After a successful career as a professional geoscientist, Luisa moved to the United Kingdom to pursue an Executive Master’s of Business Administration. While in the UK, Luisa managed digital transformations at a leading private school. After her return to her hometown in Ontario, she worked in the not-for-profit sector with one of Canada’s top environmental charities.
In her spare time, Luisa is an outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time in nature as possible; transitioning to green solutions has been a life journey. Along the way, Luisa has learned that she is enthusiastic about educating others and enabling them to transition to fulfilling careers. She is thrilled to work with Small Change Fund on the Climate Career Portal and Renewable Skills projects.
Margaret has a Bachelor of Education, specialized in Adult Education, and a BA of Psychology from Brock University. She worked in the corporate education sector for seven years at a director level, including as Director of Communications and Operations. Margaret decided to pursue her love of community and environment by volunteering for her local ratepayers association (Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association) while taking time to raise her family. This led to her getting involved with complex land-use planning matters and municipal politics as the Communications Director for the association. Her work led to enlisting the support of Margaret Atwood, Maude Barlow and David Crombie in support of the MRA’s call to protect the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands from urban sprawl. In late 2015, Margaret and Sandy Agnew founded the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition (SCGC) with 15 like-minded groups from across the region in support of an expanded Greenbelt. Today, as co-founder of the SCGC, Margaret is proud to partner with Small Change Fund on the Growing the Greenbelt project working towards gaining permanent protection for Ontario’s sensitive habitats.
Mary is the boss: the Chair of the Board. Her passion is building and nurturing effective social profit organizations to create sustainable communities. She is the Co-Founder of Small Change Fund and currently is the Executive Director of Green Learning.
Mike Balkwill provides strategic direction to all the work encompassed in the Water For Life, Not Profit project. Mike’s approach to campaigning inspires hope. In Mike’s 40 years of campaign and community organizing experience, he has supported numerous communities to turn what seem to be “done deals” into victories with broad public benefits. Mike tells communities that while a campaign to mobilize broad public engagement will not guarantee a community can win, not trying to do so may guarantee failure in their efforts to protect water and the environment. Mike is the co-author of the Campaign Planning Handbook, publisher of CommonAct Press, and has lectured at colleges and universities on community organizing, social change and social movements.
With over a decade of experience in branding, brand building, design, and technology, Pratik leads Small Change Fund’s digital strategy as our Digital Strategy Director. He uses his extensive experience to give us an online presence that leads change through our branding, website design and crowdfunding technology.
Pratik’s interest in the intersection of technology and storytelling has taken him through many different roles. He’s founded multiple startups and has created a podcast listening app. In his spare time, he likes to write, paint, and take long walks along the Ottawa river.
Pratik is an alumnus of the University of Delhi and Algonquin College. He is passionate about new media, especially podcasts, and has created multiple chart-topping shows.
Rachel Vear joined Water Watchers and Small Change Fund this year as Campaign Organizer for the Join the DAMN Campaign. Before joining this campaign, Rachel worked for two years as an outreach worker in Downtown Guelph, where she advocated fiercely for vulnerable, street-involved individuals, and created relationships with local businesses to build bridges between these two communities.
Rachel has also served on the board for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group for over 3 years and has volunteered with Guelph Anti-Pipeline, and Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity. Her passionate work is rooted in community, equity and activism.
When she isn’t organizing in the community, you can find her walking her rescue dog Havana, reading, gardening and doing yoga.
Sabah spent her early career as a wildlife biologist and educator, working to protect endangered species and help people make meaningful connections to the natural world. Her work has taken her all over the world, from the Middle East to South Asia, West Africa and the Caribbean. Since making Canada her home, her work has focused on the impacts of pollution and climate change, including the ways climate change is intertwined with and exacerbates existing patterns of inequality. Sabah is working with Small Change Fund and the Climate Emergency Unit as the Ontario Organizer on Advancing Climate Emergency Policy in Canada. As an avid amateur photographer, Sabah spends a considerable amount of her free time attempting, with varying degrees of success, to capture portraits of urban wildlife in her neighbourhood.
Sam Lin (she/her) is a Trainer with the Climate Justice Organizing HUB. She is a youth climate justice activist currently attending Queen’s University, on the unceded Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territories. After her initial introduction to environmental action, she noticed a lack of dialogue about the intersections of social issues and climate change. Since then, she has organized with youth-led groups such as Sustainabiliteens, Climate Strike Canada, and Banking on a Better Future, with an emphasis on tackling the climate crisis, mobilizing communities, and building a more just, equitable future for all.
Sarah was born and raised in Southern Ontario and has a background in accounting. At the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) she completed a Bachelor of Commerce and minored in environmental science. Sarah recently graduated with a Master of Science in UTM’s Sustainability Management program, as she felt the call “to do more for people and the planet.”
As Small Change Fund Community Coordinator, Sarah’s work focuses primarily on partner and donor relations. She brings her passion for environmental and social justice to helping our partners and team reach the various goals of our joint projects.
Sarah is an avid gardener who takes a holistic approach to her favourite pastime, growing both edible and non-edible plants, making use of natural fertilizers, and employing biodynamic practices to promote pollinators and allow her plants to “flourish and nourish myself, my family, and my community.”
Waasekom is Turtle Clan Anishinaabe from Saugeen First Nation and the Kettle & Stoney Point First Nations on the southeastern shores of Lake Huron. He is an avid paddler, having led four ceremonial canoe journeys throughout the Great Lakes to raise awareness about Water, Climate Change, and Indigenous sovereign responsibilities. His journey began in response to the Water Walks where he has been a protector and Eagle Staff carrier on seven Walks.
Waasekom is taking on the Agency for Water Pilot ‘Residency’ with Small Change Fund.
He is known for starting Picking Up the Bundles Canoe Journey, Niwiijiiwok Doodemak (Gathering of Clans), the Great Lakes Petition, Gganoonigonaa Zaagigan (The Lake is Speaking to Us), and most recently the Elegy of Ancestors. His great passion is in building generational tools and agency for Indigenous-led nation building.
Waasekom was also the recipient of NDN Collective’s prestigious Changemaker Fellowship, recognized for his work in restoring Indigenous governance, water protection and food sovereignty. Waasekom is presently engaged in the formation of an Indigenous Land Trust Charity and in creating the Elegy of Ancestors project.