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A Little Green Can Equal a Lot of Green: Canadians Don't Have to Break the Bank to Help Local Environmental Efforts
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Leverages Thousands of Individual Donations into $42 Million Program TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - Turning good intentions into "green" accomplishments doesn't have to take a huge effort or a lot of money, contrary to a recent survey of Canadians' charitable giving practices by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (FEF). The survey found one in four (25%) Canadians believe that in order to make an impact, they need to donate a substantial amount - between $100 and $249 annually. Yet the reality is that small, regular donations combined with similar contributions from like-minded individuals can have a massive impact. For the past 17 years, this has been the strategy of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation whose mission is to support the efforts of Canadians dedicated to the well-being of the environment. Regular donations by TD employees and customers have contributed to $42 million in funding for 16,000 environmental and wildlife grassroots projects. TD Bank Financial Group donates $1 million to FEF annually in addition to covering the management and administrative costs of running the Foundation. This ensures that 100% of every dollar donated by employees and customers is used for funding projects in the community where the donation was made. "The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation succeeds on the premise that a little green can be turned into a lot of green in grassroots environmental activities by combining small, regular donations from many individuals," explains Mike Pedersen, Group Head, Corporate Operations, TD Bank Financial Group. "Our research shows that the majority of Canadians prefer to see their donations assist with local or community-based programs - and FEF helps Canadians see their donations at work in their own backyards." Canadians are mixed on environmental priorities According to the survey, Canadians' views on environmental priorities vary based on geographic location: - Overall, one quarter (23%) of Canadians cited climate change as the most important environmental concern that needs to be addressed; followed by air quality (21%) and clean lakes and rivers (17%); - However, Ontarians cite air quality (24%) as their number one priority, with climate change (22%) second and clean lakes and rivers (19%) third; - Far more Atlantic Canadians (32%) put climate change as their biggest concern, followed by air quality (21%) and environmental education (17%) third; - British Columbians also cite environmental education (17%) in their top-three environmental concerns, as do those living in Quebec and Manitoba/Saskatchewan. "Two charitable trends have emerged recently - the environment and the preference towards local giving. With TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Canadians can be assured that their donations are wholeheartedly being directed to environmental organizations right in their own communities," added Pedersen. "By combining our efforts we can make a difference together and focus on areas of greatest concern in each community." Recent TD Friends of the Environment Foundation funding recipients include: - TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup: In 2006 alone, FEF's contribution helped organize over 40,000 volunteers who cleaned 966 sites covering more than 2,000 kilometres of shoreline, filling more than 8,000 garbage bags. - London Children's Museum: Environmental education programs to teach elementary school children about endangered species. - Critter Care Wildlife Society: Non-profit, volunteer-based agency that receives, rehabilitates and releases back into the wild injured and orphaned mammals native to British Columbia. - Canadian Peregrine Foundation: Committed to the preservation and conservation of endangered and threatened birds of prey across Canada. - The Corvée du Mont-Royal(TM): An annual tradition for hundreds of Montrealers who, on a voluntary basis, help beautify Mount Royal Park during its springtime awakening. - Marmot Recovery Foundation: Dedicated to increasing the number of Vancouver Island marmots, Canada's most endangered animal. Since efforts began in 2001, the population has risen from 80 to 210. "Organizations like ours survive because of the financial support we receive from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation," said Mark Nash, on behalf of The Canadian Peregrine Foundation, a recent TD Friends of the Environment Foundation funding recipient. "FEF is the pathway from individual donations to a community working together. It means the public can see firsthand how their donations are being used in their communities and can take pride in the contributions their local charities receive." From September 10-22, TD Canada Trust will be hosting an in-branch campaign to educate customers about the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. TD customers who register for automated monthly donations in-branch will receive a complimentary gift. Customers can also set up automated monthly donations by logging into EasyWeb and clicking on "Special Requests." To learn more about FEF and how to make a difference in your community visit www.fef.ca. About the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Survey The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of TD Bank Financial Group from June 29 to July 3, 2007. The telephone survey is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 Canadians ages 18+. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is working with charitable organizations across the country. /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca. Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
For further information: or to arrange an interview with a local spokesperson in your community, please contact: Jill Anzarut or Niya Nikitova, (416) 969-2708 or (416) 969-2654
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