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Article posted on March 21, 2016

Giving back and getting ahead: Sponsor Energy uses Power for Good™

Sponsor Energy becomes a proud partner of Alberta’s Promise. (L-R): Sander Steer, Kelly Gunsch, Rhonda Kohnen, Dan Brownsberger, Nicole Kiefuik, Leslie Howell and CEO Carolyn Martin.
Sponsor Energy becomes a proud partner of Alberta’s Promise. (L-R): Sander Steer, Kelly Gunsch, Rhonda Kohnen, Dan Brownsberger, Nicole Kiefuik, Leslie Howell and CEO Carolyn Martin.
The Sponsor Energy team has some fun with the Little Red Wagon.
The Sponsor Energy team has some fun with the Little Red Wagon.
The Sponsor Energy team takes the Alberta’s Promise partner pledge.
The Sponsor Energy team takes the Alberta’s Promise partner pledge.

Imagine if the simple act of turning on the office lights each morning put money back into your community, at no extra cost to you. That is the unique business model behind Sponsor Energy, a socially conscious energy retailer that invites consumers to ‘use their power for good’.

Proud to become a recent partner of Alberta’s Promise, Sponsor Energy shares 50% of its profits with over 70 community partners from across Alberta. Utility customers get to choose where the money goes, from children’s services and supportive living for seniors, to homelessness reduction and animal welfare, and everything in between.

You might be asking, isn’t it too good to be true? How can an energy retailer provide competitive rates yet give back 50% of its profits to community partners?  “It’s very doable,” says Rhonda Kohnen, Director of Programs at Sponsor Energy. “By keeping our overhead low, and growing our company with the help of community partners, we are able to offer great prices to our customers and add great value to our communities. We do this because our goal isn’t to maximize shareholder value; it’s about shared values with others in our community.”

The company does not believe in ‘either or’ when it comes to making a profit and giving back. Rather, “Sponsor Energy embraces a ‘both and’ philosophy,” says Rhonda, “We offer both competitive rates to our customers and a sustainable source of funding to community partners.” This makes it so easy for the partners to support Sponsor’s efforts, 25 of whom are also partners of Alberta’s Promise.

Giving back is built into the company’s DNA. Founded in Calgary in 2012 by Carolyn Martin, a “visionary, magnetic and passionate” leader, Sponsor Energy believes that social issues such as homelessness, poverty and animal welfare cannot be resolved by relying on private donations and government programs alone. That’s why they created the Power for Good™ model, where the company not only provides community partners with a steady source of revenue, but also relies on their networks to grow the business.

“It’s a true community partnership of equals,” admits Rhonda. “Our community partners recommend us to their networks, customers get incredible rates while supporting their favourite cause, and the funding pie grows for all Alberta non-profits.” The exponential growth of Sponsor Energy in 2015 is proof that the company’s clients, including households, businesses and community partners, believe in using their power to do good in the community.

So what’s next for the company whose heart-in-a-lightbulb logo embodies the spirit of socially conscious energy retailing? Working with social agencies across Alberta, Sponsor Energy will soon be helping low-income households reduce their energy bills. It’s a meaningful way for the company to expand its business while helping families save money on their utility bills. “It’s a no-brainer,” says Rhonda, who is thankful to be working with a company whose revenue is tied to the level of community funding and well-being.

Last Updated: Monday, March 21, 2016

 

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