The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Established in 1937, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation engages Canadians in building a more innovative, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient society.
The Foundation’s purpose is to enhance Canada’s ability to address complex social, environmental and economic challenges. We accomplish this by developing, testing, and applying innovative approaches and solutions; by strengthening the community sector; and by collaborating with partners in the community, private, and public sectors. We recognize that creating enduring change takes time, and involves more than granting.
The Foundation’s current areas of focus and emerging initiatives include, Social Finance and Impact Investing, Sustainable Food Systems, Indigenous-Focused Philanthropy, Cities for People, and RECODE—catalyzing social innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.
Our vision at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is a Canada where all people feel a sense of belonging and contribute as active citizens to improving the well-being of all.
History of the Foundation
Established in 1937 by John Wilson McConnell (1877-1963), The J.W. McConnell Foundation grew out of Mr. McConnell’s deep commitment to the public good and his lifelong involvement with charitable work in Canada.
Renamed The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation following his death, the core purpose of the Foundation has remained constant since its founding: to improve the quality of life in Canada by building communities that help people develop their potential and contribute to the common good. Over the years, our approach to this work has evolved; for the past two decades the Foundation has maintained a national focus, and many of its programs operate country-wide.
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation remains a private family foundation: the Board of Trustees is comprised of family members who set policy and assure the Foundation’s good governance. The Foundation has a small staff based in Montreal.