How we work
Foundation initiatives and responsive granting
As a national private foundation, The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation has two principal granting streams. Foundation initiatives are multi-year collaborations that align the efforts of several partners, including other funders, to achieve change in a particular domain. Examples include ALLIES, a program that assists communities in implementing immigrant employment strategies; and Sport for Development, a movement that actively uses sports and recreation programs to build more inclusive communities. Within such initiatives, grants are generally made through an invitation to apply or by a request for proposals.
The Foundation also makes a limited number of responsive grants in line with its mission and program priorities.
The Foundation regularly holds roundtables and working sessions to share new learning and approaches for working on complex issues.
Creating and sharing knowledge
The Foundation places a high value on learning from its work through evaluation and reflection. Most grants include an evaluation component, and we make many evaluation reports public. We also publish occasional guides and monographs. For examples of these, visit our Resources section.
Strengthening organizations and networks
We recognize that leaders and community organizations may need to strengthen their ability to carry out a particular project or innovation, particularly when they are ‘scaling up’. Therefore, we may support such activities as leadership and human resource development, the creation of communications tools, or the introduction of improved financial systems, when such an investment is considered critical to the effectiveness of an initiative the Foundation is supporting.