Foundation Initiatives

We work collaboratively with community organizations, government, educational institutions and the private sector to support promising approaches to some of Canada’s most complex challenges. Our goals are to help influence public policy and to help shift the flow of required resources. Our strategy includes a suite of complementary interventions, including foundation initiatives, grants, impact investments, convening leaders and activists, storytelling, and strengthening the capacity of organizations.

Everything we do is about engaging people directly in ongoing learning so that, collectively, we can imagine a better Canada and work to build it. We favour innovative philanthropy and risk-taking. We seek not simply to solve problems, but to transform systems.

Timeline of Foundation Initiatives

Active Foundation Initiatives


Arts and Social Inclusion

The power of art and artists as social catalysts – fostering inclusion and civic engagement, and bringing new vitality to institutions and communities.

Cities for People

Testing promising approaches that contribute to urban resilience and livability.


Engaging Youth

Supporting youth-led organizations and networks that engage a diversity of young people in addressing major social issues.


Indigenous-Focused Philanthropy

A portfolio of grants and impact investments building on collaborative relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.


Providing community sector leaders with new tools and processes to effect large-scale change.

Possible Canadas

Provoking a systemic and creative public conversation about the strategies and approaches that Canada requires at this critical juncture in its history.


Providing social innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for College and University students to become drivers of progress and change.

Social Finance

Supporting market-building initiatives, financial innovation and mobilizing investment capital to leverage impact.

Social Innovation Fund

Providing organizational capacity support to community sector organizations that are at Early Stage Consolidation or are Re-tooling for Growth.

Social Innovation Generation (SiG)

Working across the community, public, and private sectors, SiG develops and shares new approaches to addressing complex social challenges.

Sport for Development

Drawing upon the power of sport to shape both individual character and communities.

Sustainable Food Systems

Linking producers and consumers in a food system that creates strong local economies and livelihoods, protects the environment and ensures access to
good food for all.


A social innovation lab approach to advancing child and youth wellbeing in the school setting.

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 1002 Sherbrooke W., Suite 1800, Montreal, Québec H3A 3L6

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