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Spotlight on
New Grants
The Trustees of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation have approved the following grants and contributions:
Climate Smart ($360,000), to support the strengthening of its core business and expansion in British Columbia and Alberta.
Children's Mental Health Ontario ($350,000), to support the development of an expansion strategy for the New Mentality program.
Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society ($350,00), to help increase their capacity to transition to a community food hub model.
Journalists for Human Rights (450,000), to support the training of young Indigenous journalists and build the capacity of mainstream media to report more comprehensively on Indigenous stories.
Oceana Canada ($350,000), to support work establishing national policies, minimizing bycatch, and protecting ocean habitats.
The Omega Foundation ($300,000), to support the SmartSAVER program through the development of ‘Start My RESP'—an online platform for RESP registration.
Sustainability CoLab ($200,000), to support more time spent coaching members, developing tools to support its work, and strengthening its business model.
Spotlight on
Events, Resources, and Community News
Registration is now open for Food Secure Canada's 8th National Assembly: Waves of Change, Sustainable Food for All, taking place November 13-16
in Halifax.
Video Social Innovation in Canada
Social Innovation in Canada:
Watch the BMW Foundation's interview with SiG Executive Director, Tim Draimin and Foundation President, Stephen Huddart on Social Innovation in Canada. Watch video.
Collective Impact Summit:
At Tamarack Institute's first Collective Impact Summit—from October 6-10, in Toronto—join renowned thought leaders and practitioners as they explore how to create large scale change using a Collective Impact approach. 
Learn more.
The Social Innovator's Guide:
Read The Social Innovator’s Guide to Systems Thinking: Realizing the Ultimate Impact of Community-based Innovations, a blog post by SiG Executive Director, Tim Draimin.
Congratulations to longtime Foundation collaborators
Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack
on their recent appointment to
the Order of Canada.

resources and materials, visit:
SiG Knowledge Hub
For the latest Foundation news,
visit and join the conversation on
Twitter and Facebook.
July News
Reflections on the
2014 Evaluation Roundtable
Last week, the Foundation co-hosted the Evaluation Roundtable in Montreal. This Washington DC-based network of some 30 US and Canadian foundations meets every 18 months to study a case in philanthropic strategy and evaluation, and this time the subject was Social Innovation Generation (SiG), the Foundation’s seven-year partnership with the University of Waterloo, MaRS Discovery District, and Plan Institute. Its purpose is to foster a culture of continuous social innovation in Canada.
By many measures, SiG is a success. Through a happy convergence of intent and circumstance the term social innovation is in wider use, and the partners, along with SiG’s national office, have contributed individually and collectively to Canada's ability to address complex and persistent systemic challenges. Examples include SiG’s role in introducing impact investing and social labs; the first Ministry of Social Innovation, in BC; teaching and research into the nature of systemic change; the introduction of new philanthropic platforms such as Innoweave; and many more.
To the surprise of some, the teaching case placed considerable emphasis on the first two years of the initiative, when it was not certain that success was possible, or that the initiative itself would continue. It was a period of confusion, doubt and conflict. So why dwell on it? As in science or business, innovation in philanthropy entails risk and occasional failure. Intelligent failure, as Ashley Good of Fail Forward referred to it at a workshop following the roundtable, requires honesty and humility – as well as patience and generosity towards ourselves and others as we learn failure’s lessons.
Innoweave & Collective Impact
featured in the Philanthropist
A recent article in the Philanthropist,
Innoweave and Collective Impact: Collaboration Is Just the Beginning, by Aaron Good and Doug Brodhead, describes why it was important for Innoweave to offer a Collective Impact module and what it hopes to achieve, citing examples of organizations that are successfully using Collective Impact approaches to tackle complex problems.
Read the full article here.
To learn more about Innoweave—an initiative of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, in collaboration with SiG, thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors—visit
Social Finance Update
As the Foundation continues to expand its Social Finance activities, and looks for opportunities to increase the community sector’s access to financial tools for addressing society’s most pressing challenges, we are pleased to announce partnerships with the Community Forward Fund (CFF) and the Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada (ABSCAN). 
A commitment of $2,000,000 to the Community Forward Fund adds to the Foundation's growing portfolio of Program Related Investments (PRI) and offers an opportunity to diversify investment portfolios while delivering social impacts. Learn more about CFF.
With a commitment of $150,000, we are pleased to support the Aboriginal Savings Corporation of Canada, which was incorporated in 2005 to serve as a fund offering Aboriginal peoples better control over their economic development. Learn more about our support
New Report
Measuring the Circle: Emerging Trends in Philanthropy for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities in Canada
Measuring the Circle: Emerging Trends in Philanthropy for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities in Canada, a new report from the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (the Circle), provides key findings from a year-long research initiative to understand non-governmental funding of Aboriginal beneficiaries and causes in Canada.
Read the full report here.
To learn more about the Circle, visit
Staff News
We are pleased to welcome the following new team members:
Chad Lubelsky
Associate Program Director

Prior to joining the Foundation, Chad worked with Santropol Roulant as its Executive Director; on global networking, policy, and advocacy for the Progressive Communications Association in South Africa; and as a Policy Officer for the Canadian Millenium Scholarship Foundation. Chad has Masters degrees in Leadership and Electronic Communications.
Nicolina Farella
Associate Program Director

Prior to joining the Foundation, Nicolina worked with the British Consulate-General as a Science and Innovation Officer; with Ashoka Canada, coordinating their fellow selection process; and as a consultant to several environmental and international development organizations in Canada and Brazil. Nicolina has a Masters degree and PhD in Environmental Sciences.
Richard Plummer
Innoweave Outreach Manager

Richard brings more than 20 years experience in the nonprofit and health sectors, including leadership roles at the YMCA-YWCA, Helix Hearing Health Care, and United Way Ottawa, where he was most recently Senior Director of Community Initiatives. 
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
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