The McConnell Foundation was established in 1937 by our founder, John Wilson (J.W.) McConnell. It was run in the early years by Mr. McConnell with the help of a secretary. After Mr. McConnell passed in 1963, a Board of Trustees composed of family members was established to select and oversee the Foundation’s charitable funding. Today, the Foundation’s Board consists of three generations of J.W. McConnell’s descendants and meets around five times a year.
Just as with any non-profit organization, the Trustees’ first responsibility is to make sure that the mission and vision are well defined and to regularly review, approve, and revisit the strategies used to fulfill those objectives. In addition, Trustees have several key responsibilities, including ensuring that financial and legal responsibilities are carried out effectively assets are protected, competent leadership is in place, and risks are managed adequately.
The three core areas of governance for philanthropic foundations are:
- Investment: the investment of assets for the purpose and sustainability of the endowment in alignment to the Foundation’s philanthropic vision, inclusion principles and sustainability orientation;
- Administration: the management of the foundation so that it is in compliance with its legal and regulatory requirements; and
- Philanthropic contributions: the distribution of foundation income to charitable partners in compliance with all legal requirements concerning philanthropic contributions.
The Foundation’s governance body also consists of several committees reporting to the Board that help to guide the Foundation’s operations and strategy. They are comprised of Board members and volunteers who are experts in their fields.