What is it like to be a partner?

Trust, mutual accountability and collaboration are at the core of our partnerships. We care about the experience you have with every member of our team, and we aim to act with transparency and respect throughout your partnership with us.

We aspire to live up to the following:

  • Flexibility:
    We understand that a lot can change for an organization during a funding partnership, and that sometimes partners need to adapt their work based on what they are learning. We aim to be flexible on timelines, scope and/or planned activities to give our partners the necessary space to achieve their intended impact.
  • Using data and evidence:
    We ground our funding strategies in research about issues, opportunities, and where philanthropy can have the most meaningful impact. This also means engaging multiple perspectives and valuing multiple forms of knowledge.
  • Learning and evaluating impact: We regularly gather feedback and data, and conduct evaluations to measure the impact of our strategies and activities. In the similar vein, we provide budget for our partners to evaluate and learn from their work.
  • Responsiveness:
    We do our best to ensure that all our communications and administrative processes respect partners and potential partners’ needs. This includes being as transparent as possible about timeframes and decision-making processes.
  • Network & partnership development:
    Sometimes non-financial support can unlock just as much impact as charitable funding. Where appropriate, we will connect partners with other organizations and funders working on similar issues. We will also help to amplify your work through public recognitions, allyships, or advocacy support.
  • Accessibility:
    We are committed to continually improving our processes to provide equitable access to funding opportunities and staff time.

While funding is the main way that the Foundation supports organizations, we want to add value to your work in other ways. We are always open to conversations about challenges or new opportunities. We are open to helping connect partners with other organizations or funders, and to share learning and networking opportunities as useful. Similarly, our communications team is often happy to relay events, reports and news from our partners.

Our commitment

We strive to embody the values and responsibilities of flexibility, data and evidence, learning and evaluation, responsiveness, network and partnership development and accessibility in all our partnerships.
We strive to embody the values and responsibilities of flexibility, data and evidence, learning and evaluation, responsiveness, network and partnership development and accessibility in all our partnerships.

We strive to embody the values and responsibilities of flexibility, data and evidence, learning and evaluating impact, responsiveness, network and partnership development and accessibility in all our partnerships.


This guide provides information on what types of funding partnerships we engage in, how we assess proposals, and what it’s like to be a McConnell partner.

Explore our Funding & partnerships guide

Partners are invited to submit annual and final reports in whatever format is most suited to their work. We have developed this sample report to help guide organizations looking to know more about what to include.

View a sample progress report

We know that sometimes recognizing McConnell funding can help to amplify your work and secure more partnerships. We’ve developed these guidelines for how and when you may use our name and logo.

Guidelines on the use of our logo 

For partners wishing to mention McConnell and/or use our logo for public-facing materials such as a newsletter, report, press release or website, all requests must be reviewed and approved in advance by our communications team.   

We appreciate the work of our partners, and shining a light on your impact is our priority. We do not expect or require public acknowledgement in the form of press releases or announcements. However, if you plan to include the names of funders in annual reports, publications supported by project funding, or any other materials, we are here to help.  

In general, we ask that our name or logo be used within the timeframe of a funding relationship. For example, if funding was received for a three-year period from 2024 to 2027, our name or logo can be used during that period provided you contact our team in advance.   

Please contact our communications team for more details.  

Partner portal

We use our Application and Reporting Portal to manage the due diligence, reporting and payments for all our partnerships. As a partner, you can use the portal to:

  • Submit an application for funding.
  • Upload your annual narrative and financial progress reports and see past reports.
  • Track your reporting and payment schedule.

You can also reach out directly to your staff contact via email or through our contact form at any point between reporting cycles to discuss your partnership.


Typically, partners submit a short progress report annually, and this triggers the next installment of their funding. We want to be responsive to your needs and do our best to be flexible if you wish to change the timing of your reporting, the timing of the payment, or even the amount of an installment. Likewise, we welcome updates and conversations at any point between annual reports.

Our priorities for reporting are a) to ensure activities remain aligned with the objectives of the project, and b) learning – for both of us. In addition to these two priorities, we also require: c) a financial report of expenses incurred since the last report, and d) that reporting be done in written format (except if you are the recipient of Opportunity or Program Development funds, in which case there is the option to have a phone call instead).

Besides the above parameters, we are not strict about how to report. We offer this guidelines document, but you can deviate from it. If you have to prepare reporting for other funders, you are welcome to use the same reporting for us.

Some partners view reporting as a prompt to pause and reflect on lessons learned; for others, reporting is a burden that takes staff away from other important work. We encourage you to opt for a level of reporting that works for you.

Each partner is assigned a staff contact once funding is approved. This contact information can be found in your funding letter. Our staff are happy to connect with you in between funding installments to address any questions, challenges or opportunities you may wish to discuss.

You can submit your report on the Application and Reporting Portal. Once you have logged in, you can view your upcoming reporting requirements in the left-hand menu under the “Requirements” tab.

If you are unable to submit your report for the deadline provided, please reach out to your staff contact. It is usually no problem to change the deadline. It is important for us to know if the payment will be moved into the following calendar year, however. If you anticipate that happening, try to give us a heads-up! Also bear in mind that the next installment of your payment is triggered by receipt, review and approval of your report (this can take up to two months). So, if the timing of your report changes, so too does the payment.

Your original payment schedule was included in your funding letter. You can also find your up-to-date payment schedule on our Application and Reporting Portal. Once you have loggedin, you can view your upcoming and processed payments under the “Payments” tab.

Our aim is to be responsive to our partners’ needs and realities. If you need to modify your payment schedule, please reach out to your staff contact to discuss options.

Log-on to our Application and Reporting Portal to find everything you need to manage your partnership with McConnell.