Social Innovation Canada, Innoweave, McConnell Foundation

Grant description:

In June 2019, Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the organizations that had been selected as partners in delivering the Investment Readiness Program, a $50 million granting stream complementing the $755 million Social Finance Fund. McConnell Foundation was selected to run the Social R&D Ecosystem Development Initiative, while Innoweave was chosen as an expert service provider. McConnell Foundation is pleased to be a partner on the Investment Readiness Program, alongside many others representing the community and philanthropic sectors, academia, and Indigenous communities.

For the Social R&D work, McConnell Foundation is matching Employment and Social Development Canada’s $1 million to create an initial co-investment of $2 million in social R&D. With these funds, the project aims to mainstream the adoption of social R&D tools and demonstrate their value through several keystone demonstration projects and microgrants, connecting practitioners to one another through convening activities and communities of practice, and identifying and filling knowledge gaps.

Recognizing the leadership of Social Innovation Canada in building the field of social innovation in Canada and connecting social innovators across the country, McConnell Foundation has partnered with them to lead on aspects of the work that relate to capacity building, knowledge development, convening, and communications. Innoweave and McConnell Foundations are co-delivering the demonstration projects and microgrants. 

The Social R&D initiative will run until March 31, 2021. 


Background of the organizations:

Social Innovation Canada was established in 2017 at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto. Its mandate is to disseminate social innovation practices across Canada. SI Canada provides the collaborative infrastructure to strengthen Canada’s social innovation ecosystem, empowering people, organizations and systems with the tools, knowledge, skills and connections that they need to solve real and complex problems.

Innoweave is an initiative of the McConnell Foundation. Innoweave provides social innovation coaching to established charities and non-profits across Canada to help them sharpen their focus and improve performance. They also regularly partner with foundations and governments to strengthen our collective capacity to adopt new ways of working.

The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. We do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and co-creation with grantees, partners and the public.


  • 2019-2021
  • $ 2,000,000
  • Funding Type: Past Initiatives
  • Initiatives: Innoweave