Applicants

View all

The purpose of this guide is to describe the Foundation’s approach to funding and partnerships The McConnell Foundation receives hundreds of proposals each year and many people participate in due diligence and partnership development. The guide is used to create parameters for our staff to be consistent in our approach in order to help reduce bias, enhance equity, and ensure that […]

Resource Link

On Thursday January 20, 2022 we hosted a webinar about our two stage application process. The webinar provides an overview of our focus areas as well as the new process for applying for McConnell Foundation funding. On this page you will find a recording of the webinar and the webinar slides, including a summary of […]

Resource Link

The McConnell Foundation funds activities focused on at least one of our three focus areas: Climate, Reconciliation and Communities. If your work aligns with our focus areas, it also needs to have the potential to be nationally relevant and to change systems, i.e. to address the root causes of complex problems. This document provides instructions […]

Resource Link

Capacity Strengthening

View all

McConnell is traditionally viewed as an Anglophone foundation, but as we deepen our engagement with French communities across Canada, we are learning how to improve our communication in our second language – French. We were recently sensitized to the changing norms of the language and realized that our existing practices needed to evolve. We conducted […]

Resource Link

With the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, social purpose-driven organizations are stepping up to the challenge of pivoting their business models to play their role. Now, more than ever, leaders are called upon to make immediate and profound decisions with far-reaching consequences – and with the potential to accelerate and scale their social impact […]

Resource Link

In June 2018, the McConnell Family Foundation convened a meeting to discuss and review the landscape of philanthropic involvement in Canadian public interest journalism. McConnell’s interest in this subject is ingrained in the organization’s history, as its founder was a former publisher of the Montreal Star. Most recently, the Foundation has been interested in building […]

Resource Link

Climate

View all

Acting on the net-zero carbon imperative For decades, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that to avoid catastrophic climate-related risks to our natural and physical environment, we must limit the global rise in temperatures to no more than 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era. In its most recent report in 2023, […]

Resource Link

Intersectionality and social justice movements are transforming the way climate change is addressed. For philanthropy to be part of this transformation, funders need to be involved in identifying the systemic barriers that individuals and communities face. In this way, they can work together to help overcome the obstacles to address the climate crisis.   In their […]

Resource Link

Building an inclusive and resilient climate economy in Quebec At the Future Economy Lab (FEL) we are bringing together a select group of organizations to pioneer a new way of nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems that create inclusive and resilient economies. The first iteration of FEL launched in partnership between Maison d’innovation sociale, McConnell Family Foundation, SecondMuse […]

Resource Link

Communities

  In this webinar, our program staff explained our new approach to the Communities focus area, including how we got here, as well as our updated priorities and funding strategies. The webinar also shared resources for applicants and answered participant questions. Watch the video above, or download the presentation slides, including the summary of the […]

Resource Link

Current Partners

The purpose of this guide is to describe the Foundation’s approach to funding and partnerships The McConnell Foundation receives hundreds of proposals each year and many people participate in due diligence and partnership development. The guide is used to create parameters for our staff to be consistent in our approach in order to help reduce bias, enhance equity, and ensure that […]

Resource Link

Progress Reports are an opportunity for a grantee to share how their work is progressing, and for the Foundation to offer feedback and insights on this progress. While we are interested in the activities that have been undertaken, we are most concerned with the learnings and impacts that have emerged from this work, and how […]

Resource Link

Evaluation

View all

Introduces the concept of developmental evaluation to potential users and provides some tools to support its use.

Resource Link

The purpose of A Developmental Evaluation Companion is the same as that of the original A Developmental Evaluation Primer — to introduce the concept to changemakers, and to the evaluators, critical friends and reality testers, who are their partners in that change journey. The aim is to provide an overview of the essential elements  of Developmental Evaluation (DE) to […]

Resource Link

The Foundationcategorys primer for those developing or referring an Applied Dissemination proposal

Resource Link

Investing

View all

Acting on the net-zero carbon imperative For decades, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that to avoid catastrophic climate-related risks to our natural and physical environment, we must limit the global rise in temperatures to no more than 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era. In its most recent report in 2023, […]

Resource Link

Our third annual Impact Investing Report provides an update on our 2021 allocation of our impact investing portfolio and shares some portfolio level data. It highlights the diversity of approaches with which impact investing managers are using capital to make extraordinary contributions to social and environmental transformation. There is a growing movement of investors seeking to […]

Resource Link

Our Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures (SIPP) outlines the principles governing McConnell’s investment policy and addresses key matters such as investment beliefs, principles and asset mix. The SIPP helps to ensure consistency, continuity and good governance in the management of the Foundation’s financial assets. It also aims to make certain that fiduciaries of the […]

Resource Link

Past initiatives

View all

Canadian university presidents collaborated for five years from 2017 – 2022 to accelerate their universities as a greater force for good. Supported by the McConnell Foundation, a group of 30 presidents (the Canadian University Presidents Social Impact Collaboration) created several tools, resources, and connections to scale their social impact and put Canada on a more […]

Resource Link

Towards More Systemic and Sustainable Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing in K-12 Education In Canada, K-12 education systems have a key role in developing strategies to support the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff. While stand alone programs have provided useful content for educators in addressing mental health and wellbeing, it is […]

Resource Link

As this publication sets out to explain, for the Foundation, enhancing resilience means investing in the capacity of Canadians to handle challenges at multiple levels. Our concept of resilience links social and ecological systems, people and nature, and can be addressed locally at the level of the individual, family, or community, and nationally or even […]

Resource Link

Philanthropy

View all

At McConnell, 2022 brought refreshing opportunities to meet and collaborate in person as we moved deeper into our work in Communities, Reconciliation and Climate. This was also a year marked by many challenges for the sector, with rising inflation, increased demand for services and a need for large-scale mobilization of capital. This is a moment […]

Resource Link

This compilation of 12 Lessons series includes all the lessons learned from 2016-2020. The 2020 edition of 12 Lessons is different from our past series. It focuses on the future rather than reflecting on what we have learned over the past year. This is why we have called it 12 Lessons To Learn. Just as […]

Resource Link

A selection of speeches from past Foundation President Tim Brodhead, covering topics ranging from the environment to the economy, and from social inclusion to social innovation.

Resource Link

Reconciliation

View all

Led by the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, a group of about 300 Indigenous and non-Indigenous social innovators gathered in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the Inaugural Indigenous Innovation Summit.

Resource Link

The Indigenous Innovation Summit Report 2015 is a detailed overview of everything that the NAFC and its partners accomplished with the inaugural edition of the Summit. It provides a detailed list of all Summit themes, goals and panels. It also includes some preliminary information regarding the 2016 Summit, which will be hosted in Edmonton, Alberta

Resource Link

Social Innovation

View all

In September 2020, The Philanthropist and the McConnell Foundation co-published a new book called Social Innovation in Canada: Reflections on Past, Present and Future Directions. It explores the possibilities, opportunities and challenges that the social innovation movement has faced and will continue to face in support of transformative systems change in Canada. The book includes insights from 2017 […]

Resource Link

A key question on the minds of many social change practitioners and funders is how do we scale up our impact? Many feel overwhelmed by the fact that they have invested resources for decades into numerous local projects, which may have great results, but fail to collectively change the overall state of the system. Scaling Out, Scaling Up, Scaling Deep, by Darcy Riddell and Michele-Lee Moore, addresses how to solve this problem. The findings in this study reveal specific strategies for achieving scale, depending on whether the target is spreading an innovation, changing laws in the wider system, or shifting the cultural context within which a problem exists in the first place.

Resource Link

How do we make the social innovation field more than the sum of its parts? What are our systems change goals for the next 10 years?

Resource Link