Spotlight on new grants (May 2020)

At a recent meeting, the Trustees of the McConnell Foundation approved new grants that respond to the COVID-19 crisis and help Canadians transform the systems we will need to be more resilient in the future.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund ($750K)

Recognizing the exceptional circumstances COVID-19 has imposed on civil society, McConnell is launching a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

The Fund will 1) provide short-term support for community organizations facing increased demand, and 2) help organizations respond to new opportunities during the first few months of the pandemic and recovery period.


Social Innovation Fund — Organizational Rebuilding ($1.25M)

The new Organizational Rebuilding stream of our Social Innovation Fund aims to help charities and non-profits prepare for or implement significant organizational change so that they can better serve their communities during and following this time of crisis.


Ability Online ($50K)

Since COVID-19, Ability Online provides a free, secure, monitored online environment that enables youth of different abilities to have access to mentors and to be themselves without fear of judgement. They have had a dramatic increase in demand – along with a spike in interest from prospective volunteers. This grant will enable Ability Online to quickly relaunch sections of their site with new functionality to meet increased demand with enhanced services.


posAbilities ($50K) 

To improve and create more responsive aids for people with disabilities, posAbilities will initiate time-sensitive on-the-ground learning on how to respond during and after a pandemic. Support from the Foundation will accelerate and disseminate posAbilities’ learning.


Maison du père ($50K) 

Support from the Foundation will assist in meeting the financial costs related to food purchases for food for the Maison du Père’s homeless clients, necessitated by the drop in donated foodstuffs.


Child Development Institute – Virtual SNAP Program ($50K)

A grant from the Foundation will enable the Child Development Institute to accelerate work on a virtual edition of the successful SNAP program in order to provide timely assistance to trainers and therapists who cannot be physically present with clients and their families.


HealthCareCAN & Nourish ($500K)

To invite and incentivise other funders to support local healthcare institutions, the foundation is making inaugural contributions to two funds, to address the needs of frontline healthcare staff workers. The purpose is to support HealthCareCan in organizing local funding to meet priority staff needs, and to Nourish to initiate a “COVID-19 Patient Food Security Fund”, providing support to patients for whom the pandemic has created or is exacerbating food insecurity. Stay tuned for more information. 


Green Economic Recovery ($300K)

This project will contribute to funding, together with several Canadian foundations, to issue immediate grants to organizations across Canada that can provide policy recommendations and garner public support for governments’ economic stimulus policies to accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon economy in the post-COVID economic recovery.


Climate Caucus ($50K)

The Climate Caucus is a non-partisan network of municipal elected leaders working together to create the policies, programs and political will to restore a safe climate and build resilience in communities. Interim support for the Climate Caucus will enable the organization to maintain momentum and help municipal leaders connect and share strategies in light of COVID-19.

Canadian Urban Institute ($50K)

The Canadian Urban Institute is supporting local recovery at a national scale. Regional leads are curating information on the CityWatch Canada, CityShare Canada and CityTalk Canada platforms, sharing the best ideas with local communities, and analyzing data collected to help inform a “Roadmap for Recovery” for more resilient communities in Canada post-COVID-19.