Updating our Communities funding strategy

We are pleased to share that we have updated the strategy for our Communities focus area. Going forward, we aim to support community resilience through amplifying the leadership of equity-deserving groups to address systemic barriers to economic and social justice  

Supporting healthy, resilient communities has been central to the McConnell Foundation since our founding in 1937. As we enter the next phase of our work, we look to the past for lessons learned and to community partners for guidance about the future. The strategy was developed with input and guidance from community partners across the country. Through consultations and conversations over the past year, a common theme emerged: equity-deserving communities have the best knowledge of the challenges they face, and the solutions they need.  Overcoming economic and social inequality requires collaboration, collective action and policy work, and this is where we will focus our support. 

 This strategy aims to address the underlying causes of systemic inequality, supporting the leadership of equity-deserving groups who face systemic barriers to economic and social justice. 


Updated strategy and funding criteria

Our aim is to support community agency, respecting local knowledge and strengths. We seek to partner with organizations that are looking to accelerate and amplify positive change.  

Grounded in our experience that communities know what is best for them, instead of prioritizing issue areas (eg: food security or youth), we are prioritizing work that re-balances power to equity-deserving groups and supports community driven solutions. 

 Our funding criteria focuses on two strategies:  

  1. Collaboration and collective action: supporting organizations to come together to achieve shared outcomes. 
  2. Policy change: supporting organizations to advance policies that favour economic and social justice and reduce barriers for equity-deserving groups. 


Learn more at our webinar

We will be hosting a webinar on November 28, 2pm EST/11am PST for those interested in learning more about our updated Communities strategy. In this webinar, our program staff will explain our new approach and how we got here, share resources for applicants, and be available to answer any questions you may have. 

In the meantime, we invite you to reach out to communications@mcconnellfoundation.ca with any questions you may have. We will do our best to include these questions in the webinar and our website’s FAQs. We look forward to seeing you there! 



Resources for applicants

We have developed resources for organizations seeking funding from the McConnell Foundation. You can also learn more on our Focus Area and Apply pages. If you have questions about if your work has sufficient alignment with our focus areas, you can book a 15-minute virtual conversation with a member of our program team.

The guide provides information on what types of funding partnerships we engage in and how we assess proposals.
The application orientation webinar provides an overview of our focus areas as well as the new process for applying for McConnell Foundation funding.
This document provides instructions and a sample application for our focus area funding streams.