Capacity Strengthening

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For a strong and resilient social sector

The McConnell Foundation’s partners must constantly adapt to large changes. Whether it’s a pandemic or the rising demand for services, there will always be challenging situations that require charities and nonprofits to act efficiently and creatively. This is why the McConnell Foundation offers support to help partners strengthen organizational capacity and leadership and to navigate change.

Capacity strengthening funding

McConnell has a long history of supporting capacity strengthening initiatives for the charitable and non-profit sector. We currently support capacity strengthening in three ways:

1) as part of our focus area funding,

2) for initiatives that benefit the sector, and

3) Innoweave.

Our resources for dedicated Capacity Strengthening initiatives are limited, as such, we do not currently have a direct application for this type of funding. However costs related to Capacity Strengthening can be factored into applications submitted under our focus areas. We encourage partners to integrate organizational development costs that will help ensure the success of the project they are proposing, while also building longer-term capacity. Examples might include funds to support leadership and staff professional development, to advance equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) and reconciliation within their organization, develop or implement an emissions reduction plan, or project-specific training. For guidance on integrating capacity strengthening elements into focus area proposals please refer to our Funding and Partnerships Guide.

In addition to funding through our focus areas, McConnell proactively supports networks that serve a larger group of organizations in the non-profit and charitable sector. Examples include funding for the development of public policy that strengthens the sector, or support for field-building and market development in social finance or impact investing.

Note: for the time being, we are not accepting applications for this funding area.

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Innoweave is an initiative that offers coaching and support to charities, non-profits, and social enterprises to help them reach their impact goals. Innoweave also regularly partners with foundations and governments to strengthen collective capacity and to adopt new ways of working.

Since its launch in 2012, Innoweave has helped hundreds of organizations with thousands of hours of expert coaching to gain clarity on impact objectives and build capacity to achieve them.

Recent funding

Below are a few of our most recent Capacity Strengthening funding partnerships. Explore our Funding Database to view all our partnerships.

Funding will be used to operate the Innowave program, providing coaching to social purpose organizations.

$ 7,500,000 2023 - 2028

Funding will contribute to building capacity for youth to engage in changemaking processes.

$ 100,000 2023 - 2024

Funding will contribute to SI Canada’s role as a connector, knowledge mobilizer, and impact-focused project platform for social innovation throughout Canada.

$ 750,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will contribute to the initiative’s Pathfinder Pilot, supporting testing of the impact measurement standards with an additional network – the Community Lending Network.

$ 250,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will be used to ensure the core delivery of three programs and to scale up a Quebec-wide approach.

$ 900,000 2023 - 2026

Funding will support a National Policy Network for charities and non-profits and advance the role of equity-deserving voices in policy work. 

$ 427,500 2023 - 2026

Visit our “For Applicants” page to learn more about how to apply for available funding.