Capacity Strengthening

McConnell Hub Logo

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 two ways:


1) As part of our focus area funding:

Most of our charitable funding is distributed through our Communities, Reconciliation and Climate focus areas. We also recognize that strengthening the capacity of organizations working in those areas is crucial to maintaining the overall health of the organization as well the success of their proposed projects. That is why we encourage applicants to include funding for capacity strengthening activities as a portion of their project application.

How can I apply for capacity strengthening funding as part of my focus area contribution?
Organizations that are invited to submit a stage 2 detailed proposal may include capacity strengthening activities within their overall budget. We encourage you to discuss this opportunity with your program staff contact as you undergo the due diligence process. Some examples of capacity strengthening activities include, but are not limited to, 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 more guidance on integrating capacity strengthening elements into focus area proposals please refer to our Funding and Partnerships Guide. 


2) Initiatives that benefit the sector:

Note: Funding for initiatives benefiting the sector is limited to approximately two contributions per year. As a result, we currently work closely with partners to collaborate on funding opportunities. We are not accepting applications for this funding area at this time

We also fund initiatives and organizations that provide services for the non-profit and charitable sectors as a whole. These initiatives are not typically aligned with our focus areas.  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. 





From 2011 to 2023, McConnell’s Innoweave initiative provided capacity strengthening support to charities and non-profits working on a range of topics and domains. Through 900+ coaching engagements, Innoweave helped hundreds of Canadian nonprofits and charities refine their strategic impact goals, enhance organizational performance, and collaborate towards collective impact. 

We are now pleased to support Innoweave in their new home at MakeWay Foundation, where they will continue to provide capacity strengthening coaching to organizations working across the sector. We encourage charities and nonprofits seeking this kind of support to explore Innoweave’s website or to reach out to their team for more information. 

Recent funding

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.