The McConnell Foundation has three focus areas guiding its work, including Communities. Learn more in our Overview section.
Scope · This focus area aims to strengthen collective resilience and create conditions for more inclusive, future-ready communities.
We facilitate: (1) social and civic infrastructure at local, regional and national levels, with a focus on marginalized communities; (2) conditions for inclusive community building.
We seek partners who aspire to create inclusive organizations and who endeavour to apply the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility (EDIA) framework in their activities.
We also intend to integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into our work.
The Communities focus area is in development. As we have just recently refined its scope, we are still in a listening, learning and development phase. Over the coming months, we will further define funding specifications and develop precise criteria.
In the meantime, we are looking to fund projects that catalyze system change in social and civic infrastructures and that enable community resilience. Communities are resilient when there is abundant social capital, a dynamic civil society, supportive informal networks, and a culture of active citizenship.
Resilience: “The 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 globally. Individual resilience grows by acquiring skills, assets, confidence, leadership abilities, and access to knowledge and social networks. Communities are stronger when there is abundant social capital, a dynamic civil society, supportive informal networks, and a culture of active citizenship.” (In a World of Unpredictable Change, What Canada Needs Most is Resilience, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, 2011.)
These can be: youth and seniors centres, neighbourhood roundtables, information and knowledge sharing networks and systems, informal gathering places, Indigenous healing and wellness centres, libraries or welcome groups for newcomers. We want people, within and through their communities, to have the necessary resources to enhance their lives and to affect policy changes for their own wellbeing, at the neighbourhood level or through larger community networks.
We will support organizations and networks to create the conditions that address systemic socio-economic barriers affecting marginalized, racialized or underrepresented communities.
Solutions finance is an integrated approach to deploying financial capital and adapting financial models to catalyze, sustain and scale systems transformation. Solutions finance approaches include responsible investing, funding, impact investing and financial innovation.
We seek to partner with organizations that are using innovative financial solutions to increase their impact.
The barriers to building resilient communities require us to go beyond funding and convening. We must deploy all our financial resources in strategic and innovative ways to create lasting systemic change.