Innoweave moves to MakeWay to grow, transform, and support capacity strengthening across the nonprofit and charitable sector

December 14, 2023

Innoweave and MakeWay logos overlayed on photo of 4 young adults enjoying a lively conversation in an urban setting

We are pleased to announce that after 12 years in operation at the McConnell Foundation, Innoweave has moved to MakeWay Foundation. The move signals a new chapter for Innoweave and an opportunity to evolve and provide more capacity strengthening support for the charitable and nonprofit sector.    

Innoweave has contributed over $8 million in capacity strengthening support to social purpose organizations across the country, by providing access to coaching so that they may learn and implement approaches that will help them clarify and achieve their outcomes. Through 900+ coaching engagements, we have helped hundreds of Canadian nonprofits and charities refine their strategic impact goals, enhance organizational performance, prepare to receive impact investments, and collaborate towards collective impact. 

Shifting to meet current capacity strengthening needs 

Since our beginnings, we have continuously shifted to meet the changing needs of charities and nonprofits. With demand for capacity strengthening support at an all-time high, we are transforming again. The transition builds on longstanding collaboration between McConnell and MakeWay over the past decade, and deep mission and values alignment. With its focus on providing operational and strategic support to partners, as well as its commitment to supporting projects through its shared platform, MakeWay is a natural fit for Innoweave’s next stage of growth.   

Over the past two decades, MakeWay has been part of transformative community-led change. Working towards a world where nature and communities thrive together, MakeWay has developed a unique array of tools, expertise, and resources to support community visions for change at the intersection of social justice, economic, cultural, and ecological wellbeing. MakeWay is committed to fostering a more equitable, resilient, and impactful charitable sector by empowering changemakers with the support and solidarity they need to flourish. Joining MakeWay will allow Innoweave to grow and evolve, building on over a decade of experience, to meet the needs of today’s nonprofit and charitable sector.

“Social purpose organizations play a crucial role in responding to society’s most pressing challenges, and the demands on these organizations have never been greater. MakeWay and McConnell recognize the urgent need to support sector capacity strengthening and invest in the well-being of the people driving social change. MakeWay is excited to build on Innoweave’s experience and legacy while it was housed at McConnell. We hope to ignite an even more transformative program that aligns with MakeWay’s commitment to justice, uplifts community leadership, promotes healthy organizational cultures, and provides spaces for healing.” Joanna Kerr, MakeWay President and CEO

“The social sector is the cornerstone of a caring society and plays a pivotal role in creating positive social and environmental change in Canada. Innoweave’s transition to MakeWay represents an exciting opportunity to strengthen the capacity of the non-profit and charitable sector. By combining Innoweave’s rich history of supporting social purpose organizations with MakeWay’s commitment to empowering changemakers, we are confident that this new partnership will help to usher in transformative impact for Canada’s non-profit and charitable sector and will nurture the seeds of lasting change.”— Lili-Anna Pereša, President and CEO of the McConnell Foundation

Given the unprecedented and challenging context in which changemakers are having to lead, supports are needed across the sector more than ever. McConnell will continue to support Innoweave in its new structure, and MakeWay will be seeking additional funder partnerships for this critical capacity-strengthening work, supporting Innoweave as it adapts and grows to foster resilient organizations capable of achieving meaningful and sustainable impact. 

What this move might mean to you 

  • Innoweave coaching engagements currently underway will continue through the transition phase and all project agreements have been carried over to MakeWay.  
  • We will begin funding projects again in 2024 and will share details with you as we move forward in our upcoming communications.  
  • To learn more about funding opportunities, we invite you to reach visit the Innoweave website or to reach out to a member of the team at info@innoweave.ca

FAQ’s

Why MakeWay ? 

MakeWay’s role in grant-making and hosting a shared platform has provided the organization a deep understanding of the challenges that changemakers face and the support and solidarity they need to thrive. This move will allow MakeWay to deepen its commitment to supporting a resilient and equitable charitable sector through capacity-strengthening initiatives that are designed to meet current needs. 

What will happen to those who are currently receiving funding from Innoweave for a coaching engagement? 

The transition to MakeWay will not affect current Innoweave grants. Coaching engagements currently underway are continuing as planned through the transition and all project agreements have been carried over to MakeWay.  

We invite you to contact your Innoweave Program Officer directly or info@innoweave.ca if you have any questions about your current coaching project. 

When will Innoweave start accepting applications for funding again? 

We will begin funding projects again in 2024 and will share details as we move forward in our upcoming communications. Subscribe to Innoweave’s newsletter to receive updates on the application timeline and process. 

Did Innoweave consult with the sector about this transition? How can we contribute to the next iteration of Innoweave? 

In 2022, we consulted with the sector (including organizations, coaches and funding partners) about the program’s future structure and focus.  

As we move into our new home at MakeWay, we are entering an exciting phase of learning and testing. This will include engaging with stakeholders to collectively reflect on what is needed in the sector and how the program can be most impactful. We will be reaching out with details on how to participate in this process. In the meantime, if you would like to connect with the Innoweave team to share your thoughts, you’re invited to contact info@innoweave.ca. 

Who is leading Innoweave? What does this move mean for Innoweave staff? 

The current Innoweave team of four is following the program to MakeWay. This includes Natalie Chapdelaine, Véronique Claude, Sarah Barsalou and Helena Nash. We will also be welcoming Sally Hakim as Sarah’s replacement during her parental leave. 

The new director of the program is Erin Blanding, VP, Thriving Leadership at MakeWay.   

See our team

How do I communicate with the Innoweave team now that they are at MakeWay? 

Our team will communicate our new email addresses shortly. 

Emails to the previous @mcconnellfoundation.ca addresses will be redirected to the new email addresses at MakeWay. You may use either of those email addresses during the transition process, although we encourage you to start using the MakeWay addresses as soon as possible.  

If you are unsure of which address to contact, we always invite you to write to info@innoweave.ca and the team will gladly redirect your email to the right person. 

Where will Innoweave be sharing more information about the transition to MakeWay? 

We will continue to share updates on the transition as well as the next application timeline and process via regular newsletters. We invite you to subscribe here.    

Is Innoweave updating or changing the current available coaching streams? 

As we move into our new home at MakeWay, we are entering an exciting phase of learning and testing for the next one to two years. This will include collective reflections on how to improve and transform the program to better support different communities. In particular, we will be leaning into justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) work and centering MakeWay’s commitment to Indigenous leadership. This may involve shifting current coaching streams, providing different pilot offerings, and creating new models that align with MakeWay’s strategic priority areas.