October 18, 2023

CDF launches new strategic plan for 2023 – 2028

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Prioritizing equity-deserving communities and supporting grantees with multi-year funding and greater collaboration.

October 2023

The Catherine Donnelly Foundation introduces a new five-year strategic plan for our grantees, partners and peers that is rooted in equity, diversity and belonging and offers impactful, collaborative responses to our greatest societal challenges.

Strategic Directions, 2023-2028: new challenges, bold responses is the Foundation’s blueprint to address the climate emergency, the housing crisis and a loss of faith in democracy that have caused deepened economic hardship and greater social injustice for our most underserved community members.

Designed to advance justice, equity and inclusion through deeper collaboration – and in a manner that is meaningful and directed by those communities – this plan offers expanded support for grantees including increased multi-year funding opportunities and low-barrier applications and reporting.

The plan contains a renewed Vision and Mission that continues our critical work in the areas of affordable housing, the environment and civic engagement for social change and affirms our all-encompassing commitment to empowering equity-deserving groups.

“The conditions in which we grant have changed over two decades and demand new shared approaches that prioritize flexibility, trust-based principles and the willingness to make bold choices,” says CDF Board Chair Anne-Marie Jackson.

“We aim to be a funder that listens, reflects and responds to individual, organizational and broader societal challenges to strengthen capacity and build solutions with communities” says Claire Barcik, Executive Director of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. “With this plan we hope to reach and support organizations and communities traditionally excluded by philanthropy.”

The Foundation is grateful to over 80 allies who provided input to create this document: grantees, applicants, partner organizations, foundation peers, impact investors, board members, committee members and staff. Implementation of the Strategic Directions plan will be staggered over the five-year period and intentionally based on ongoing learning, research, consultation and collaboration.

Read an executive summary of the report here.

For more information contact Communications & Policy Officer Steve Brearton at