eDemocracy for Cities Gets a Big Boost


Press Release: July 17, 2019

Ethelo has received a $300,000 Social Innovation Fund grant from the McConnell Family Foundation to advance eDemocracy in cities across Canada.

The two-year grant is provided through McConnell’s Cities for People initiative

The aim of the Cities for People initiative is to support inclusive urban innovation that contributes to more resilient and livable cities for all people. Urbanization represents one of the greatest challenges of our times, particularly because of rising social inequalities, unprecedented demographic shifts, and environmental degradation. We must make fundamental changes to the way we think about and build cities if they are to become places where all people can thrive. 

The award will accelerate Ethelo’s innovative approach to systemic impact and democratic change, according to Ethelo’s founder and CEO John Richardson.

"This generous grant will ramp up Ethelo’s capacity to support local governments in engaging community members in critical decisions that affect them,” says Richardson. “From participatory budgeting to citizen-directed policy-making, a new, highly empowered approach to civic engagement is emerging, and Ethelo is glad to be a part of it.”

The funding will be directed towards Ethelo’s work promoting democracy in local communities and increasing access to tools such as Citizen Budget. Citizen Budget, Canada’s leading budget simulator, was acquired by Ethelo in spring 2019. 

About the McConnell Family Foundation:

The McConnell Family Foundation is one of Canada’s oldest and largest private foundations, and dedicated to innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. 

About Ethelo:

Ethelo is a social enterprise comprised of two partner organizations; Ethelo Decisions, the technology company behind the Ethelo collaboration platform, and Ethelo Democracy, the founding nonprofit dedicated to online participatory democracy. 

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