History of the Foundation

The Donner Canadian Foundation was established in 1950 by William H. Donner. In the mid-1960s, the Foundation began to focus on specific program interests, among these, research on public policy. The Donner family chose Canada's centennial year, 1967, to embark on a course of professional grantmaking that has contributed well over $150 million to almost 2,500 projects across Canada and around the world.

In addition to ongoing funding of public policy research, the Foundation supports environmental, international development, and social service projects. Every year, the Donner Book Prize honours the best book on Canadian public policy, and the Foundation's lecture series features some of the world's most influential speakers. The Foundation is guided by a Board of Governors composed of representatives of the Donner family and prominent Canadians from a variety of fields.

Allan Gotlieb
1928 - 2020

The Members, Governors, and Staff of the Donner Canadian Foundation honour the memory of Chairman Emeritus Allan Gotlieb, who passed away peacefully on April 18. The work of the Foundation benefitted greatly from his wisdom and experience, which he gained from a remarkable career in the private and public sectors, including serving as Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 1982 to 1990. Allan was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto following a family service. A public celebration of his life is being planned for a future date. We offer our condolences to his wife, Sondra, and to the rest of his family.


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> May 31, 2022

The winner of the 2021 Donner Prize was announced today by Gregory Belton, Chair of the Donner Canadian Foundation, during a ceremony in Toronto.

Dan Breznitz was awarded the $50,000 Donner Prize for Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, published by Oxford University Press.