The Skoll Foundation in Palo Alto, California, has announced grants and program-related investments totaling more than $14.1 million to entrepreneurial social change organizations.
In 2006, the foundation made a second round of investments under its flagship Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (SASE) program — three-year grants designed to provide core support to help recipients scale their impact in pursuit of large-scale social change. Working closely over the past year with the 2006 recipients to determine whether, and at what level, to make additional investments, the foundation decided to award grants totaling more than $11 million to fifteen organizations. "In our assessment process, we identified five organizations — Ceres, College Summit, Health Care Without Harm, Riders for Health, and Room to Read — which we believe are particularly well positioned to leverage Skoll funding to drive very significant impact in their issue areas over the next three years," said Skoll Foundation president and CEO Sally Osberg.
Skoll also announced the first award recipient for its 2010 SASE cohort, Civic Ventures, which will receive $765,000 to promote encore careers, provide continuing education programs, and develop Encore Fellows initiatives and an online community. In addition, the foundation awarded $350,000 to Ashoka in support of the organization's efforts to develop a robust knowledge-sharing platform and standardized methods to measure impact in the field of social entrepreneurship.
Following the foundation's successful investments in the ShoreCap International fund, Skoll also announced a program-related investment, purchasing redeemable shares of up to $2 million, in ShoreCap II. Focusing its efforts on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, ShoreCap II will shift the primary investment focus from microfinance institutions to regulated small business banks.
"In the current economic environment, the demands on social change organizations have increased while resources available to them have fallen, so it is incumbent on organizations like ours to maximize the marginal value of every dollar we spend," said Osberg. "We believe the investments we're making today will accelerate the impact of these leading global social entrepreneurs, who continue to make real progress tackling the big challenges before us, from climate change to water scarcity to public health."