The Skoll Foundation encompasses two separate corporations: a private foundation, The Skoll Foundation, and a public charity whose legal name is The Skoll Fund. The Skoll Fund, created in 1999, is a supporting organization associated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of Mountain View, California. The private foundation was launched in 2002. Each entity is governed by its own board of directors. The two entities share grantmaking, program and administrative resources. Both organizations were founded to support social entrepreneurship, and together they are known as the Skoll Foundation
It quickly became the world’s leading foundation for social entrepreneurship, driving large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, we empower Social Entrepreneurs to extend their reach, deepen their impact and fundamentally improve society.
What They Do:
Grants are an integral part of their investment strategy. Inspired by best-of-breed venture investors, they employ a flexible, phased approach to grant-making and collaborate with their social entrepreneurs on grant objectives, while allowing them to determine how best to allocate resources to achieve them. They have awarded more than $100 million in their flagship program, the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, which invests in social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential for large-scale impact in critical social change areas: economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, health, institutional responsibility, peace and security, and tolerance and human rights. It currently honors and supports 81 leading social entrepreneurs representing 66 organizations from around the world.
-Program-Related Investments (PRIs)
Program-Related Investments (PRIs) provide capital at below-market rates to further a charitable purpose. Using vehicles from commercial finance, such as loans, equity investments and guarantees, PRIs offer the opportunity to blend the mission focus of a grant with the discipline and leverage of a financial investment. They also invest in financial intermediaries who accelerate access to capital and other resources to those in underserved markets.
Currently, their PRI portfolio contains a mixture of loans, equity investments, and credit accommodations:
-Beyond investments and partnerships, they also operate two programs that foster collaboration including:
a. the annual Skoll World Forum, the premier conference on social entrepreneurship with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, and
b. Social Edge, the online community at www.socialedge.org led by social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs.
-They also share the stories of social entrepreneurs through partnerships with leading film and broadcast organizations such as the PBS NewsHour and the Sundance Institute, which help drive public awareness of social entrepreneurship and its potential to address the critical issues of their time.
Issues They Support:
-Economic & Social Equity
-Peace & Security
-Tolerance & Human Rights