Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
Posted: Oct 24, 2013 – 10:36 AM EST
WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 /CSRwire/ - Innovators for the Public announced today a $3 million grant from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation. The grant will provide seed money to expand the organization’s new framework of focusing on young people learning the skills of changemaking in their elementary school years as well as providing equal funding for organizational infrastructure – furthering the Foundation’s six years of capacity building grants to support the core work and success of Ashoka.
Ashoka, the largest association of social entrepreneurs working to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems, has a core mission to search and identify leading social entrepreneurs whom it supports as Ashoka Fellows. Being at the center of this network of social entrepreneurs for over 30 years has provided Ashoka with a deep understanding of the key levers for bringing about structural social change in society across industries and sectors. Ashoka has identified children’s abilities to master empathy as a critical factor in enabling an “Everyone a Changemaker” society.
The private foundation was established by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of 23andMe, a personal genomic and biotechnology company. Ms. Wojcicki has been a supporter of Ashoka since she visited India in 2004 experiencing firsthand the passion, commitment and impact of the fellows working in Hyderabad.
“Being involved with Ashoka has set a high bar for the rest of philanthropy that we get involved with because I can see that these are the people who are driving true change. I want to go with the people who are passionate,” said Anne Wojcicki. She continued, “Most important about what Ashoka is doing is that they make people believe that change is possible. That belief can go viral.”
This grant demonstrates a sustained commitment and engagement by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation.
“We are very grateful to Anne and Sergey for their generous and continued support of our global work,” said Diana Wells, President of Ashoka. “Their own experience and career path as entrepreneurs is reflected in their understanding of the need for visionary capital to have the flexibility to allow Ashoka’s community of entrepreneurs to move on new urgent opportunities for impact as we learn - such as how critical it is for young people to learn the skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and changemaking during the growing up years within an ecosystem of changemaker schools, with the involvement of teachers, parents and other influencers. They also understand how equally critical it is to invest in organizational systems so we can accelerate and maximize impact. But as remarkable as what they do with their philanthropy, is how they do it!”
Ashoka is the world’s largest organization of social entrepreneurs and changemakers. Founded in 1980 with the belief that the most powerful force in the world is a big idea in the hands of an entrepreneur, Ashoka has funded nearly 3,000 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries, providing these extraordinary individuals with funding, collaborations, and pro bono assistance to launch and scale their ideas and to create a network of peers and partners. With the increasing pace of change, Ashoka works to advance an Everyone a Changemaker world, where every child masters empathy and every citizen knows how to effectively engage positive social change.
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