Looking Inside Innovation Funding

We are exploring the intersection of problem-solving, technology and design. In this blog series, we asked experts to reflect on trends, lessons,and practices in the growing field of innovation grantmaking.

  • Christie George

    Open Yourself up to New Solutions

    Most people fund people and organizations they already know through referrals and established networks, but New Media Ventures' Christie George argues, if we’re going to solve the big problems facing our world, we need to move beyond our personal echo chambers.

  • John Bracken

    Innovation at the Speed of Change: Exploring Knight’s Tech Innovation Portfolio

    It’s become a truism to say that the world is changing, and that the pace and scale of change is ever accelerating. John Bracken, the Knight Foundation's vice president for technology innovation, explains how the world of grantmaking, often criticized for its slow pace, is adapting to these rhythms.

  • June Sugiyama

    Fueling Innovation Through Competition

    Countless ideas are abandoned because entrepreneurs could not find the proper funding or mentorship to build their idea from a mere thought to a reality. June Sugiyama, director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, reports that this is where the philanthropic sector is well positioned to take risks, and can help fill the gap by providing grants to new social impact ideas and start-ups.

  • Christy Chin

    From Early Stage Funding to Lasting Impact: The Venture Philanthropy Approach to Funding Innovation

    Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation leverages a venture capital philanthropy model to solve complex social issues. Christy Chin, Managing Partner at DRKF helps find, fund, and support early stage social entrepreneurs whose ideas have the potential to drive systems-level change.

  • Shannon Farley

    Tips from the Tech Sector on How Philanthropy Can Scale Impact

    Why aren’t more nonprofits, like Khan Academies and Wikipedia, building software to create social change at scale? Shannon Farley, co-founder Fast Forward looks at how foundations can become accelerators for tech nonprofits.

  • Cedric Brown

    Let's have a conversation about innovation with soul

    Cedric Brown, Chief of Community Engagement at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, shares how the intersection of tech-for-good and grantmaking expands diverse entrepreneurship and benefits everyone.

  • Mandy Ellerton

    Molly Matheson Gruen

    From Good Idea to Problem Solved: Funding the Innovation Means Funding the Process

    Mandy Ellerton and Molly Matheson Gruen of the Archibald Bush Foundation think philanthropy needs transparent and thoughtful ways to get buy-in and gain perspective to make new ideas reality. Truly good ideas, they argue, are created in partnership between organizations, leaders, and the people most affected by the problem at hand.

Produced by Foundation Center's Glasspockets and GrantCraft, and
underwritten by the Vodafone Foundation.