Kaplan Foundation Grants

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation


Grant amount: Up to US $350,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: For-Profit Business Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation seeks to dramatically improve the lives of people and the world around us through innovative strategies, systems changing approaches, and disrupting technologies. Our goal is to find social entrepreneurs with dynamic ideas and nurture them at the early stages with maximum leverage and total commitment.

Prospects for our portfolio of social enterprises come from a vast field of compelling ideas and dedicated leaders. We concentrate our selection on the capabilities of the founder, the scalability of the model, and the potential impact of the organization on the world.

We have an open application process and accept applications year round. Borrowed from our venture capital legacy we find exceptional entrepreneurs, provide them with 3 years of unrestricted capital (totaling $300,000) and provide rigorous on-going support by joining their board of directors for the 3 years and partnering with the leader to help them to build capacity in their organization and scale their impact.

What We Fund

We look for exceptional entrepreneurs

We seek out entrepreneurs who exhibit characteristics of extraordinary leadership: vision, intelligence, influence, ambition, discretion and follow-through. Draper Richards Kaplan entrepreneurs have proven track records that demonstrate a full spectrum of competencies.

We look for potential to scale

To affect meaningful change upon the major challenges of our time, we need big solutions to big problems. We support social enterprises — non profit, for profit and hybrid organizations — that can expand enough to directly benefit a large number of beneficiaries and impart enough momentum to influence broader systems that encumber progress. Scaled organizations act as models to other groups in the sector and have the clout to affect policy, public opinion, and economies.

We look for sustainable impact

We look for leveraged solutions that will create lasting positive change. We look for game-changing ideas that create better opportunities and outcomes for the future.

Issues

Issues include:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Civic Engagement
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Education
  • Energy & Environment
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Health
  • Social Justice
  • Systemic Poverty

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • We fund:
    • Leaders tackling important social issues that can make a difference in the lives of many.
    • Models that have the likelihood to be able to scale.
    • Social enterprises in the early stages of their development where DRK involvement (financial, as a board member and through other support) can make a real difference.
    • On average, organizations are 1-3 years old and the leader is prepared to execute an ambitious plan.
    • Social enterprises that are national or global in reach and/or social issue.
    • Domestic (U.S.) and international organizations.
    • We support non-profit, for-profit and hybrid social enterprises.

Ineligibility:

  • We do not fund:
    • Community-based organizations with no interest in scaling.
    • Organizations whose sole focus is on the development of research.
    • Programs promoting religious doctrine.
  • Some common reasons social enterprises are not considered eligible for funding:
    • Organization is no longer at the early stages of its development.
    • Organization is local in scope, focused on a small region with no plan to expand its reach or service area.
    • Organization is a program of a larger organization, rather than a stand-alone entity.
    • Entrepreneur does not choose to make building the social enterprise a full-time commitment.
    • Idea is not unique or is a replication of a program that already exists.
    • Idea is unfocused. The social enterprise is trying to solve too many problems or is using too many models and programs to achieve its goals.
    • Idea and/or implementation strategy lacks clarity. The plan is not comprehensive or is hard to understand.
    • Scaling plan is not viable. The revenue model or the operational model is not sustainable.
    • Idea will not create systemic social change. The solution presented does not address root causes or deliver enduring benefits.
    • There is not a solid plan to measure outcomes.
    • Model does not have potential for large-scale (national or global) impact.


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