Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Grants

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Fields of work: Education Social Justice / Human Rights Energy Sustainability Environment Agriculture Poverty Alleviation & Services Civic Engagement & Education Art & Culture Food Access & Hunger Entrepreneurship Health & Medicine Economic Rights & Justice Show all

Applicant type: For-Profit Business, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

990 Snapshot



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/leader, 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

DRK’s hope is to support outsized impact through entrepreneurs and enterprises that create a transformational paradigm shift to meaningfully address a pressing societal problem affecting people’s lives.

DRK Funds:

  • Organizations addressing a critical social or environmental issue as the focus of their work.
  • Founders who intend to expand their impact significantly over time.
  • Organizations operating in Africa, Europe, India, Latin America, and the United States.
  • Independent nonprofit and impact first, mission-driven for-profit entities, including US 501(c)3 and its non-US equivalents, C corporations, B corporations, and hybrid organizations.
  • Fiscally sponsored organizations in select cases where there is a plan to spin out (in our experience, independence creates stronger enabling conditions for growth).
  • Post-pilot, pre-scale organizations. This typically means:
    • Your program, product or service is already in the market or in the field.
    • You have early indication that your model is having its intended impact.
    • Your organization is 3-5 years old (this is not a rule, but a guidepost).
  • Organizations with one or more founders who are full-time or intend to be.
    • We believe that full-time leadership from the organization’s founder(s) is critical to an early stage organization’s growth.
    • We recognize that going full-time requires resources that you may still be putting together, and if that is the case we are happy to start a conversation with you in the meantime.
  • We value diversity of people proximate to the problem at hand and a commitment to foster justice, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices.


Issues include:

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

DRK Prioritizes:

  • Evidence of focused alignment, systemic social change, data-based decision making.
  • Leaders who are continually learning and iterating and welcome a deep working relationship with DRK for 3 years. Leaders who intimately understand the opportunity and the communities they serve. Leaders committed to advancing justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging for all.
  • Organizations who are designed to realize their impact at scale.  

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


  • 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.


  • DRK Does Not Fund:
    • Idea or pre-pilot stage organizations. 
    • Organizations that do not plan to expand or scale their impact to achieve their mission.
    • Projects housed within an established, mature organization (unless there is a plan to spin out).
    • Awareness or field building campaigns.
    • Organizations whose sole focus is the development of research.
    • Programs promoting religious doctrine.
    • US 501(c)4 organizations.
  • If your organization can be described by any of the following, your organization does not meet the basic aspect of our mission. 
    • A project(s) that is part of an established, mature organization (unless there is a plan to spin out).
    • An organization whose sole focus is the development of research.
    • A Program(s) promoting religious doctrine.
    • A U.S. 501(c)(4) organization.
    • An idea or pre-pilot stage organization. 
    • An awareness or field building campaign.
    • A for-profit where your investors are primarily focused on investment returns.
    • An organization in the following countries (list based on U.S. non-profit law restrictions).
    • An organization that does not plan to significantly expand or scale your impact to achieve your mission.

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    This page was last reviewed March 04, 2024 and last updated February 16, 2024