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As we prepare to close up shop at the Kapor Foundation and celebrate our debut in our new skin as the Kapor Center for Social Impact, we wanted to conduct a thorough analysis of what we’ve learned from the terrific community of organizations we’ve worked with since our program areas launched in 2007.
Attached please find our Green Access and VoICE retrospective papers. Many thanks to Judi Powell of Seven Hills Philanthropy for her meticulous work in shaping our learnings, which were gathered from final reports, internal analysis, and interviews with community leaders. We are distributing the reports through our professional affinity associations: Funders Committee for Civic Participation, Bay Area Justice Funders Network, and Neighborhood Funders Group. We hope that you, as funder peers and community colleagues, will find them to be instructive and even inspiring!
Download the Green Access Program Retrospective here.
Just in case you missed this announcement on our home page, we’re excited to share news of our next iteration!
On a related note, we’ll continue sharing news here on the mkf.org site until our changeover officially happens on May 15th.
For the past year, we’ve been keeping you abreast of an ongoing strategic shift here at the Kapor Foundation. We’re very excited to announce that we’ve arrived. As of May 15, 2013, the Kapor Foundation will have a new public face, the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Through a shared vision, set of values, and program activities, we’ll work more closely with Kapor Capital, our sibling venture capital microfirm focused on seed-stage tech startups.
The Kapor Center’s working mission is to “relentlessly pursue creative strategies that will leverage tech for positive social impact in underrepresented communities, primarily focusing on closing academic, political, health, and economic gaps.” This mission represents our deep belief in the power of information technology as a tool to accelerate social good, and fully aligns with the Kapors’ longtime involvement in the tech industry, stemming back to their days at Lotus Development Corporation in the early 1980s.
Last week, I joined my colleague at the Foundation, Justin Davis, as well as my colleague from Kapor Capital, Brian Dixon, and traveled down to Austin, TX, to take part, for the first time, in the week and a half affair that is South by Southwest (SXSW). Specifically, I was there for SXSW’s Interactive Festival, with its focus on all things technology-related.
Like much of my travel for the Foundation, it was a privilege to attend. Particularly so this time because it was a new and unfamiliar setting, one in line though with the Foundation’s pivot. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve attended a conference where social justice wasn’t in some way central to the gathering, and, quite a few years, probably not since the World Social Forum, since attending a conference as large as this one.
There’s much I’m still processing from the trip and many folks to follow-up with. In the meantime, though, here are some early reflections: (more…)
Just wanted to loop back around with everyone; we’ve received a few eager inquiries about our2013 grantmaking priorities. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re in store for some major changes as we shift our focus to tech-driven strategies and tools that further social justice/social impact. Once ready, we’ll announce the changes here on our website and Twitter account, so please check back with us in mid-February for updates.
I love that the Presidential Inauguration falls on the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. Rather than pontificating on the vision and promise that these two leaders represent, I’m simply going to challenge myself to use this day as a jumping off point for the next year of social justice work, as related to Dr. King’s legacy, and the next four years of social impact efforts in the age of President Obama. What can we individually and collectively accomplish in the next year/four years? Let’s go! Best wishes for a powerful, peaceful, and (broadly defined) prosperous 2013.
Photo from theSoulPitt.com
From the Social Impact Exchange:
Relief and recovery from Hurricane Sandy in the tri-state area continues to move forward. The needs for those hardest hit continue to grow as they seek the basic necessities of shelter, clothing, food and water. Individuals in the most affected areas will also need assistance over the long-term.
The fight against voter suppression and harassment became personal this past Tuesday, when my niece, a 19 year old college student in North Carolina, was challenged at her polling site by a “very nasty” electioneer – NOT an official poll worker but an “observer” – who demanded to know if she was old enough to vote, and then handed my niece a slate of opposition candidates. Knowing her rights, my niece held to the Aries fire that she shares with her grandmother and rebuffed the “poll monitor,” proudly casting her first vote in a presidential election.
Hot off the press! This past Friday, The San Francisco Business Times released a pretty great article about the Kapors and their perspective on our recent move to Oakland. A subscription is needed to read the entire article, but here’s a taste:
When famed technology titan and philanthropist Mitch Kapor looks at Oakland, he remembers South of Market in San Francisco the way it was in the late 1990s.
“Oakland in particular is the next great South of Market,” Kapor said. “It will be to this decade what South of Market was to the previous one. There’s lots of space, both to work and to live, lots of energy and lots of opportunity. People just sense potential.”
We’re in the midst of making some major changes to the Kapor Foundation’s approach to social impact work, as I alluded to in a July 17th post. Last week we shared an update with our current grant partners that may be useful for others to know:
“The purpose of this email is to update you on our evolving strategy to meet our mission, which has not changed: ‘We support organizations that provoke social change in communities of color en route to equality.’
For the past five years, the Kapor Foundation has worked to support critical work that affects communities of color both nationally and here in the Bay Area. At the beginning of 2012, we shared our interest in learning more about how info tech can be mobilized in pursuit of positive social impacts. With the ever-growing presence of info tech in our everyday lives, we strongly believe that CBOs must harness technology to more effectively achieve their missions.