The Case Foundation

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Case Foundation

Pioneering Citizen Philanthropy:

The Case Foundation, established in 1997 by Steve Case, founder of America Online, and his wife Jean Case, has continued the pioneering couple's interest in online media.

Determined to push the boundaries of citizen-led philanthropy by way of the Internet, the Case Foundation has encouraged ordinary people to engage in philanthropy through social networks and by way of small donations given by many.

America's Giving Challenge:

In 2007, the Case Foundation partnered with Facebook, Parade Magazine, Network for Good, and GlobalGiving, to sponsor a contest that would reward those nonprofits with the most participating supporters.

The first America's Giving Challenge was a tremendous success, with a reported 71,000 people making donations and raising more than $1.8 million for charity.

America's Giving Challenge proved the ability of small nonprofits to compete for donations when social media is used by ordinary citizens, breaking the historic dominant pattern of philanthropy by generous donors and foundations.

Since the Challenge, the use of social media in philanthropy has swelled with social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter drawing millions of participants; and an increasing number of micro-giving sites springing up across the Internet. Now we call this type of fundraising, crowdfunding.

 

The Case Foundation created the forerunner of what we now know as peer-to-peer fundraising, GivingDays, and charity contests.

Mission:

On its website, the Case Foundation states that it has a "...commitment to finding lasting solutions for complex social challenges. We invest in people and ideas that can change the world."

Its primary focus has been, "...to expand giving, promote everyday philanthropy, deepen civic engagement, and broaden the use of new technologies to make giving more informed, efficient, and effective." Also, the Case Foundation invests in what it calls "big ideas" that have "transformative potential." Especially important to the Case Foundation are young people, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing.

Programs:

Grants Policy:

The Case Foundation does not consider unsolicited proposals. It invests in specific projects that are developed with partners that the Foundation pursues proactively.

Sources:

Foundation Testing Potential of Philanthropy via Internet, New York Times, 12/13/07.
Networking for the Benefit of Others, Financial Times, 11/2/07