Photo by Geoff Duncan

The idea of “changing the world” has been growing quite popular. Many businesses are devoted to this idea, and many individuals strive to achieve this end. The Case Foundation connects individuals, foundations and non-profits with this common goal in mind.

The Case Foundation serves this end by “investing in people and ideas that can change the world.” Jean and Steve Case, the founders of AOL, created the Foundation in 1997. It creates programs and invests in “people and organizations that harness the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact.” The team partners with people that challenge the status quo and discover new ways to address enduring social challenges. Their philosophy goes as follows:

“We believe the world needs more fearless approaches to social change, so we take risks on new ideas and approaches, and partner across sectors with people and organizations that share our fervor to engage citizens and change the world for the better, today. We don’t limit ourselves to any one sector or issue, but instead let a set of core values drive all of our ventures.”

Entrepreneurship, collaboration and learning, experimenting early and often, and working smart while having fun and being humble— these are their core values.

The Foundation takes a different approach to creating “social change.” The team focuses on igniting civic engagement, unleashing entrepreneurship and revolutionizing philanthropy. At the intersection of these three concepts, you find the Case Foundation.

With regards to civil engagement, the team explains, “The actions of one person have the potential to spark a movement. And we believe that it is movements created by engaged citizens that can lead to transformative change.” In this sector, their current focus is on millennial engagement.

As for entrepreneurship, they believe, “in the power of entrepreneurship – and an entrepreneurial spirit – to tackle global challenges, transform communities, create jobs, spur economic growth and close the opportunity gap that confronts far too many people here in the United States and around the world.” To achieve this end, they have three main focuses: global entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship and economic mobility and impact investing.

The team believes that “the definition and practice of philanthropy needs a major reboot so we can make real progress toward addressing chronic challenges.” They hope to follow out this goal with focuses on impact investing and with their “Be Fearless” campaign.

Be Fearless” launched in June 2012 to overlap with the Foundation’s 15th anniversary. Of this campaign, they explain, “It’s time to ignite a more fearless approach to changemaking—one that requires taking risks, being bold and failing forward… and it starts with YOU.” It takes five steps to “Be Fearless”: make big bets and make history, experiment early and often, make failure matter, reach beyond your bubble and let urgency conquer fear. Watch here to see more about what it takes to “Be Fearless.”

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Whether you are part of an initiative looking for a grant or an individual wanting to “Be Fearless,” there are many ways to get involved with the Case Foundation and collectively serve the goal of “changing the world.”

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