GC Joins Draper Richards Kaplan

October 16, 2012

Very exciting news today – Generation Citizen has been selected to join the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation‘s portfolio. DRKF is a (highly selective) “venture philanthropy” fund that helps social entrepreneurs grow and scale their organizations. In addition to intensive advising and a DRKF board appointee, GC will also receive $300,000 over the next three years. We are honored to have been chosen and incredibly grateful to DRKF for their support.

-Generation Citizen

The full press release is below:

Scott Warren, Founder & Executive Director of Generation Citizen, Joins Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Portfolio of Social Entrepreneurs (www.drkfoundation.org)

Scott Warren, Executive Director of Generation Citizen, Joins Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Portfolio of Social Entrepreneurs 

New York, October 16 – Generation Citizen (GC) is pleased to announce that it has received a prestigious three-year grant from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a venture philanthropy fund that supports early-stage nonprofits that have the potential to change the world.

Generation Citizen (dev-generation-citizen.pantheon.io/) is working to fundamentally change how America prepares its young people to participate in our democracy. Since its founding in 2008, GC has grown to serve more than 6,000 students annually in Boston, Providence, and New York City. In 2013, GC will expand to the San Francisco Bay Area, en route to serving 20,000 students annually in six cities by the 2015-2016 school year. This aggressive scaling strategy will help GC become a truly national, transformative organization that can effect systemic change.

Generation Citizen strengthens our nation’s democracy by empowering young people to become engaged and effective citizens. GC envisions a democracy in which every citizen participates, ensuring that government is responsive to the needs of all its citizens, including those that have been historically underrepresented in the political process. GC implements an action civics course, partnering trained college-student volunteers with middle and high school teachers. The course, which offers an innovative peer-to-near-peer mentorship approach, provides young people with the tools and skills needed to use the democratic process to solve problems in their own communities. During the semester-long program students learn what it means to be an effective and engaged citizen and recognize that they can be an agent of change.

Scott Warren and Anna Ninan co-founded GC as Brown University seniors, recognizing that most secondary students across the country have not developed the skills or mindsets to become involved and engaged in their communities.  Scott had previously been a leader in the Darfur movement, leading STAND, the national student anti-genocide organization. Reflecting on his political and social justice work, Scott realized that the most effective way to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process is through direct engagement in it.  To fill the critical need for those opportunities to engage, Scott initially recruited Brown students to serve as volunteers, and GC began operating in four classrooms in Providence in the fall of 2008. GC expanded to Boston in the fall of 2009, and New York City in 2010. Scott received an Echoing Green Fellowship in June 2010, recognizing GC as one of the twenty most promising social entrepreneurial ventures in the world. 

“We are excited to have Generation Citizen join the Draper Richards Kaplan portfolio” shares Portfolio Director, Tom Fry.  “We are truly inspired by the leadership and positive impact that Generation Citizen will have on students, schools, and communities.” 

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation employs a venture capital model of investment to support visionary social entrepreneurs who generate sustainable impact at a large scale. The Foundation identifies nonprofits led by extraordinary social entrepreneurs with high impact models, funds those early stage nonprofit organizations with $300,000 over three years and supports their growth and impact by serving as a board member and creating a learning community for the nonprofit leaders.

This strategy has yielded strong social returns to date. The Foundation’s First fund started in 2002 and contributed $14 million to 30 nonprofit organizations. The portfolio addresses a range of issues domestically and internationally, including education, health, economic development, social justice and civic engagement. Organizations grew significantly during their time in the portfolio, increasing their budget on average 10x and reporting that their impact more than doubled each year.

In 2011, Draper Richards Kaplan launched the SpringStep Venture Fund, a $30 million venture that over 5 years will support 50 new nonprofit organizations. Generation Citizen is the latest organization to be supported in the SpringStep Venture Fund.

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