The Case Foundation was created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case in 1997. The foundation creates programs and invests in people and organizations that harness the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact. The organization has partnered with various changemakers with ideas that they believe are transformative. The foundation’s ultimate goal is to uncover novel and more impactful ways of approaching chronic social challenges.
Jean and Steve Case create the Case Foundation reflecting their family’s commitment to giving back, based on the belief that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”
Stephen McConnell is Steve Case, who is an American entrepreneur, investor, and businessman best known as the co-founder and former chief executive officer and chairman of America Online (AOL). Since his retirement as chairman of AOL Time Warner in 2003, he has gone on to invest in early and growth-stage startups through his Washington, D.C. based venture capital firm Revolution LLC. Case serves as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) and was a member of Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
The Case’s Foundation mission is mainly investing in people and ideas that can change the world.
The foundation believes the world needs more fearless approaches to social change. The foundation takes risks on new ideas and approaches, by partnering across sectors with people and organisations that share their enthusiasm to engage citizens and change the world for the better. They support all kinds of organisations and projects, they do not limit themselves to any one sector or issue. What drives them, is rather a set of core values. Their goal is to promote initiatives that improve the human condition, reduce social and economic inequalities that erode the social fabric.
Areas of Focus
Their work generally falls into three pillars:
Igniting civic engagement
The foundation believes that the interplay among the three pillars is crucial to unleash a real impact, that can improve the human condition.
The Case Foundation invests resources in specific initiatives that complement their approach to revolutionizing philanthropy, unleashing entrepreneurship and igniting civic engagement. As such, their focus is on establishing strategic partnerships that are developed proactively to enhance the impact of their programs.
Given this grant-making strategy, they don’t review or consider unsolicited grant proposals.
Examples of types of organizations funded
In 2007, the Case Foundation launched the Make It Your Own Awards, an online grants program that involved the public in decision making and design and used online tools to empower applicants to raise funds and connect with supporters. The foundation’s 2007-2008 Giving Challenge—launched in partnership with Parade Magazine “GlobalGiving”, and Network for Good, aimed to empower people to use technology to improve their giving experience, support the causes they cared about, and encourage others to give.
Social Citizens: is another example of the type of work done by the foundation. Social Citizens is a report released by the foundation in 2008, that investigates the potential impact of the “Millennial Generation” on the civic landscape and encourages feedback and discussion on the Social Citizens Blog, which is hosted on the foundations’s website.
In February 2016, the Case Foundation, in conjunction with Arabella Advisors hosted a gathering for more than 100 journalists and communicators to discuss impact investing and social enterprise at the Impact Hub in New York City.
Education / Non Profits / Social Enterprise: The organisation supports non-profits and social enterprises, mainly by providing education and networking opportunities. For example, one initiative they launched was the Startup America Partnership. Another example was the launch ( in partnership with the Kaufman Foundation) of the organization UP Global ( who became part of Techstars in 2015).
Jean Case (Founder)