Skoll Foundation Invests in Encore Career Innovation

The Skoll Foundation has announced that its first Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2010 will go to Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank focused on boomers, work and social purpose.

In making the $765,000 award, the foundation cited Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, for his vision of inspiring millions of boomers to pour their life experience into encore careers that combine personal meaning, continued income and social impact. “This new and growing workforce for social change could solve some of society’s toughest problems – from education to the environment, health care to homelessness,” the foundation noted in its announcement.

The award is the first made by the foundation to an organization that is focused on a demographic revolution: a new stage of work for adults who have completed their midlife careers and aren’t ready for true retirement.

Organizations that received second-round funding from Skoll during its latest round of investments include Ceres, College Summit, Health Care Without Harm, Riders for Health and Room to Read. Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, noted, “We believe the investments we’re making today will accelerate the impact of these leading global social entrepreneurs who continue to make real progress tackling the big challenges before us, from climate change to water scarcity to public health.”

The Skoll grant will help Civic Ventures promote encore careers and make midlife transitions easier with new continuing education programs, Encore Fellows initiatives and the online community.

The foundation also commended Freedman for creating The Purpose Prize, a $100,000 award to social innovators in their encore careers, and for developing Experience Corps, a highly successful tutoring program in which older adults serve as tutors and mentors to 20,000 children in 23 cities.

The Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, to promote his vision of a more peaceful and prosperous world. It drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Read the Skoll Foundation press release.