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Skoll Foundation

Founded Year



Grant | Alive

Total Raised


Last Raised

$100M | 3 yrs ago

About Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundations, founded by Jeff Skoll, invests in and connects with social entrepreneurs and innovators who are focused on empowering and improving society.

Headquarters Location

250 University Ave Suite 200

Palo Alto, California, 94301,

United States


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Latest Skoll Foundation News

Fostering transparency

Nov 4, 2022

She is Principal Consultant at Stone Soup Consulting and Senior Consultant at Investing for Good. Previously, she was Executive Director of The Venture Partnership Foundation based in London, UK and a consultant for Ship2B, the Skoll Foundation, London Business School, EVPA and Giving Evidence. Dr. Lisa Hehenberger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Strategy and General Management at ESADE Business School and Director of its Center for Social Impact. She is a renowned expert on social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, impact investment, and impact measurement. She is the Chief Impact Advisor of Oryx Impact, a fund of funds investing in African impact funds, a member of the Board of Directors of the GSMA Foundation, and sits on the impact committees of Rubio Impact Ventures and Suma Capital. She is on the Scientific Board of the OECD Global Action "Promoting Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems", is a member of CNBC's Disruptor 50 Advisory Council, a group of leading thinkers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, and is a member of the Impact & Sustainable Finance Faculty Consortium set up by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. She sits on the advisory boards of impact investing fund Creas, as well as Seastainable Ventures and Lyfebulb. What would transparency look like within the context of IMM? Impact transparency is critical to the future of the entire impact investing industry, especially as the industry receives more and more mainstream attention. Stakeholders consider impact washing a key risk and have identified the need to differentiate their activities from ESG and mainstream investing, often using impact management tools to clarify the distinction. Within the grant-making world, which other investors for impact inhabit, transparency is increasingly important as public scrutiny intensifies. The opaque, “mysterious” habits of the foundation sector are being challenged from within, as foundation employees embrace the new transparency zeitgeist. Transparency is a chance for investors for impact to illustrate their difference from mainstream actors (public or private) and a key component of being a learning organisation. So, what would transparency look like within the context of impact measurement and management (IMM)? Our BBK-ESADE Community of Practice , which brings 47  foundations across Europe to discuss IMM topics, has produced a report that investigates this question in detail. Transparency examples include publishing, in an open-source way, impact data and impact evaluations; clarifying how grant and investing allocation decisions are made and what they were; publishing data on how voices of communities and beneficiaries are included and heard, as well as the organisation’s track record on diversity and inclusion; and publishing grantee/ investee feedback surveys. It would also mean signing up to standards and principles which have external validation, for example the UN SDG Impact Standards, one of which is ‘Transparency,’ or the Operating Principles for Impact Management for Impact Investors. Yet of course, there are roadblocks to all this. Within the impact sector, we know that transparency is necessary, indeed essential, but some actors still may believe that transparency can hurt them at an organisational level. Most standards still only require transparency around the IMM process, not on actual impact data. There are few incentives for investors for impact and their investees to be transparent about impact achieved (let alone impact not achieved or negative impact). Although members of the BBK-ESADE Community of Practice foundations are very intentional about sharing their impact data, in general grant-making foundations share little publicly about what impact they have generated. Many external impact evaluations in the social economy are not published because the findings may not look so good for actors involved. Foundation boards, particularly where they are tied to corporate brands or families wanting to maintain privacy, often fear the consequences of opening up. Social economy actors are worried that if they are less than perfect, they won’t get future funding. Thus, the social economy and impact investing still revolves around glossy impact reports and a sweeping under the table of what doesn’t work. If this continues, we will miss opportunities to share knowledge and will waste time reinventing the wheel. How can we get out of this transparency trap? A shared movement towards transparency (such as Glass Pockets in the USA) and shared standards are hopeful pathways. New ratings systems, including the criteria of transparency exemplified by the Foundation Rating Practice in the UK , are already nudging investors for impact forwards. If we compare current levels of transparency to what they were a decade ago, investors for impact have come a long way. During the next decade, we should accelerate and deepen this trend. *  BBVA is a global financial group headquartered in Spain with a diversified business portfolio providing financial services in 25 countries, with over 119.000 employees and more than 80 million customers. Antoni Ballabriga is Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA. He also holds the positions of Co-chair of the Global Steering Committee at United Nations Environmental Program for Financial Institutions; Member of the Steering Group at the Net Zero Banking Alliance; Chair of the Sustainable Finance Expert Group at the European Banking Federation; Member of the EU Commission High-Level Expert Group on Scaling up Sustainable Finance in Low and Middle Income Countries; and Member of the Board at the Spanish Green Growth Group. Lidia del Pozo is Director of Community Investment Programs at BBVA, where she is currently responsible for the Global Community Investment Plan, a commitment to invest €550 million and reach 100 million people between 2021 and 2025. What are latest developments to foster transparency in the banking sector? One of the main elements that characterises the participation of banks in sustainable finance is their ability to be fully transparent when disclosing information on sustainability to their stakeholders. Transparency & Accountability is also one of the six UN Principles for Responsible Banking , signed by over 270 banks representing more than 45% of banking assets worldwide. These principles, a ”unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks make a positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects”, call for a commitment to be transparent about and accountable for the positive and negative impacts that banks make and their contribution to the goals of society. This commitment is very relevant as the signatories vowed to report 18 months after signing the Principles, and annually thereafter, on their implementation. Since 2020 most signatory banks include this reporting exercise   in their annual reports, including all relevant information on their sustainable practices, products and services and the impacts that they make. Beyond regulatory requirements or collectively assumed commitments, banks also individually and voluntarily satisfy the demands of their investors and clients. Some good practices include:   Assuming individual commitments on sustainability goals and reporting on progress    Approving and disclosing internal regulation, such as sustainability policies  Reporting on the risks and opportunities of climate change in accordance with widely recognized standards, such as the one created by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Participating in sustainability ratings that measure ESG performance, demonstrating continuous progress in sustainability and guaranteeing their permanence in sustainability indexes  Making data available to all stakeholders, including clients, employees, suppliers and society in an easy-to-understand manner  Being transparent regarding sustainability is not easy. It needs science, facts and data and, at the same time, simple and educational communication. It requires courage to communicate not only positive but also net and negative impacts. Companies need to be engaging and make stakeholders aware that they can be part of the change. BBVA has committed to consistent, reliable and standardised reporting of key ESG issues related to its business. Among several existing standards, BBVA discloses its non-financial information in the Statement of Non-Financial Information in accordance with guidance from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In addition, on a voluntary basis, BBVA publishes its progress via ESG disclosures according to widely recognised metrics such as the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council (WEF-IBC) metrics and those of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), which sets standards to guide companies on disclosure of relevant and consistent financial information relating to sustainability. Specific indicators under the SASB include Consumer Finance and Mortgage Finance standards. Beyond this, BBVA supports TCFD recommendations and has already released three TCFD reports. ***  Learn more on:

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Skoll Foundation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Skoll Foundation founded?

    Skoll Foundation was founded in 1999.

  • Where is Skoll Foundation's headquarters?

    Skoll Foundation's headquarters is located at 250 University Ave, Palo Alto.

  • What is Skoll Foundation's latest funding round?

    Skoll Foundation's latest funding round is Grant.

  • How much did Skoll Foundation raise?

    Skoll Foundation raised a total of $100M.

  • Who are the investors of Skoll Foundation?

    Investors of Skoll Foundation include Jeff Skoll.

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