Jointly funded by Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston, co-founder Arash Ferdowsi, and the company, the foundation will focus on promoting and protecting human rights with unrestricted grants designed to give grantees maximum flexibility in using the funds to achieve impact. The foundation also plans to provide volunteer employee support to grantees that matches their unique needs, including financial modeling, talent recruitment, and data security upgrades.
The foundation will be overseen by a board that includes Dropbox executives Dennis Woodside (COO), Bart Volkmer (general counsel), and Amber Cottle (vice president of policy), as well as four independent directors from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
In conjunction with its official launch, the foundation announced an inaugural round of grants to four organizations — GOAL (Dublin, Ireland), which responds to humanitarian crises and works to develop local capacity for the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations; Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco, California), which provides at-risk youth with the resources they need to escape the cycle of homelessness, rebuild their lives, and realize their potential; War Child UK (London, United Kingdom), which provides children affected by conflict with safe spaces and access to education; and WITNESS (Brooklyn, New York), which harnesses the power of video and technology to help activists document human rights abuses and distribute evidence in safe and ethical ways that lead to lasting change.
"As Dropbox continues to grow, we want to do more," Houston and Ferdowsi said in a statement, "especially for organizations that are fighting for equal opportunity, basic freedoms, and fundamental necessities for people around the world."