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Strategic Direction

Investing, Developing and Amplifying Tools for Thriving

As of 2014, Thrive devotes its resources exclusively to disadvantaged youth, ages 10-18. Our goal is to be responsive to the needs and challenges of these young people and the caring adults who serve them.  Our new work builds on research we funded earlier in our history into the science of thriving, which is defined as “a forward, purposeful motion towards achieving one’s full potential.”  In our view, thriving is based on achieving the optimum rather than on the avoidance of negative outcomes. And, at its core is the relationship between the caring adult and the young person.

The Foundation plans to leverage the lessons, research and tools from our past work into the development of new grantee cohorts. In fall 2014, we selected grantees to help us accomplish our mission through innovative approaches to youth development. We are investing in organizations with proven approaches that have a desire to have a greater impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth. A list of current grantees can be found here. Thrive funds grantees in cohorts so that we can create a community of learning and sharing among grantees and with the Foundation, providing resources that may be beyond a single organization’s reach. We define the cohort’s focus and goals and support the highest impact models to advance our mission.

Thrive has an entrepreneurial, innovation-oriented style, in which we work alongside our grantees to understand their challenges and rewards of helping youth to reach their full potential. We identify shared challenges within each cohort and wherever possible, leverage technology to develop tools and other resources that will enhance the impact of caring adults on the lives of the young people we serve. Our empathic design process starts with deeply understanding the needs of those who will use the tools. We integrate the voice of youth into our designs and use their feedback throughout the design process. Our goals include: planning and implementing solutions to increase impact on young people’s lives, supporting cutting-edge applied research on how to positively impact disadvantaged youth, and identifying what the adults on the front lines with youth need to be more effective.

We invest in proving what works and sharing what we learn with wider audiences.

Within five years, we expect to demonstrate models that change lives, and then to scale or replicate these models to change the lives of many more youth throughout our nation.

Going forward, www.ThriveFoundation.org will be a hub for disseminating lessons learned, tools developed and research relevant to organizations, parents, educators and others dedicated to helping youth reaching their full potential.

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