Established in 1999, TTSL is a private foundation with the mission to support innovative initiatives that create positive social impact through creative philanthropy.
TTSL didn't start out with the mission we articulate today. During the first 10 years, we took a fairly traditional grant-making approach to fund nonprofit initiatives in education, environmental conservation, arts and culture, economic development, and emerging technology. In a relatively short period of time, TTSL has supported a wide range of programs, including Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Friends of the Highline, BAM, The Bhutan Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Donor's Choose, as well as New York University's Game Center. In light of our diverse interests and our desire to become more engaged with creative problem-solving, we decided to take the organization to a new level in 2009 to pursue more innovative philanthropic models. By avoiding conventional, single source contribution to distinct causes, TTSL aims to operate at a systems level, pursuing projects that connect like-minded individuals to make greater social impact through combined resources. Our vision is to live and breathe creative philanthropy in ways that inspire a new generation to become more entrepreneurial in giving.
Yoxi: A Creative Sandbox
In 2010, we created a subsidiary company called Yoxi as a vehicle to investigate and experiment with new giving models. Our primary objective is to redefine value - we believe modern philanthropy should put equal emphasis on money, time, and talent. We know that simply throwing money at the problem won't get us far enough. We need to engage in an intricate orchestration of valuable resources for optimal impact. Often the path to real innovation is discovered and forged by testing unconventional hypotheses. Within 3 years, Yoxi experimented with a broad spectrum of concepts including a video competition platform to discover ideas and talent, a collaboration framework to connect corporate resources to social entrepreneurship, a content destination to capture and shape the emerging social innovation culture, a coaching program to support bold ideas and disruptive leaders, and a talent investment practice to integrate creative professionals into social entrepreneurs' visioning process.
Through incubating fresh and unique ideas, Yoxi has gained valuable insight on the rapidly evolving social innovation landscape. Today Yoxi continues to operate as a creative sandbox to inform TTSL's giving strategy, while shifting its priority from finding solutions to funding questions.
Creative Philanthropy: A Giving Philosophy To Spark Innovation
With a highly organic and experimental approach, TTSL established a distinctive point of view on 21st century philanthropy and a strong bias towards culture-driven impact. We know that we can't change behavior without shaping culture, and we can't shape culture without creativity.
We anchor our funding criteria around individuals more than organizations. In order to cultivate powerful and unexpected network effects, we stay sector-agnostic and have a strong preference to support global initiatives. We work with people who care about creating impact in an open way - making issues and ideas transparent and actionable to inspire public participation.
In general, we seek to support initiatives that embody at least three of the following qualities:
Facilitates public and active community participation
Seeks to achieve better socio-economic, cultural, and intellectual balance for solution's target population
Reframes current beliefs to challenge business-as-usual, providing educational foundation for attitude and behavior change
Provides elegant usability and beautiful aesthetics to generate desire and deepen engagement
Internalizes technology's power to drive transformational change contextually
Embraces opportunities to influence the cultural zeitgeist through diverse media outlets
Recognizes consumer's power in driving large-scale change, regardless of whether the solution is designed for direct commercial consumption