News & Politics

Washingtonian of the Year 2015: Jean and Steve Case

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Jean and Steve Case want to revolutionize philanthropy. Yes, they’ll donate money—they’ve signed the Giving Pledge, to give most of their wealth to charity—but their foundation has a sharper focus: supporting groups using innovation for social change. The Cases promote “companies motivated by profit and purpose,” Steve says. His Revolution Growth fund invests in a company (coincidentally named Revolution Foods) started by two mothers to offer healthier school lunches. The Case Foundation’s Be Fearless initiative fosters projects breaking ground in philanthropy. One program the foundation has recognized is the DC Social Innovation Project, which invests in and provides management assistance to groups addressing unmet local needs. Among them is ScholarChips, which helps kids of incarcerated parents get to college. The Cases are also movers behind the Race for Hope, which raised $2.1 million in 2015 for brain cancer. “If you want to go quickly, you can go alone,” Jean says. “To go far, you must go together.”

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.