eBay Foundation welcomes strategic new board members

Published on: 24 April 2022
Inc-Foundation-Members

Eve Williams, Jonathan Jayes-Green and Patrice Green join the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

We are excited to welcome Eve Williams, Jonathan Jayes-Green and Patrice Green to the eBay Foundation Board of Directors. Collectively, they bring a range of experience and expertise to our vision, strategy and governance.

Over the past year, eBay Foundation has embarked on a new strategic vision that will significantly increase our level of impact. We’ve engaged a wide variety of partners and grantees, and we've listened to them. We’ve also taken a look at the data around the disparities in accessing capital and connections that limit opportunities for entrepreneurs in historically underserved communities. That data shows: 

Less than 1 percent of venture-backed founders are Black and only about 2% are of Hispanic and Latinx descent, despite the fact that these communities tend to have higher representation in education programs that lead to careers in entrepreneurship.

Women founders received only 2.2 percent of the $150 billion in total venture capital dollars available in 2020.

Investors aremissing out onopportunities to invest in these businesses with $4 trillion in revenue annually.

These gaps in investment are significant and show structural inequality is the primary reason historically excluded communities come up against barriers to entrepreneurship. These investments also drive us to action. From supporting organizations that give entrepreneurs the business know-how they need, to creating connections or providing the capital to start and grow their businesses — our evolved strategy focuses on addressing and removing barriers that limit entrepreneurship for Black, Indigenous and people of color in the U.S., and for women globally.

While our commitment to inclusive entrepreneurship is not new, a sharpened focus on who we serve, and how we are showing up, does represent an important shift for us. By engaging with, and learning from the experts working in the field, we think about our approach in three broad categories: 

Provide access to resources: Provide capital, support capacity-building, add knowledge and create connections that entrepreneurs need to launch and grow.

Break down inhibitors to scale: Engage in solutions that maximize financial resources, minimize risk and build resilience in order to build an inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurs so they can thrive. 

Participate in long-term systemic solutions: Leverage our roots as disruptors, expand partnership and engage in coalition-building to tackle the major systemic barriers to inclusive entrepreneurship, with a focus on the long-term. 

It is our aim to show up as trusted partners to the nonprofits and communities we serve, so it is critical that we act with intention and humility in everything  — from our grantmaking to board representation and governance.

How the eBay Foundation Board Helps us Step Further into Strategy 

 The eBay Foundation Board of Directors helps define the Foundation’s vision and strategy, while providing counsel around grants, programs and our financials. For the first time, we have invited members from outside the company — Jonathan and Patrice — to the eBay Foundation board. This marks an important step in how we are deepening the experience and expertise of our governance, staying authentic in our work and providing learning opportunities for all. Patrice and Jonathan bring the experience of their own journeys in philanthropy, changing systems, and will help eBay Foundation by providing first-hand experience in corporate philanthropy.

As we step further into our new strategy, part of our work is to examine our relationships with our partners — particularly with our grantees —  as we shift our values and practices toward a more trust-based approach.  

Trust-based philanthropy is a movement to actively rebalance the power inherent in the relationship between funders, like eBay Foundation, and nonprofits. This model calls on funders to collaborate with humility, curiosity and act with integrity and equity, one of the pillars upon which eBay was built. This approach often results in: flexible or unrestricted funding, streamlined paperwork, mutual learning and support beyond grant dollars. This reduces administrative burdens and increases nonprofits’ capacity to advance their work and focus — in ways that are most meaningful for them and the communities they serve.

As a board and staff, we recognize that the barriers facing entrepreneurs who have historically been excluded are systemic and complex, and that it will take creative, multifaceted and long-term partnership to address and remove these barriers.

We recognize the importance of listening to and learning from our grantees and external experts in the field, including Jonathan and Patrice, and holding power with them. We also recognize that impact can be made by aligning our investment strategy with our grantmaking strategy and that partnering with MWBE-certified investment manager Disciplina is an important part of addressing and removing inequities. We believe when we hold ourselves accountable, we contribute to breaking down the systemic barriers we aim to remove.

Meet Our New Board Members 

Along with Jonathan and Patrice, Eve Williams joins us from eBay U.K., where she is chief marketing officer. We look forward to applying her marketing expertise and experience to our work.

“Caring for eBay’s brand, showcasing the breadth of our marketplace, and championing sellers and buyers on the platform, is my passion,”

Eve said.

“When we’re at our best, eBay’s brand demonstrates how we live our purpose every day. As an eBay Foundation board member, I’m looking forward to bringing my professional expertise and personal passion to help shape the Foundation’s brand and awareness of it, so we can make more impact through the work we do.”

Jonathan Jayes-Green and Patrice Green both join us from organizations outside of eBay.

Most recently, Jonathan served as vice president of programs for the Marguerite Casey Foundation — which backs the leadership of local organizers with the intention of shifting the balance of power toward historically excluded communities. Jonathan’s philanthropic work extends to serving on the Board of Hispanics in Philanthropy, Funders for LGBTQ Issues and serving as an external advisor to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s $125 million Equitable Recovery Initiative in 2020-21 to address the twin epidemics of COVID-19 and structural racism.

“I believe we all have a role to play in tearing down systemic barriers that limit entrepreneurship and other opportunities to historically excluded communities  — and that includes corporate philanthropy,”

Jonathan said.

“I am excited to join eBay’s Foundation as it sharpens and recommits to doing that work. I am particularly looking forward to our work investing in groups on the ground and how we work to embody trust based philanthropy practices."

Patrice is Surdna Foundation’s Inclusive Economies program officer. She oversees a portfolio that includes program-related investments, partnerships and field building — fostering businesses owned by people of color and amplifying community voices for equitable economic growth.

She also served as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s community liaison to the West Philadelphia Promise Zone where she led community engagement and helped the government reimagine their place-based community partnerships.

“There is a place for eBay Foundation to use our voice and resources to amplify the work of nonprofit experts in the field, especially those that reflect and share the experiences of the entrepreneurs and communities they serve,”

Patrice said. “There is so much potential and I'm excited to be part of eBay's journey.”

The eBay Foundation Board represents a diverse chorus of voices who are committed to pushing our work forward.

Source: ebay news

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