Call it a sign of the times: West Coast billionaires are throwing their weight behind Change.org, a for-profit “social enterprise” that serves as a hub for petitions and civic engagement.
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman led the $30 million investment, with backing from Bill Gates and Y Combinator’s president, Sam Altman. Hoffman described the deal as the “the largest personal impact investment” he has made to date.
“Change.org performs functions that are key to a healthy democracy,” he writes. “It gives a megaphone to marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Its users and petition starters hold powerful interests accountable.”
Change.org went through a difficult time in the months before the U.S. election. Last fall, it laid off 30 percent of its staff. Since then, it has launched crowdfunding capabilities through its website to bolster revenue.