In 2000, Vadim Nikitine went to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to learn about philanthropy. As a successful business man in the US, Puerto Rico, and Russia, he wanted to spend more of his time and wealth on improving the lives of others. His family had always supported philanthropic initiatives and he wanted to learn how to use philanthropy to drive social change.
After finishing graduate school in 2001, he and classmate, Kristin Ehrgood, launched a public nonprofit organization called Sapientis to build a network of change agents who would improve the quality of education in Puerto Rico. As the largest investor in Sapientis, Vadim was able to see the power of focused, results-based philanthropy. He thought this could be applied to a broader set of organizations.
After learning through experience at Sapientis, Vadim and Kristin launched the Flamboyan Foundation, first in Puerto Rico in 2006, and then in the Washington, D.C. in 2008. Their approach centers on their beliefs that change is possible, and that it requires more than money. They see Flamboyan Foundation as a vehicle to solve problems in education and use the foundation’s financial and human resources strategically to bring multiple stakeholders together to drive progress.