Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, has announced a $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge focused on improving economic opportunity for low-income individuals in the United States.
Launched in February by the foundation and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Lever for Change works to connect donors to projects and organizations that can effectively address significant social challenges at scale through customized competitions. The Economic Opportunity Challenge, the third such competition mounted by the foundation, will accept applications through February 18, 2020, from individual organizations or teams with operating budgets of at least $1 million.
In the first half of 2020, Lever for Change plans to announce six new competitions, including two global competitions launched by investment firm ICONIQ Impact — a $12 million competition focused on securing a sustainable future for refugees and a separate $10 million competition on a theme to be announced at a later date. In addition, a $10-plus-million competition sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies will focus on improving quality of life for Texans, while a $20 million global competition sponsored by the Earth's Call Fund will fund innovative solutions to the global climate emergency. Two other competitions offering awards of at least $10 million will focus on emission reductions in the transportation, construction, and/or industrial sectors in the U.S. and on increasing women's power and influence in American society.
In April, Lever for Change partnered with the Pritzker Traubert Foundation to launch the Chicago Prize, a competition to award a $10 million grant for a compelling community investment in Chicago's South and/or West Side.
"Over 40 percent of children born in the bottom quintile of the income distribution will remain in the bottom as adults," said Lever for Change CEO Cecilia A. Conrad. "Lever for Change is excited to partner with a family foundation that is sponsoring the competition to find evidence-based, scalable approaches to improving economic opportunity and mobility in the U.S."
(Photo credit: Lever of Change)