A group of foundations, businesses, and individual donors has announced the launch of The Audacious Project: Collaborative Philanthropy for Bold Ideas, a joint effort to build awareness of and fund critical ideas that could affect millions of lives.
To be housed at TED, a nonprofit devoted to "ideas worth spreading," the $250 million initiative will fund as many as five ideas a year that stand out as bold and are supported by a viable and sustainable plan for implementation, scaling, and impact. With the aim of creating a model of philanthropy that mimics the way promising startups are funded, the initiative will invite social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and individuals to turn their dreams into actionable multiyear plans and donors to pool their resources to support those ideas.
Partners in the effort include the Dalio, Gates, and Skoll foundations; ELMA Philanthropies; Virgin Unite; and Giving Pledgers Laura and John Arnold and Scott Cook and Signe Ostby. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will draw on 100&Change, its own recently concluded global ideas competition, to identify and vet high-quality projects, while the Bridgespan Group will support the collaboration and work with entrepreneurs to develop investment-ready plans. Selected from nominations made by partners as well as through a public application process, the projects will be fully vetted before being unveiled in a special session at the annual TED Conference. Winning projects also will present TED Talks that will be shared online at AudaciousProject.org, while members of the TED audience and the general public will be invited to support individual projects that appeal to them. The first group of funded projects will be announced next week.
"TED is dedicated to sharing ideas that matter," said TED's chief curator, Chris Anderson. "But many of the ideas that matter most require funding on a scale that most people and organizations would never believe was available to them. This initiative is designed to surface those ideas and help turn them into widely supported action plans."
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