The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a competition through which a single $100 million grant will be awarded to a project designed to solve a critical problem affecting people, a place, or the entire planet.
To be held every three years, the 100&Change competition will be open to nonprofit and for-profit organizations — but not individuals or government agencies — working in any field of endeavor, anywhere in the world, so long as their proposals are meaningful, verifiable, durable, and feasible. Each valid proposal will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges from a variety of fields and evaluated according to a strict set of criteria designed to favor proposals that maximize measurable impact. Information about the judges and their evaluation methodology will be shared publicly via the 100&Change website, and participants will receive feedback on their proposals.
Applicants must register on the website by September 2, then complete an online application detailing the problem, solution, and project budget, and include a video pitch, by October 3. Semi-finalists, who will be announced in December, will receive assistance with questions about the technical and organizational capacity required to implement the proposed solution, including plans for monitoring, evaluation, and learning, and will be asked to demonstrate significant, authentic engagement with the targeted communities. Finalists selected by MacArthur's board will present their solutions during a live event in the fall of 2017, after which the board will make its final decision.
"We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables," said MacArthur managing director Cecilia Conrad, who will lead the initiative. "Setting audacious goals is inspiring. Clear evidence of impact can encourage other funders to invest in solvable problems more broadly, and applicants who do not receive the $100 million grant will still receive valuable feedback on and attention to their ideas."