The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the launch of a new round of its 100&Change competition, through which a grant of $100 million will be awarded to help address a critical social challenge.
Launched in 2016, the competition to identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. In the competition's inaugural round, Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million over five years for a joint early childhood development project designed to address the "toxic stress" experienced by children caught up in the Syrian refugee crisis. The foundation also awarded $15 million each to three finalists — Catholic Relief Services, HarvestPlus, and Rice University's Rice 360° Institute for Global Health. Other funders have since committed an additional $254 million in support of 100&Change applicants' proposed solutions. Applications for the next round of the competition will be accepted online from April 30 to August 6, 2019.
In making the announcement, the foundation introduced Lever for Change, a new nonprofit committed to unlocking philanthropic capital and helping donors put their resources to work to accelerate social change. In addition to managing the 100&Change competition, the organization will work to connect donors to projects and organizations that can effectively address significant social challenges at scale by administering customized competitions and matching donors with vetted proposals from those competitions. With an initial minimum grant of $10 million, the customized competitions will use an open process to source, vet, and evaluate proposals, while Lever for Change will help strengthen top applicants' proposals so they can more effectively use any grants they receive.
Co-designed with the Bridgespan Group and funded with $20 million from MacArthur and $5 million from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, who is providing an additional $5 million for technology support, Lever for Change will partner with the Pritzker Traubert Foundation to launch its first competition in April. Other competitions are in the works: one, in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, focused on Texas, and two others — one focused on increasing economic opportunity in the U.S. and the other on global climate change — supported by families that wish to remain anonymous. Lever for Change also is partnering with Earth's Call, a new organization that uses the power of music to drive support for climate solutions and has committed $50 million to fund proposals aimed at combating climate change.
"We set out to do something bold three years ago when we launched 100&Change — address problems and support solutions that are radically different in scale, scope, and complexity," said MacArthur Foundation president Julia M. Stasch. "We learned there is no shortage of compelling ideas with the potential for tremendous social impact. The success of 100&Change led us to create Lever for Change, which seeks to connect donors with organizations and collaborations with the potential to deliver the impactful and inspirational change they both dream of helping to bring about."