Nonprofit and Philanthropy · · 3 min read

The MacArthur Foundation's $100 Million Competition: Apply Now

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is offering a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises to make measurable progress toward solving a significant global problem.

The MacArthur Foundation's $100 Million Competition: Apply Now
Photo from: The MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the third cycle of its groundbreaking 100&Change competition, offering a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises to make measurable progress toward solving a significant global problem.

This competition is open to proposals from any sector and encourages solutions that address critical issues in a meaningful, lasting way.

Competition Launch and Timeline

The 100&Change competition launched on May 22, 2024.

Organizations are invited to assess their readiness and register between May 22 and August 15, 2024.

Registration is a crucial step, as only registrants can submit an application.

  • Registration Deadline: Organizations must register by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on Thursday, August 15, 2024.
  • Application Deadline: Registered organizations have until 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on Thursday, September 5, 2024, to submit their applications.

The Selection Process

The selection process for 100&Change is designed to be fair, open, and transparent, ensuring that every proposal is given thorough consideration.

  1. Administrative Review: Over a month, submissions are reviewed to ensure compliance with application requirements and rules.
  2. Participatory Review: From October 15 to November 4, 2024, applicants will score and comment on five applications from other teams using a scoring rubric. Scores are normalized for fairness. Additional reviews may be required, with final reviews due by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on Tuesday, November 12, 2024.
  3. Wise Head Panel: Following the Participatory Review, the Wise Head Panel, consisting of experts from various fields, will score and provide feedback on the submissions.
  4. Finalists Selected: Informed by the Wise Head Panel review, MacArthur's Board of Directors will select up to five finalists.
  5. Project Development: Finalists will work with an expert team to refine their solutions and develop detailed implementation plans, including virtual visits with Lever for Change and the MacArthur Foundation.
  6. Award Announcement: The final award recipient will be selected by MacArthur’s Board of Directors.

A Unique Approach to Philanthropy

Unlike traditional grants, which often focus on specific fields or issues, 100&Change is agnostic regarding the problem area. This openness allows for a diverse range of proposals that address various critical challenges.

The only requirements are that the proposals must articulate both the problem and the solution and serve a charitable purpose. The MacArthur Foundation seeks proposals that are impactful, evidence-based, feasible, durable, and just.

The Scale of Impact

The $100 million grant size is significant, designed to address problems and support solutions that are radically different in scale, scope, and complexity.

By offering a grant of this magnitude, the Foundation aims to inspire innovative solutions that might not be possible with smaller funding amounts.

The goal is to create lasting, meaningful change that can serve as a model for addressing other significant problems.

The Vision Behind 100&Change

"We set out to do something groundbreaking to challenge ourselves and the philanthropic sector. We believed $100 million would inspire communities around the world to dream big. As we begin this third round of the competition, we are excited to see where the next group of applicants will lead us and how they will bring about change in a lasting and meaningful way." - John Palfrey, President of the MacArthur Foundation

About the MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.

The Foundation's efforts include advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting justice reform in the U.S., revitalizing local news, and reducing corruption in Nigeria.

The MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition are among its notable initiatives.

About Lever for Change

Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation, was established following the success of the first 100&Change competition.

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to significant global problems, such as racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of economic opportunity, and climate change. By matching donors with problem solvers through customized challenges and tailored funding opportunities,

Lever for Change has influenced over $1.7 billion in grants and supported more than 175 organizations.

Inspiring Global Impact

The 100&Change competition represents a transformative approach to philanthropy, offering a substantial grant to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues.

By encouraging innovative, scalable solutions, the MacArthur Foundation aims to inspire a new era of problem-solving and social impact. As the third cycle of the competition begins, the world eagerly awaits the bold proposals that will lead to meaningful and lasting change.

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