The Top 100 Respond to COVID-19

Cecilia Conrad, Managing Director of 100&Change and CEO of Lever for Change, shares a snapshot of how the Top 100 100&Change applicants are impacted by COVID-1

As measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted lives around the world, we are constantly reminded of how much we have in common—a shared need to grieve, a longing to be physically close to others, a willingness to pitch in and help others, and communal gripes: how do you wear a mask without fogging up your glasses? But, much of our experience is particular to where we work; where we live; and our social, economic, and cultural identities. We expect that the same is true for the businesses and nonprofits who are participants in 100&Change

For the 100&Change selection process, COVID-19 poses specific challenges. Competition submissions for the single $100 million grant were evaluated from October-January 2019, long before most of us were thinking about the immediate or long-term consequences of a pandemic. Recognizing that the environment in which their proposals were drafted has changed, we offered the Top 100 applicants an opportunity to share with us their early stage thinking about the potential impact of COVID-19 on their 100&Change projects. We sent a survey in mid-March asking three questions:

  • How has the pandemic impacted, or do you anticipate it impacting, the operations of the lead organization and its partners?
  • What changes, or anticipated changes, would you make to your proposal due to the impacts highlighted above?
  • Please review the Barrier Assessment/Risk Mitigation response provided in your original proposal and update it, if needed.

The responses provide a snapshot taken at a moment in time of a cross-section of the social sector. The answers to these three questions might be very different if posed two months from now or even two weeks from now. As of April 24, 2020, we have received 100 survey responses.

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