A Letter from our CEO

This has been a big year for Lever for Change! We started off having reached our initial goal of driving $1 billion in funding to outstanding organizations, ahead of schedule. This was an important milestone for us, as money is now flowing to people and communities with big ideas to tackle the issues they are facing, and because it proves that our reimagined model of large-scale grantmaking works. As we enter the final stretch of 2023, I find myself looking back at our growing impact and forward to a new year with lots of developments in the pipeline.

The articles in this edition of our quarterly newsletter cover a lot of ground: from news and events to tools and learnings. Yet they all share a narrative thread: they showcase our impact beyond the awards and challenges that have made our reputation.

We are particularly excited about our continuing partnership with the LEGO Foundation. After designing and managing the Build a World of Play Challenge, our team is thrilled to take our work one step further: together with the LEGO Foundation, we have launched a new Build a World of Play Solutions Hub today. The Solutions Hub features the top 24 ideas that emerged from the Challenge after a multi-stage process with over 600 applications from 86 countries. We invite you to connect with us, if you are interested in any of these outstanding organizations.

At Lever for Change, we’re fans of big ideas that match the scale of the problems we are facing in the world today. Two years ago, we announced the recipient of the 2030 Climate Challenge, which awarded $10 million from an anonymous donor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Steeped in technology solutions to climate change, the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) is building a community to transform industry. RTC has used the funding to step into a particularly daunting area of the climate change landscape. This story provides an update on the team’s progress and an overview of their work.

At Lever for Change, we’re fans of big ideas that match the scale of the problems we are facing in the world today.

A few days ago, in time for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD), we joined champions around the world to increase awareness, understanding, acceptance, and accessibility for people with disabilities. My colleague, Kendall Ross, wrote an article showcasing seven incredible initiatives from our Bold Solutions Network, a collection of highly rated proposals submitted to our challenges. Please contact my colleague, Karen Minkel, if you are interested in funding or learning more about these outstanding organizations.

We see our role as being a connector between donors and problem solvers. We help find and help fund solutions, using an open and equitable process. Yet, a lot of our work happens behind the scenes with impact partners, like Chicago Beyond. Recently, we published an interview between our two teams, which explored how to combat unconscious bias in decision-making and shared a tool developed to help in the philanthropic funding process. Our shared goal is to give ourselves the opportunity to notice, question, make higher-quality decisions, and usher in the opportunity for transformative change within the philanthropic sector.

Despite all of the terrible things taking place throughout the world these days, we hope that you will find solace in some of these stories. Not matter how insurmountable the odds may seem, there are always people with bold solutions to move us forward. Our job at Lever for Change is to find them. We need your help to find funding for them. As always, please reach out if you’re interested in partnering with us or if you would like to know more.

Wishing you and yours peace in the coming year,

Cecilia Conrad

Accelerate Positive Change in the World

Join us to find and fund bold solutions that move the world!