Bold Solutions Network Update

We are fast approaching the first anniversary of our Bold Solutions Network, which matches donors with nonprofits and social enterprises whose solutions to significant social challenges were highly ranked after rigorous evaluation in one of Lever for Change’s competitions.

Highlights & Headlines

Overall, our Bold Solutions Network members had a very busy December. Congratulations to all the teams who celebrated major milestones as we closed out 2020:

  • CAMFED International won New York Times Columnist Nick Kristof’s 2020 Holiday Impact Prize, while Himalayan Cataract Project was named a runner-up. These two Network members will receive $100,000 and $50,0000 respectively. Read more in The New York Times Opinion piece, Choose a Gift That Changes Lives, by Kristof.
  • 100&Change Finalists completed their revised proposals;
  • We announced the finalists for the Larsen & Lam ICONIQ Impact Award;
  • Per Scholas was selected as the award recipient for the Economic Opportunity Challenge.
  • Sesame Workshop: Ahlan Simsim's "Piece of the Past" episode received the Teachers' Choice Award at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.

    The Teachers' Choice Award recognizes a film whose special mix of educational analysis, creative inspiration, and production talent results in uniquely meaningful storytelling that supports children’s critical learning. Festival Director Ann Vikstrom added, "The Teachers’ Choice award is very special because they select a film that resonates with a school audience. Thank you on behalf of our teachers."

    This year's festival included 262 films from 52 different countries. Please join us in congratulating the Ahlan Simsim team!

With every new competition that launches, our Bold Solutions Network grows, offering new opportunities for donors to invest in strong teams solving social challenges at a transformative scale. And, while our competitions have a clear beginning and end, we continue to catalyze funding opportunities and accelerate social change by helping philanthropists easily identify giving opportunities that fast-track their philanthropic ambitions.

As of December 2020, the Bold Solutions Network boasted 120 members working on transformative solutions. We have shared all members’ proposals with interested donors a total of 1,414 times to try and secure funding for these outstanding organizations beyond our competitions. To that end, we have shared Bold Solutions Network member proposals with potential donors – from institutional foundations, family foundations, and corporate foundations to donor collaboratives, intermediary philanthropic advisors, and high-net-worth individuals.

A  graph displaying the number Bold Solutions Network Proposals shared by month

In January alone, we have added the five finalists for the Lone Star Prize to our Bold Solutions Network. We look forward to welcoming more finalists from the 2030 Climate Challenge and the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge in the spring and finalists from the Racial Equity 2030 Challenge in the summer. We will continue to support member organizations by providing learning and networking opportunities to strengthen their work, raise their visibility and increase their potential to secure funding.

Highly ranked applicants in the competitions we manage are eligible to become members of the Bold Solutions Network and have access to ongoing learning opportunities. Since October, members have taken advantage of new learning opportunities from our various Social Impact Partners:

IMAGO Global Grassroots continued to host a cohort of female leaders in coaching circles as a part of their Female Leadership series. Fourteen female leaders from Network members including BRAC USA, East Tennessee State University, The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center - ECHO Institute, National Marine Mammal Foundation, Per Scholas, and The Task Force for Global Health, shared advice, expertise, and experiences on organizational management and feminism in the workplace. IMAGO will continue to support female leadership for the Bold Solutions Network in 2021. Click here to express your interest in participating.

Twelve Bold Solutions Network member organizations participated in the second of a three-part Effecting Systems Change Through Policy and Advocacy series hosted by Nonprofit Utopia. Members focused on how to develop and implement community action plans and issue-based advocacy campaigns as well as the use of technology to strengthen campaigns. The interactive series included case studies, group presentations, and coaching. Nonprofit Utopia also hosted a three part series, Using Financial Management to Chart the Course to Sustainability, in January. Members learned how to use financial information to govern their organization or collaborative, make sound business decisions, and exercise good stewardship.

Sattva continued to offer organizational capacity-building support to 12 India-based BSN members, including Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute, Sampark Foundation, International Center for Research on Women, MiracleFeet,, Bal Uman Drishya Sanstha (BUDS), Generation You: Employed, Olam International, Ltd., Rural Development Institute – Landesa, University of California, Berkeley, and who are participating in the Accelerate for Impact Initiative. Participants have benefited from workshops and coaching focused on trends and tools for effective fundraising, as well as scaling successful partnerships.

Marts & Lundy is working with five U.S.-based Bold Solutions Network members (Communities in Schools, Friends of the Children, Futures Without Violence, Generation You: Employed, and Prison Fellowship Ministries) to improve their fundraising strategy and capacity. Marts & Lundy will assist with areas such as program assessment, data analysis, and philanthropy strategy. These services will enhance the members’ impact on their work on racial equity in the United States.

Our members continue to take advantage of pro bono project assistance from Catchafire. Eighteen members have been matched with professionals through the platform on 86 projects, resulting in cost savings of $284,938 and 1,447 hours donated since April. Read more about how Network member Sir Ratan Tata Trust and 100&Change Finalist World Mosquito Program have fully taken advantage of this offering. Bold Solutions Network members have free access to Catchafire and their skilled volunteers through April 2021.

Lever for Change is currently planning capacity building opportunities for members in 2021. Stay tuned for more Bold Solutions Network programming!

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