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Since the inception of Lever for Change in 2019, we have developed and managed nine large-scale challenges to change the world. Working tirelessly toward our goal to unlock $1 billion in philanthropic giving by 2023, we have partnered with dozens of donors and amplified the work of hundreds of people and organizations with bold solutions to address the most intractable of problems of our time.
Always Growing, Auburn Gresham has been awarded the first ever Chicago Prize, a $10 million grant competition of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation that sought to invest in collaborative initiatives using physical development to spur economic activity, strengthen civic infrastructure, and improve the safety, well-being, and economic mobility of residents in the city's South and/or West sides.
Today, Pivotal Ventures announced an additional $10 million for the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, thanks to support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The Challenge will now award at least three grants of a minimum of $10 million, with an additional $10 million to be allocated among finalists and determined at the award decision stage, bringing the total to $40 million for bold solutions to advance gender equality in the United States.
At Lever for Change, our mission is to accelerate social change by connecting bold donors with highly rated proposals submitted through customized competitions. We are committed to openness and transparency in all of our competitions, and to providing value to each participant. We do this by publicly sharing information about the competition process, including the timeline, evaluation criteria, and judges. We also ensure that as many applicants as possible receive feedback on their proposals during each competition. Our platform invites applicants to think big and be bold as they strive for impact.
Progress is possible, if our society is willing to make big investments that tackle inequity at scale and remove the impediments that systematically erode the gains we achieve. Our mission at Lever for Change is aligned with these goals.
Last week, MacKenzie Scott announced $1.67 billion in grants to 116 organizations, following up on her Giving Pledge commitment to give away her personal fortune during her lifetime.
Local biological scientist Dr. Adrienne Starks has been selected to serve on a committee that will award $30 million to expand the power and influence of women in the United States by 2030.
On June 20, the world marked World Refugee Day—a global tradition established in 2001 to celebrate and highlight efforts to address the plight of refugees and displaced people. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, World Refugee Day came and went with little fanfare or awareness.
Launched in February, the Bold Solutions Network is a searchable online collection of summaries of highly-rated, rigorously evaluated proposals, or “bold solutions,” that emerge from the competitions Lever for Change manages. The Bold Solutions Network helps donors find and fund highly-rated, vetted proposals on topics they care about.
One of my early memories of my mom is watching her being arrested on the evening news. She and several friends were “sitting in” at the Trailways bus station lunch counter in Dallas, Texas. My mother, who designed and sewed her own clothes, always dressed up for marches and sit-ins. Even as a young child, I appreciated the performative aspect of her appearance—wearing a Chanel-inspired suit with matching handbag, shoes, and leather gloves, eating lunch at a counter where she might never have eaten voluntarily in a desegregated world.
Highly-ranked applicants in the competitions Lever for Change manages are eligible to become Bold Solutions Network (BSN) members. BSN members have access to ongoing learning opportunities offered through Lever for Change. These opportunities are designed to continue to help strengthen members' project design and plans, as well as to increase the impact of their work.