News & Blogs

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Celebrating Three Years of Lever for Change
By: Dr. Cecilia Conrad | February 3, 2022
Newsletter Article
Lever for Change will celebrate its third birthday this month and we have much to celebrate. When we launched in 2019, we hoped to accelerate solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems by encouraging problem solvers to think big and by connecting those big ideas with donors willing to support them with large, multi-year grants of more than $10 million. Our team of six had serious doubts about whether we would succeed. Nonetheless, we set out with the ambitious goal of driving $1 billion in philanthropic funding to outstanding organizations by 2023.
Per Scholas students using laptop computers in a classroom.
A Year of Opportunity with Per Scholas
By: Vernon Smith and Brenda Urueta | December 15, 2021
Grantee Update
In December 2020, premier technology workforce development organization Per Scholas was announced as the awardee of the $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge. Their “Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech” project will improve economic opportunities for low-income individuals within the United States.
JUST team members stand against a brick wall in a doorway, wearing black t-shirts
JUST Announced as Awardee of Inaugural Jack Dilenschneider Award for Social Justice
By: Nicole Phipps | December 13, 2021
Grantee Update
Bold Solutions Network
Lever for Change announced nonprofit microlending platform JUST as the recipient of the inaugural Jack Dilenschneider Award for Social Justice.
An image of Dr. Cecilia Conrad smiling.
Our Thanksgiving wish: Bigger pies, more equity
By: Dr. Cecilia Conrad | November 18, 2021
Newsletter Article
Thanksgiving makes me think of pecan pie and pecan pie makes me think of pareto optimality. What can I tell you? I’m an economist.
Jad shares a story with friends in Amman, Jordan.
A Year of Adaptation at Ahlan Simsim
October 20, 2021
Bold Solutions Network
Sesame Workshop was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural 100&Change grant, in December 2017, for its collaboration with the International Rescue Committee to create Ahlan Simsim, a show for a rising generation of children affected by conflict and displacement across the Middle East and North Africa. Now, René Celaya of Sesame Workshop and Marianne Stone of International Rescue Committee share lessons learned from Ahlan Simsim's third year.
Accelerate for Impact
By: Rahul Shah, Shivani Desai, and Eesha Mullick | September 28, 2021
Bold Solutions Network
Lever for Change’s Bold Solutions Network matches donors with outstanding nonprofits and social enterprises that are selected as finalists in Lever for Change competitions. Bold Solutions Network members are then eligible to access learning and technical support opportunities in the form of webinars, pro bono services, coaching, workshops, cohort support, and peer networking. These opportunities are designed to continue to help strengthen members' project design and plans, as well as to increase the impact of their work.
Announcing the Five Swift Grant Recipients
By: Vernon Smith | September 28, 2021
Grantee Update
Bold Solutions Network
In May 2021, Lever for Change introduced the Swift Grants fund, aimed to provide small grants to Bold Solutions Network members for collaborative projects. This fund provided an outlet for the world’s top problem solvers to leverage expertise and join forces to find creative solutions in their fields.
Man holds child in the air joyfully
Ten Finalists Announced for $90 Million Global Challenge to Boldly Address Systemic Racism
By: Marc Moorghen | September 21, 2021
Press Release
Competition Update
Racial Equity 2030 will unleash transformative solutions to improve the lives of children, families, and communities across the world.
Equality Can't Wait Challenge Awardee: The Future is Indigenous Women
Equality Can't Wait
September 1, 2021
Media article
In the latest issue of Social Investor magazine, Cecilia A. Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and managing director at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, shares her work accelerating the impact of philanthropy.
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Storytelling for Impact: Summer Interns Reflect on their Projects
August 16, 2021
As we approach the end of our fast-paced, 10-week summer internship program at Lever for Change, we have been trying to answer a question that is central to the work of the organization: How can we tell impactful stories that will accelerate large-scale change in philanthropy? To that end, we have evaluated how stories can and should engage an audience, how Lever for Change is using storytelling to write their own narrative as an organization, and what these findings mean for the future.

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