Press Release
Competition Update
Bold Solutions Network Update

FINALISTS NAMED IN MACARTHUR COMPETITION FOR $100 MILLION GRANT

July 20, 2020

Six bold solutions to critical social challenges were named finalists today in 100&Change, a global competition for a single $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The proposals address diverse and systemic problems, such as ocean health, homelessness, oxygen therapy, health disparities, news deserts, and mosquito-borne disease.

“The critical challenges that these six ambitious proposals are tackling existed long before the pandemic,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “The extraordinary inequality that has been accentuated by the coronavirus will continue to exist after it subsides, unless we start to reimagine our future and support the reinvention of systems and structures that create a more just, equitable, and resilient world. MacArthur is committed to supporting organizations that think big, because solutions are possible.”

Overview videos and project summaries for the six finalists are available at https://www.macfound.org/100andchange. The finalists are:

  • Clinton Health Access Initiative & Murdoch Children’s Research Institute: Bringing life-saving oxygen therapy to children worldwide
  • Community Solutions: Accelerating an end to homelessness in 75 U.S. communities in five years
  • National Geographic Pristine Seas: Safeguarding and restoring the ocean’s health and productivity
  • Project ECHO: Democratizing life-saving medical knowledge and care
  • Report for America: Eliminating American news deserts
  • The World Mosquito Program: Protecting communities by preventing transmission of mosquito-borne disease

During the Project Development phase of the competition the finalists will work with an expert team to strengthen their proposals, present a preliminary plan for evaluation and learning, and show authentic engagement with communities of interest before submitting revised project plans. MacArthur will offer finalists technical assistance, and consulting to support fundraising, scaling efforts, and improve inclusivity.

Finalists will present their proposals during a live event in the spring of 2021, before MacArthur’s Board names a single recipient to receive $100 million over up to six years.

“It is our hope that these creative proposals will benefit from expert feedback, technical assistance, and increased recognition, exposure, and support. We know from the first round of 100&Change that the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas to accelerate social change.”

Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change and CEO, Lever for Change

Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. The 100&Change finalists are featured in Lever for Change’s Bold Solutions Network, a searchable online collection of highly-rated, rigorously-evaluated proposals that emerge from each of the competitions managed by Lever for Change.

More About 100&Change

100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.

This round of the competition had a promising start: 3,690 competition registrants submitted 755 proposals. Of those, 475 passed an initial administrative review. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open, and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges, and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur's website.

In the inaugural round of 100&Change, Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Syrian response region and to challenge the global system of humanitarian aid to build a foundation that helps ensure the future of millions of children.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and 100&Change, MacArthur continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

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Media contact: Kristen Mack, kmack@macfound.org

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