Who We Are

Lever for Change is an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a new nonprofit, whose mission is to unlock philanthropic capital for larger-scale social change. Key members of Lever for Change were part of the MacArthur team that helped design 100&Change, MacArthur’s signature competition for a grant of $100 million to a single proposal that promised meaningful progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. In 2017, MacArthur awarded a grant of $100 million to Sesame Workshop in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee and grants of $15 million each to finalists Rice University, Harvest Plus, and Catholic Relief Services. MacArthur’s investment of $145 million has leveraged almost $320 million from other funders for 100&Change’s Top 200 ranked proposals. Buoyed by the success of 100&Change, MacArthur launched Lever for Change earlier this year with a $20 million grant over five years.  

MacArthur co-designed Lever for Change with the Bridgespan Group, whose research identified barriers, such as perceived risk and lack of staff capacity, that impede wealthy donors from fully realizing their aspirations to contribute significantly to social change. Lever for Change continues to work with Bridgespan across a range of strategic and operational activities. Lever for Change also works with Common Pool, a consulting firm that provides competition design and management services and which also assisted in the inaugural 100&Change competition.

In addition to the grant to Lever For Change, MacArthur provides administrative and personnel services in accordance with an Administrative Services Agreement. Lever for Change is assisting MacArthur in the second 100&Change competition which launched in July 2019. The CEO of Lever for Change, Cecilia Conrad, is also a Managing Director, MacArthur Fellows and Awards, at MacArthur. 

John Johnson