Subject Area:
Open to Any Subject
Donor Partner:
MacArthur Foundation
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG):
  • Open
Competition status: Awarded

100&Change: 2017

In 2017, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced the recipients of the inaugural 100&Change competition. This $100 million grant funded a single proposal that promised real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.

Applicants were asked to propose a bold solution to a significant social challenge anywhere in the world. The competition attracted more than 7,000 registrants and 1,900 proposals submitted from 55 countries. Of these proposals, 801 passed an initial administrative review and were evaluated by a panel of external judges using a common rubric. Based on the reviews, eight semi-finalists were selected. The semifinalists each received technical support to strengthen their submissions, with an emphasis on each proposal’s quality, credibility, and scale to position organizations to make an even greater impact. From this group of semi-finalists, the selection was narrowed down to four finalists.


The four finalists presented a broad range of ideas:

Ultimately, Sesame Workshop and IRC were awarded the $100 million award from the MacArthur Foundation for their five-year joint program for early childhood education of young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Middle East.

The Foundation's Board, deliberating among four finalists in 100&Change, decided to award additional grants of $15 million to each of the other three finalists, based on the strength and potential impact of their proposals. The Foundation remains committed to helping the finalists attract the additional support their critical work requires.

Born of the inaugural 100&Change competition and the lessons learned by MacArthur, Lever for Change launched two years ago as an affiliate of the Foundation, designed to unlock philanthropic capital that might otherwise remain on the sidelines. We induce philanthropists to make larger grants than are typical in philanthropy—$10 million or more. Our team helps donors find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, ranging from racial and gender equity to economic development and climate change.

As of September 2020, more than 20 funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $432 million to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants, including a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation to Sesame Workshop, $9 million in funding from USAID and GHR Foundation to Catholic Relief Services, and $68 million in funding commitments for NEST360° from a consortium, including some of the world’s largest private foundations, family foundations, and individual donors.

We continue to seek funding for the top-ranked solutions from the inaugural 100&Change competition and for all of the outstanding proposals in the Bold Solutions Network. Donors interested in learning more about our services may contact Dana Rice, our Vice President of Philanthropy.

Featured Competitions

View All Competitions
Logo for Racial Equity 2030 Challenge
Open for Registration
Racial Equity 2030

Launched on October 13, 2020, Racial Equity 2030 will award $90 million to fund bold solutions to drive an equitable future for children, families, and communities across the globe. Hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the challenge will invite, build and scale ideas for transformative change in the social, economic, political and institutional systems that uphold inequities. The registration period is now open.

Racial Equity
women at rally
Registration Closed; In Process
Equality Can't Wait Challenge

Launched on June 16, 2020, the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will award $40 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates, with additional support from MacKenzie Scott and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Challenge seeks to accelerate the pace of progress for more women of all backgrounds to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities – because equality can’t wait. The registration period is now closed.

Gender Equality
Image displaying busy highways intersecting
Registration Closed; Finalists Selected
2030 Climate Challenge

Launched on April 29, 2020, the 2030 Climate Challenge will award $10 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the U.S. by 2030.

Aerial drone view above Lady Bird Lake showing kayakers on the water and the Austin, Texas skyline in the distance.
Registration Closed; Finalists Selected
Lone Star Prize

Launched on March 31, 2020, the Lone Star Prize will award $10 million to an innovative, bold solution that improves the quality of life for Texans.

Rohingya mother and child
Registration Closed; Finalists Selected
Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award

Launched on January 29, 2020, the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award is a $12 million global competition to fund a solution that secures a brighter, more durable future for refugees. The registration period is now closed, and finalists have been selected.

Refugee Support
An African-American man stands at the front of a room, teaching a technology class. Dressed in a green shirt and grey slacks, he is pointing at a screen.
Economic Opportunity Challenge

On December 15, 2020, premier technology workforce development organization Per Scholas was announced as the awardee of the $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge. The “Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech” project will improve economic opportunities for low-income individuals within the United States.

Economic Opportunity/Mobility
Chicago CTA train pulling into the platform
Chicago Prize

On August 6, 2020, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation (PTF) announced that Always Growing, Auburn Gresham was awarded the Chicago Prize, PTF’s $10 million grant competition 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. PTF also committed an additional $2.5 million in development funds accessible to the other finalist teams.

Community Improvement/Capacity Building
mountain landscape
Registration Closed; Finalists Selected

On April 30, 2019, MacArthur launched the second round of 100&Change, its global competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. The application period is now closed, and finalists have been selected.

Open to Any Subject

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up to receive announcements when new competitions launch and to learn about other updates.