On April 7, 2021, the MacArthur Foundation announced a $100 million grant to Community Solutions to accelerate an end homelessness in 75 U.S. communities in five years. MacArthur’s Board selected Community Solutions from the six finalists in 100&Change, the Foundation's global competition to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.
Some problems cannot be solved by grants of the size that foundations typically provide. By funding at a level far above what is typical in philanthropy, 100&Change addresses problems and supports solutions that are radically different in scale, scope, and complexity. $100 million is a large enough sum to focus on a serious problem and its solution in a meaningful and lasting way. MacArthur hopes that 100&Change can inspire a conversation about solutions and about how we can solve some of our most significant problems.
Community Solutions supports communities in building robust, data-driven systems that make homelessness rare and brief, an end state called “functional zero.” The initiative brings together local government agencies and nonprofit organizations to work as a single community team to achieve a population-level result. The organization coaches local leaders on using individual-level, real-time data to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of homelessness in their community. Using data, communities are able to identify key opportunities to intervene, track and improve outcomes, and target resources to address gaps in housing. Community Solutions regularly convenes community teams from across the country to facilitate peer learning, train local leaders in key skills, and sustain momentum for ambitious change.
Applicants were asked to propose a bold solution to a significant social challenge anywhere in the world. The competition attracted 3,690 registrants and 755 proposals submitted from 61 countries. Of these proposals, 475 passed an initial administrative review. First, they were evaluated by peers. Then, 453 teams moved on to be reviewed by a panel of external judges using common criteria.
Based on the reviews, we identified the highest-scoring 100&Change proposals, a.k.a. the Top 100. Each is listed in our Bold Solutions Network, which showcases highly-rated, rigorously-evaluated proposals that emerge from each of Lever for Change’s competitions to help applicants gain visibility and funding from a wide array of funders. Collectively, the Top 100 provide $10 billion worth of compelling projects to address some of the world’s most critical social challenges.
From the Top 100, the field was narrowed down to six finalists. Each received technical support over the course of six months to strengthen their work, raise their visibility, and increase their potential to secure funding. From this group of finalists, one awardee, Community Solutions, was ultimately selected.
The Finalists are listed below in alphabetical order:
- 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
The Foundation remains committed to helping finalists attract the additional support their critical work requires. We continue to seek funding for the top-ranked solutions from 100&Change and for all of the outstanding proposals in the Bold Solutions Network. Donors interested in learning more may contact Dana Rice, our Vice President of Philanthropy.