Subject Area:
Refugee Support
Donor Partners:
Lyna Lam & Chris Larsen
ICONIQ Impact logo
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Competition status: Awarded

Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award

On May 4, 2021, Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact announced that Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative was selected as the $10 million recipient of the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award, a competition to secure a brighter, more durable future for refugees globally. The Award sponsors successfully raised a total of $24.25 million in funding to distribute to all five finalist organizations dedicated to improving the lives of refugees around the world.

About the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award

The Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award was launched in January 2020 with funding from Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam, and the Sea Grape Foundation to identify actionable ideas that will transform the lives of refugees and displaced people in the long term.

A total of 88 applications were submitted from 27 countries around the globe. Applications were evaluated during a three-month review process that included a peer-to-peer round where each applicant received scores and feedback from five fellow applicants, as well as a final review from a diverse panel of 56 experts based in 13 countries with deep knowledge of global refugee and migration issues. Applications were evaluated based on four criteria: whether they were community-centered, impactful, feasible, and evidence-based.

The Recipients

Philanthropists and Award sponsors, Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam, selected the Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative (the Initiative), a six-organization strong global coalition effort, as the recipient of their $10 million award. The Sea Grape Foundation, a family foundation and initial pledge sponsor, has selected DREAMS for Refugees, a project led by Village Enterprise in partnership with Mercy Corps and IDinsight, as the recipient of its $2 million award.

The Award was facilitated by Lever for Change’s partnership with ICONIQ Impact, ICONIQ Capital’s platform for collaborative philanthropy. Through peer-to-peer fundraising efforts, ICONIQ Impact and the Award’s sponsors mobilized an additional $12.25 million in funding from donors in the ICONIQ network, bringing the total funds raised to $24.25 million – more than double the initial award of $12 million. These funds will be distributed across the Award’s five finalist teams. In addition to the $10 million awarded to the Initiative and the $2 million granted to DREAMS for Refugees:

  • DREAMS for Refugees is being awarded an additional $8 million by an anonymous donor in the ICONIQ network.
  • Three other finalist organizations – Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement, an initiative which offers refugees in six countries access to a university degree program and academic and career counseling and resources; New American Cities, a Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service project; and Unlocking Skilled Migration Solutions for Refugees, a project connecting refugees with international employers, led by Talent Beyond Boundaries – will each receive a $1 million grant from an anonymous donor in the ICONIQ network.
  • Additionally, David Karp, Founder and former CEO of Tumblr, and Samantha McManus have pledged $1.25 million to be shared equally by all five finalist organizations.

ICONIQ Impact and Lever for Change are calling on additional philanthropists to join their efforts to fully fund all five of the finalist organizations that were identified during this competition. Interested donors may contact Dana Rice, Vice President of Philanthropy at Lever for Change.

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