Many ultra-wealthy individuals aspire to do more to help solve society’s most pressing challenges, but high-impact philanthropic opportunities can be hard to identify, evaluate, implement, and monitor. Lever for Change tackles these barriers by connecting donors with nonprofits and problem solvers they can be excited and confident about funding. It does so by administering customized competitions and by matching donors with the highly-rated, vetted proposals that such competitions yield.
In addition, Lever for Change supports top competition applicants with resources to strengthen their organizations and their vision to help them effectively deploy larger amounts of capital. Collectively, these efforts contribute to a robust pipeline of high-impact solutions — “big bets” — that, when funded, have the potential to address a range of social challenges at scale.
How It Works
Lever for Change provides donors with two distinct, but related, ways to find and fund powerful solutions that tackle the social issues they care about:
Donors can sponsor customized competitions designed to identify the most effective and enduring solutions that address the issues that matter most to them. With a minimum award size of US $10 million, competitions employ a transparent and rigorous process to source, vet, and evaluate proposals. From launch to grantee selection, competitions typically require approximately one year to execute.
If a donor wants to find a highly-rated, vetted philanthropic opportunity in any number of fields (e.g., climate change, economic mobility, etc.), Lever for Change uses its platform and staff to run a competition in that area. In doing so, it manages every step of the process to provide a seamless donor experience. This includes competition design and launch, proposal evaluation, technical support for top applicants, support in grantee selection, and post-grant management—with the level of donors’ involvement tailored to their preference and capacity.
Donors may also choose to amplify the impact of an existing competition in an area of their interest by adding an additional award for top applicants.
Access to Bold Solutions
The strongest proposals surfaced through these customized competitions (including MacArthur’s 100&Change competition) are showcased publicly by Lever for Change in the Bold Solutions Network from which it curates philanthropic opportunities matched to donor interests. This option offers a faster approach to identifying powerful, high-impact solutions aligned with a donor’s philanthropic goals. As part of this service, Lever for Change helps donors refine their interests and provides support on brokering connections to organizations and on structuring grants, as desired.