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May 22, 2024

New Competition for a $100 Million Grant: Round Three of MacArthur’s 100&Change

Chicago, IL, May 22, 2024 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today announced the launch of a new round of its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges. The third round of 100&Change remains open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change; applications will be accepted online only, from May 22 to August 15, 2024.

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.

For the third round of the competition, MacArthur is adding “just” as a criterion to align with the Foundation’s Just Imperative, incorporating a sharper focus on how projects advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. No topic is exempt or excluded from these commitments.

100&Change remains global and athematic. The competition is unique because no field or problem area is designated, unlike most prizes and challenges, and proposals from all sectors and anywhere in the world are encouraged. To date, 100&Change has leveraged an additional $511 million in funding, spurring the philanthropic sector to rethink its approach to achieving impact at scale.

“When we launched 100&Change, we set out to do something groundbreaking to challenge ourselves and the philanthropic sector,” said MacArthur President John Palfrey. “We believed $100 million would inspire communities around the world to dream big. We wanted to hear how they would solve a critical problem of our time. Seven years later, we continue to be moved and motivated by the public response to our call. As we begin this third round of the competition, we are excited to see where the next group of applicants will lead us and how they will bring about change in a lasting and meaningful way.”

In the inaugural round of 100&Change, Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee were awarded $100 million to educate young children displaced by conflict and persecution in the Syrian response region. Together, they created a program called Ahlan Simsim, the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response. This transformational program combines on-the-ground services for families in crisis with engaging educational media. So far, nine seasons of the television show Ahlan Simsim have reached over 27 million children across the Middle East and North Africa.

In 2021, in the second round of 100&Change, MacArthur awarded a $100 million grant to Community Solutions to accelerate an end to homelessness in 75 U.S. communities in five years. Through “Built for Zero,” Community Solutions supports 105 communities working to make homelessness rare and brief. So far, sixty-four Built for Zero communities have achieved quality data enabling communities to understand who is experiencing homelessness and what strategies and investments result in reductions in homelessness. Furthermore, improved coordination repurposed existing properties, and social impact finance can increase access to affordable housing. By 2026, the aim is to have helped cities and counties of all types solve homelessness, forging a new reality where ending homelessness is expected, not exceptional.

In 2024, MacArthur is partnering with its nonprofit affiliate, Lever for Change, to manage 100&Change. Lever for Change, which was born of the success of the inaugural competition, leverages its networks to find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of economic opportunity, and climate change.

“When we launched the first round of 100&Change, we hoped to inspire and encourage philanthropists to support solutions at scale,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “As a result of the competition’s success, we created Lever for Change to replicate the competition model for other funders and, in just five years, we have influenced more than $2.2 billion in funding and supported over 175 outstanding organizations. Our progress has been remarkable since MacArthur’s initial innovative call to action, yet we recognize that we can and must do more to make an impact on the issues facing communities around the world today. Our goal is to find as many additional partners as possible to fund the top-ranked teams from this next round of 100&Change, and bring about real and measurable progress around the world.”

The openness and transparency of the 100&Change application process are distinctive. Applicants know exactly what they are being scored on, and every applicant receives meaningful feedback on their proposal from both peers and a panel of "Wise Heads." The process also provides valuable public exposure to applicants.

100&Change seeks proposals that articulate both a problem and its solution. Competitive proposals will address a significant problem and provide a solution that is impactful, evidence-based, feasible, durable, and just.

An organizational readiness tool is available to help organizations determine whether they are ready to compete in 100&Change. This tool was designed to help potential applicants understand characteristics of the most competitive organizations and proposals, and to determine how well-suited they are for 100&Change.

Interested organizations must register to apply before 5 p.m. U.S. Central Time on Thursday, August 15, 2024. Complete applications are due before 5 p.m. U.S. Central Time on Thursday, September 5, 2024.

More information on 100&Change can be found at


MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including advancing global climate solutions, decreasing nuclear risk, promoting local justice reform in the U.S., revitalizing local news, and reducing corruption in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and the global 100&Change competition, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsive democracy as well as the vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.

Lever for Change

Lever for Change connects donors with bold solutions to the world’s biggest problems—including issues like racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. Using an inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change. Founded in 2019 as a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has influenced over $2.2 billion in grants to date and provided support to more than 175 organizations. To learn more, visit

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