What We Fund
We aim to be transparent about how we operate. Therefore, we feel it is important to be clear to grantseekers that most of MacArthur's grantmaking is dedicated to furthering strategies with specific program goals. Therefore, we generally do not fund unsolicited proposals.
Although very few are selected for funding, we review unsolicited proposals that meet our guidelines. Before submitting a proposal, we recommend that you carefully read our grant guidelines, which help applicants determine whether their idea for a grant fits a particular grantmaking strategy.
From time to time, we may announce an open call for proposals to advance specific program goals. In such instances, information will be available on our website.
100&Change, our competition for a single $100 million grant, is open to any proposed solution to any critical problem of our time. Nonprofit and qualifying for-profit organizations may apply. We will announce the next round of the competition during 2018.
Please note that the MacArthur Fellows Program, which awards unrestricted grants to exceptionally creative individuals, does not accept applications or public nominations.
What We Do Not Fund
The Foundation does not provide funding for the following:
- Scholarships or tuition assistance for undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate studies;
- Grants to individuals, except for the MacArthur Fellows Program, which is not open to applications or public nominations;
- Annual fundraising drives;
- Paid advertisements; or
- Political activities or attempts to influence action on specific legislation.
What does MacArthur support?
MacArthur supports people and organizations working to address a variety of complex societal challenges. Our grants are generally long-term, strategic investments, focused on building evidence about what works and finding solutions to often intractable problems.
While some foundations work on a small number of issues, MacArthur is a multi-purpose, international foundation with grantmaking in multiple fields that are often inter-related.
MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world's most pressing social challenges, including justice reform, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program and 100&Changecompetition , the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; and to the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.
How do I know whether my project qualifies for a grant?
We generally do not fund unsolicited proposals; however, we do review them. If you are considering submitting a proposal, we recommend that you first carefully read our grant guidelines, which help applicants determine whether their idea for a grant fits one of our grantmaking strategies.
Do you make grants to individuals?
We do not currently make grants to individuals outside of the MacArthur Fellows Program, which does not accept applications or public nominations.
Does the Foundation provide funding for educational expenses?
No. We do not provide funding for tuition or scholarships to cover educational expenses.
When can I expect a response from the Foundation?
The length of the review period for a proposal or letter of inquiry can vary depending on the nature of the project. You can expect a response to most letters of inquiry within 30 Days.
Updated November 2017