Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change, shares MacArthur’s thinking on adapting the 100&Change competition to the changing circumstances caused by the pandemic.
The world as we know it has changed.
The escalating measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted the operations, work, programs, and ability of many nonprofits to deliver services when people need them most.
We acknowledge and recognize that many of the 100&Change Top 100, the highest-scoring competition applicants, are responding to their beneficiaries, partners, and the populations they support. We want to be responsive to them at this critical moment in time.
In light of the rapidly evolving circumstances we all face, MacArthur is extending the 100&Change competition timeline.
We are offering the Top 100 an opportunity to pause. In this quickly changing environment, we invite them to take a step back from the urgent demands of the day and share with us their early stage thinking about the potential impact of COVID-19 on their 100&Change project.
We understand the situation is dynamic. All of the teams that are chosen as finalists will have ample time to adapt their project to respond to changing needs. During the Project Development phase of the competition, we will work with teams to strengthen their proposals—providing training, technical assistance, and consulting to support fundraising, scaling efforts, and improve inclusivity.
All we are looking for now is a snapshot of their thinking, given what we know today. We hope to learn how the pandemic has impacted the operations of the organizations and how they might change their proposal as a result. We are also asking teams to review the Barrier Assessment/Risk Mitigation response they provided in their original proposal and to update it, if needed.
Like everyone, we are grappling with the uncertainties of a post-pandemic world. We recognize that the critical social challenges that the Top 100 proposals address existed long before the pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak has accentuated the extraordinary inequality that exists in the world and that will be with us after the pandemic subsides.
As we evaluate 100&Change proposals, we want to be forward looking, and we need the help of nonprofits and social enterprises engaged in the work, because they know their needs best. MacArthur remains committed to supporting organizations that help solve society’s most pressing problems, because we believe it can be done.