MacArthur honored the nine inaugural winners of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions at a ceremony in Chicago. Representatives of the nine winning groups gathered for a two-day symposium to share ideas, strategies and experiences with each other and representatives of the regional non-profit community. The event culminated in the award ceremony on Thursday night. These awards expand on the MacArthur Foundation’s tradition of encouraging individual creativity and building effective institutions to help address some of the world’s most challenging problems.
The non-profit organizations honored have diverse missions – from finding permanent jobs for ex-offenders in Chicago to promoting police reform in Nigeria to saving the lives of mothers and their babies in India. Still, they have much in common. All are highly creative and effective organizations that have demonstrated significant impact in their fields.
“The MacArthur Foundation created this award because we wanted to make a strong statement that institutions of civil society matter deeply,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. “The 21st century will be viewed as a tipping point when a new balance between nation states and global citizenship was struck. These nine extraordinary organizations empower ordinary people to shape their own destinies. In honoring them, we pay tribute to creative organizations everywhere working toward the highest aspirations of human dignity, security, and opportunity.”
Each organization will receive up to $500,000, a large sum given their operating budgets of under $2.5 million. The nine winning groups, which were announced in late August, are –
In making these new awards, the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; have budgets of less than $2.5 million a year; show strong leadership and stable financial management; and have previously received MacArthur Foundation support.