A competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time.

Our Strategy

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, we can address problems and support solutions that are radically different in scale, scope, and complexity. $100 million is a large enough sum to focus on a serious problem and its solution in a meaningful and lasting way. We hope that 100&Change can inspire a conversation about solutions and about how we can solve some of our most significant problems.

The openness of 100&Change is a counterbalance to the Foundation’s Big Bets, which strive for transformational impact in areas identified by the Foundation’s Board and Staff. We recognize that we do not know it all and designed 100&Change to be agnostic with respect to the field or problem area.

We seek 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, and durable

Selection Criteria

We designed a selection process that is fair, open, and transparent. Once the application period closes, MacArthur Staff will work to review each 100&Change submission to ensure it meets the requirements and rules before advancing to the next stage. During the peer-to-peer review process, applicants within the same domain will score and provide feedback on each other’s proposals using our established criteria. Our “wise head” panel of external judges will then review and score submissions using the same criteria and trait scoring rubric. Based on those reviews, top-scoring applicants will receive domain-specific technical reviews in which proposals will be assigned to a technical reviewer with expertise in the field of the proposed project. We will seek to generate increased recognition and support for high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100 by featuring them in our online database of the strongest proposals. MacArthur's Board of Directors will then select up to ten finalists. Over the next several months, the finalists will work with an expert team to strengthen their proposals, present a preliminary plan for monitoring and evaluation, and learning, and show authentic engagement with communities of interest before submitting revised project plans.

The selection of the final award recipient rests with MacArthur’s Board.

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Evaluation for Learning

MacArthur contracted with Abt Associates to conduct an evaluation of the application and selection processes of the inaugural 100&Change competition. The evaluation was designed to identify areas that worked well and should be preserved for future rounds of the competition and those that could be improved. Data collection included interviews and focus groups with a range of 100&Change stakeholders to understand their unique experiences and perspectives. View the 100&Change learning and evaluation report.

Abt’s work focused solely on the selection process for the inaugural $100 million grantee, not on the outcomes of the inaugural award to Sesame Workshop. Sesame Workshop is committed to a rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and learning process and will work in close collaboration with New York University to implement these plans. We plan to publish yearly updates on the Sesame’s progress and impact. Abt will continue to work with MacArthur as it selects the 2021 grant recipient.

The selection of the final award recipient rests with MacArthur’s Board.

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Additional Resources

Community Solutions Awarded $100 Million to End Homelessness
April 2021

Finalist Named in Competition for $100 Million Grant
July 2020

Announcing the Top 100 Proposals for $100 Million Grant
February 2020

New 100&Change Competition Launches
February 2019

Sesame Workshop & International Rescue Committee Awarded $100 Million for Early Childhood Education of Syrian Refugees
December 2017

Members of the media seeking comment or to interview a 100&Change finalist, award recipient, or staff person should call MacArthur Communications at 312.516.1547 or email Ambar Mentor-Truppa.