Enduring Commitments

Engaging in long-standing, deep, and unwavering areas of work.

Guiding Questions

The following guiding questions help us define what work qualifies as an Enduring Commitment.

Mission and Values

Does this issue or topic reflect the core values of the MacArthur Foundation? Why is philanthropic support important in this space? Is there an opportunity to contribute to change or improvement? Does it have truly significant implications for people and society?


Does the MacArthur Foundation have unique nontransferable assets that can be used or leveraged to generate changes or improvement in this particular space? Does the issue or topic area capitalize on Foundation knowledge, experience, expertise, or standing? Does achieving results require a more open-ended engagement in this space rather than a time-limited intervention?


What is our goal? What are the factors, trends or conditions that increase confidence that a strategy or strategies can be implemented and we can achieve our goal?


Will; time; commitment; leadership; collective action; evidence; changes in behavior, policy, or practice; other?


What must be known before proceeding? What will need to be known over time to ensure achievement of the goal?


What action, approach, or strategy for MacArthur is proposed? What will it take? Why is it feasible? What is the degree of possibility? Does it reflect ambition? Does it reflect independent thinking or willingness to take a contrarian view? Does it fill a gap? Does it leverage others’ actions or resources? Is it likely to achieve important outcomes and contribute to impact? Is it intended to achieve the goal or make substantial, but essential, progress toward it? What would success look like?

We considered a series of guiding questions as we were Thinking about Enduring Commitments.