Lever for Change was born of the success of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change challenge, which awarded its first $100 million grant in 2017 and leveraged an additional $432 million in funding, thus spurring the philanthropic sector to rethink its approach to achieving impact at scale.
In 2019, Lever for Change became a nonprofit affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation with the goal of driving $1 billion in philanthropic funding to bold solutions by 2023. To date, the team has influenced over $1 billion in awards and provided support to more than 145 organizations.
Lever for Change is dedicated to tackling the world’s biggest problems—including racial inequity, gender inequality, lack of access to economic opportunity, and climate change. By matching donors with problem solvers — through customized challenges and tailored funding opportunities — Lever for Change helps to find and fund bold, effective solutions to accelerate social change.
Why Lever for Change is Needed
The median philanthropic grant made by America’s large foundations is $50,000 and lasts about 18 months. Such small-scale philanthropy constrains effective leaders, forcing them to keep their ambitions and programs modest. Lever for Change is designed to catalyze philanthropy at scale.
The organization’s model is also designed to remove barriers that lead to inequity in philanthropy. Lever for Change encourages donors to broaden access to funding by shifting away from an invitation-only approach and using an open-call model to source potential problem solvers instead.
Using this inclusive, equitable model and due diligence process, Lever for Change creates customized challenges and other tailored funding opportunities. Top-ranked teams and challenge finalists become members of the Bold Solutions Network—a growing global network that helps secure additional funding, amplify members’ impact, and accelerate social change.
So far, Lever for Change has influenced over $1 billion in grants to bold solutions and provided support to more than 145 outstanding organizations.