February 25, 2020

Friends of the Children among top 100 proposals for MacArthur $100 million

High-scoring 100&Change applications featured in Bold Solutions Network

Portland, Ore. – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled that Friends of the Children is one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.

Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit that pairs children facing the greatest obstacles with a salaried, professional mentor (called a “Friend”) for 12+ years. They stay with every child from kindergarten through graduation, 12+ years, no matter what. With $100 million, Friends of the Children will significantly scale its proven impact to the highest-opportunity communities around the world. Every $1 invested in Friends returns $7 to the community – the return on investment in this expansion is $700 million.

“We are thrilled to partner with innovative philanthropists who, like Friends of the Children, are committed to leveraging evidence and impact for real change,” said Terri Sorensen, chief executive officer of Friends of the Children. “Every child deserves the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and achieve their goals. We are grateful to the MacArthur Foundation and Bold Solutions Network for this opportunity.”

The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.

“MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”

Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions.

Bold Solutions Network Launches

The Bold Solutions Network launched today, featuring Friends of the Children as one of the Top 100 from 100&Change. The searchable online collection of submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest.

The Bold Solutions Network was designed to provide an innovative approach to identifying the most effective, enduring solutions aligned with donors’ philanthropic goals and to help top applicants gain visibility and funding from a wide array of funders. Organizations that are part of the network will have continued access to a variety of technical support and learning opportunities focused on strengthening their proposals and increasing the impact of their work.

More About 100&Change

100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.

The second round of the competition had a promising start: 3,690 competition registrants submitted 755 proposals. Of those, 475 passed an initial administrative review. 100&Change was designed to be fair, open and transparent. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur's website.