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June 08, 2016

MacArthur's $100 Million Competition Won't Be a One-Off

Fast Company looks under the hood of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation contest announced last week that will bestow a $100 million prize on a nonprofit or business that solves a significant problem facing the world. The competition helps the grant maker cover “institutional blindspots” and is not expected to be a one-off, according to an article in the magazine's online Co.Exist section on ideas and impact.

The foundation currently focuses on criminal justice, nuclear security, climate change, and social-service organizations. But 100&Change — with its intentionally open guidelines for applicants to address "a critical problem affecting people, places, or the planet” — may help the $6.5-billion grant maker delve into new areas, Co.Exist writes, adding that MacArthur plans to restage the competition every three years.

"We wanted to use this as an example that we don’t know everything," said Cecilia Conrad, the managing director of the competition. "While we are narrowing our focus in some ways, we also want to be open to what ideas we might work on."

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the 100&Change competition.