Andrew Solomon, Managing Director, Communications

In any competition, disappointment is unavoidable. Last month we announced eight semi-finalists, leaving unhappy people who submitted interesting proposals and invested their time and hard work to share those ideas with us.

The 100&Change competition drew robust participation: 7,069 competition registrants submitted 1,904 proposals. Of those, 801 passed an initial administrative review and were evaluated by a panel of expert judges. So, what happens to all those great proposals we received that are no longer in the running for a $100 million grant?

In some ways, every applicant benefits.

All applicants whose proposals were evaluated have received comments and feedback from judges. That feedback might help strengthen the proposals for future funding requests or even the next cycle of 100&Change. (We intend to repeat this competition every three years.) We have heard from some applicants that are already putting that feedback to good use.

Here is one such response from DCPNI, which submitted a proposal to create “Promise Greenhouses” in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty in Washington, DC that would connect community organizations with public and private sector partners to address the multiple drivers of poverty.

In a future post, we intend to highlight responses from other applicants that are using the feedback to refine their proposals, potentially proceeding to implement their projects even without our funding. If this is you, please share your story with us. We want to hear whether and how this feedback is being used.

We will soon feature on the 100&Change competition website the 200 proposals that received the judge’s highest scores. Our hope is that receiving this public distinction will help support the efforts of those organizations to seek attention and funding elsewhere. A public, searchable database of all the proposals will also be posted online later this year. That exposure could also lead to other funding opportunities. Finally, our staff is helping to actively market the proposals, drawing on existing and new relationships to connect good ideas with funders who might have an interest in supporting them.

So even if an applicant does not win our $100 million grant, there are other ways in which participation in 100&Change helps all applicants.

This post was first published on the MacArthur Foundation website.

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