The way Cecilia Conrad of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation tells it, there are many philanthropists with untold wealth on the sidelines while worthy charitable organizations striving for social change go unnoticed or under-resourced.
Most people know the MacArthur Foundation for its support of PBS television programming, but a host of other MacArthur programs also do social good.
Conrad is the managing director for MacArthur as well as 100&Change, the foundation’s competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve a pressing social issue now launching its second instalment. She’s also CEO of Lever For Change, a non-profit that helps philanthropists identify and support high-impact philanthropic opportunities with bespoke competitions. Conrad also oversees the MacArthur Fellows Program and its "genius grants," which award individuals with no strings-attached grants to pursue creative excellence.
The first 100&Change competition winner to receive $100 million in December 2017 was the Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee as they teamed to educate young children displaced by the Syrian conflict in the Middle East.
Samaritanmag talked to Conrad about taking big bets on charitable organizations and matching them with wealthy philanthropists willing to tackle social issues radically different in scale, scope, and complexity — and how to do all that through a rigorous, open and transparent process. -- Continue reading Etan Vlessing's feature on the Samaritanmag website.