Lever for Change, a Chicago-based nonprofit, has just hit a major milestone, reaching its goal of facilitating $1 billion in philanthropic grants by 2023, ahead of schedule. The money was awarded by donors to support and develop organizations solving some of the world’s biggest problems.
Efforts include helping 10 million Texans gain access to mental health care, supplying 26,000 pounds of food yearly to West and South side Chicago neighborhoods, supporting 13,000+ diverse adult job seekers interested in tech careers in U.S. urban communities, helping 20,640 new entrepreneurs in Uganda and Ethiopia establish businesses, advancing racial equity worldwide, providing support to 1 million refugees in 10 different countries, and much, much more.
Since inception, Lever for Change has developed and managed customized challenges on behalf of a variety of funders and their advisors—from high-profile donors including Pivotal Ventures (Melinda French Gates’ investment and incubation company) to institutional funders like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, corporate funders such as the LEGO Foundation, as well as philanthropic advisors, and new and anonymous donors.
An affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Lever for Change has driven this $1 billion in funding with a new model of philanthropy aimed at shaking up the world of grant giving with large-scale, customized challenges to find and fund bold solutions from a wide array of creative thinkers—many of whom have been historically marginalized or underrepresented. Lever for Change connects ultra-high-net-worth donors and institutions with these creative thinkers, facilitating large-scale grants far bigger than what’s typical in the world of philanthropy.