Grantmaking Innovation: Using a Competition Model to Fund Bold Ideas

Prizes, challenges, and competitions can bring new awareness to critical issues, help grantmakers reach beyond their existing networks, and connect participants with new resources. But they are not easy to do well.

Join the Council for a discussion between two grantmakers who’ve deployed a model based on compassionate competition. Learn more about the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change, a competition for a single $100 million grant to solve a critical problem of our time, and what is involved in making such a significant grant. Then, hear about the Compassionate Shark Tank from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, which believes that ideas get better when they are presented to a diverse group of funders, leaders, and citizens. They have successfully used a competition model on a smaller scale that is achievable for foundations of any size or type. Consider examples from the two foundations of how to support other submissions and take the opportunity to ask questions about criteria, impact, and scalability.

Talia Rivera, Director, Private Philanthropy, Council on Foundations

Cecilia Conrad, Managing Director, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Sarah Owen, President & CEO, Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Ashley Skalecki, Regional Initiatives & Partnerships Coordinator, Southwest Florida Community Foundation