Funding Insights

McArthur Grant 2024 – Everything you Need to Know.

Explore how McArthur grants, provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, are transforming non-profit initiatives across 117 countries. Discover how these impactful investments, totaling $260 million annually from a $7.6 billion endowment, drive positive change and innovation in various sectors globally.

McArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a private organization headquartered in Chicago, supports non-profit initiatives in roughly 117 countries worldwide through grants and impact investments. With an endowment of $7.6 billion, it disburses approximately $260 million annually. As of 2014, it ranked as the 12th-largest private foundation in the United States, having awarded over US$7.92 billion since its inception in 1978.

The MacArthur Foundation is dedicated to supporting initiatives that aim to create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Its grant-making priorities encompass various areas, including climate change mitigation, criminal justice reform, nuclear threat reduction, nonprofit journalism support, and addressing local needs in Chicago. In 2019, the foundation increased its development financing by 27% to reach US$109 million, according to the OECD. Notably, the MacArthur Fellows Program, known as “genius grants,” awards $800,000 grants annually to approximately two dozen creative individuals across diverse fields, recognizing their exceptional originality and commitment. Additionally, the foundation hosts the 100&Change competition, awarding a $100 million grant every three years to a single proposal aiming to catalyze significant social change.

McArthur Grant
McArthur Grant

McArthur Fellowship

The MacArthur Fellowship, established by the MacArthur Foundation in 1981, typically honors 20 to 30 individuals residing in the United States from any field and age group who demonstrate outstanding merit and potential for further creative contributions. Unlike a recognition of past achievements, the fellowship represents an investment in an individual’s ingenuity and future endeavors. Recipients, as of 2015, are awarded $625,000 distributed over five years in quarterly installments.

In 2017, the Chicago Foundation for Women was among the nonprofit organizations granted a US$1 million fund over four years. The fellowship does not accept direct applications, and candidates remain unaware of their consideration. Nominators, operating confidentially and anonymously for a limited duration, propose potential fellows, who are evaluated by a selection committee also serving confidentially and anonymously. Ultimately, the selection committee forwards recommendations to the foundation’s board of directors for final approval.

Funding and Projects

Stalker Human Rights Film Festival

Between 2005 and 2014, the foundation granted approximately $850,000 in six distinct awards to the Russian Guild of Film Directors to bolster the Stalker Human Rights Film Festival held in Moscow.


In June 2016, the foundation called for “proposals offering tangible advancements in addressing a pressing global challenge across any domain or region.” The selected proposal would be awarded a $100 million grant. Nearly 2,000 proposals were submitted in response. In December 2017, the foundation revealed that the winning proposal, submitted by the Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee, aimed to improve the education of Middle Eastern refugee children. The $100 million grant was allocated to this initiative.

The Just Home Project

In May 2022, The MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the Urban Institute, unveiled the commencement of a housing stability initiative aimed at severing the ties between housing insecurity and incarceration rates. Dubbed the Just Home Project, this program will allocate $5 million in grant funding to communities in Charleston County, South Carolina; Minnehaha County, South Dakota; San Francisco, California; and Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

The objective is to facilitate the development of innovative strategies by bringing together governmental officials, non-profit partners, and affected community members. MacArthur has committed $3.2 million to support the selected communities’ efforts, with an additional $1.8 million allocated to the Urban Institute for technical assistance.

McArthur Grant
McArthur Grant

SEE ALSO: Mississippi First Time Home Buyer Grant 2024.

Other funding areas and project ideas aligned with the MacArthur Foundation’s mission and priorities include:

1. Climate Change Mitigation:

Funding research and initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting renewable energy sources, and fostering climate resilience in vulnerable communities.

2. Criminal Justice Reform:

Supporting programs that advocate for alternatives to incarceration, address systemic inequalities within the criminal justice system, and provide rehabilitation and reintegration services for individuals impacted by incarceration.

3. Nuclear Threat Reduction:

Investing in efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, promote disarmament, and enhance global security through diplomatic negotiations and arms control agreements.

4. Nonprofit Journalism:

Providing grants to independent media organizations that produce investigative journalism, promote transparency, and hold power to account.

5. Community Development:

Supporting community-led projects that address local needs, such as affordable housing, economic development, access to education and healthcare, and environmental conservation.

6. Arts and Culture:

Funding initiatives that support artistic innovation, cultural exchange, and creative expression across various disciplines, including visual arts, performing arts, literature, and film.

7. Technology and Social Innovation:

Investing in technology-driven solutions that address social challenges, promote civic engagement, and empower marginalized communities.

8. Global Health:

Supporting initiatives focused on improving healthcare access, disease prevention, and health equity in underserved regions around the world.

9. Education:

Funding programs that advance educational equity promote innovative teaching methods and enhance access to quality education for all learners, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

10. Human Rights and Social Justice:

Supporting organizations and initiatives that advocate for human rights, promote social justice, and empower marginalized groups, including women, LGBTQ+ individuals, refugees, and indigenous communities.

McArthur Grant
McArthur Grant

Conclusion on McArthur Grants

In conclusion, MacArthur grants serve as a vital mechanism for driving positive change and innovation across various sectors globally. With a commitment to supporting creative individuals, effective institutions, and influential networks, the MacArthur Foundation’s grants address pressing societal challenges such as climate change, criminal justice reform, nuclear threats, and education equity.

Through initiatives like the MacArthur Fellows Program, the foundation recognizes and empowers exceptional individuals who demonstrate extraordinary originality and dedication in their respective fields. Additionally, major initiatives like the 100&Change competition showcase the foundation’s bold approach to catalyzing significant social impact through substantial financial support. Overall, MacArthur’s grants play a crucial role in fostering a more just, verdant, and peaceful world for present and future generations.

Frequently asked questions

What types of projects does the MacArthur Foundation typically fund?

The MacArthur Foundation funds a wide range of projects across various fields, including but not limited to climate change mitigation, criminal justice reform, nuclear threat reduction, nonprofit journalism, community development, arts and culture, technology and social innovation, global health, education, and human rights.

How can I apply for a MacArthur grant?

The MacArthur Foundation does not accept direct applications for grants. Instead, potential grantees are typically nominated by confidential nominators who identify individuals or organizations with exceptional potential to make significant contributions in their respective fields.

What is the MacArthur Fellows Program?

The MacArthur Fellows Program, also known as the “genius grants,” awards unrestricted grants to exceptional individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits. Recipients, known as MacArthur Fellows, receive financial support to pursue their work without restrictions.

What is the 100&Change competition?

The 100&Change competition is a MacArthur Foundation initiative that awards a $100 million grant to a single proposal addressing a critical social challenge. Organizations from around the world submit proposals outlining innovative solutions to pressing global issues, and the winning proposal receives substantial funding to implement their idea.

What are some recent examples of MacArthur-funded projects?

Recent examples of MacArthur-funded projects include initiatives to address climate change, reform the criminal justice system, promote nuclear disarmament, support nonprofit journalism, improve educational equity, and advance human rights and social justice around the world. Specific projects may vary depending on the foundation’s current priorities and areas of focus.


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