The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today the winners of its annual award for “creative and effective institutions,” a counterpart to the fund’s “genius” prize for individuals.
Fifteen nonprofits received grants ranging from $350,000 to $2.5-million.
The winners—nine from the United States and six from other countries—included organizations dedicated to analyzing Russian politics, pursuing investigative journalism, and supporting laws worldwide that enable civil-society groups to thrive.
As with the “genius” awards, the foundation does not seek or accept nominations. To qualify, groups must have received a previous grant from MacArthur.
Recipients must spend the money on ensuring their long-term success.
The Center for Responsible Lending will use its $2-million award to build an endowment and tackle new areas of consumer finance such as student loans. The Durham, N.C., nonprofit has been a crusader in the fight against predatory lending, helping to advance passage two years ago of a bill that expanded regulation of the financial system.
A Ugandan environmental charity, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society, will use its $350,000 prize to build an environmental training and information center that will serve Central and Eastern Africa.
The Moth—the nonprofit storytelling program that shared Malcolm Gladwell’s tale of a wedding toast gone bad and Ishmael Beah’s recounting of his time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone—will spend its $750,000 prize to expand its radio show and create an archive to share older content.
Other winners of the MacArthur prize are:
- Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a Chicago organization that fights poverty
- Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank that studies Russia
- Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit that produces investigative journalism
- Community Investment Corporation, which assists developers of rental houses in Chicago’s low- and middle-income neighborhoods
- Conservation Strategy Fund, which trains environmental activists in economics and policy analysis
- Crisis Action, an organization with headquarters in London that promotes peace and human rights
- Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, which seeks to improve public policy on housing and economic development
- Girls’ Power Initiative, a Nigerian organization that empowers and educates girls about their reproductive health
- International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, which monitors and seeks to improve the legal environment for nonprofits worldwide
- Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest human-rights advocacy group
- National Juvenile Defender Center, a group dedicated to protecting children’s rights
- Red Nacional de Derechos Humanos “Todos los Derechos para Todos” (Red TDT) (National Human Rights Network “All Rights for All”), which monitors human-rights violations in Mexico