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Economic Opportunity Challenge

Competition for USA Nonprofits to Promote
Economic Growth for Individuals with Low-Income

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Lever for Change

Deadline Date:

02/18/20 5:00 PM Pacific


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Opportunity for USA and territories nonprofit organizations to participate in a competition for proposals that promote economic growth for individuals and families with low-income. Registration is required prior to applying. The competition is intended to fund the most transformative evidence-based solution to address barriers to improved economic opportunity, security, and/or mobility for individuals residing in the United States.

The Economic Opportunity Challenge aims to build a more vibrant economic ecosystem by scaling an impactful, evidence-based solution that sustainably creates economic opportunity for low-income families.

The Funding Source seeks for proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for implementation across the country. Up to five Finalists will be named, one of which will receive a $10 million grant and remaining Finalists will each receive a $100,000 grant. Winning solutions will utilize a powerful strategy to change lives and permanently remove key barriers to economic opportunity. Teams will demonstrate that they have the track record, experience, relationships, and resources to create lasting change, using an evidence-based approach that shows promise for delivering significant impact at a larger scale. Applications will be scored based on the following four criteria:

  • Magnitude of Impact
  • Strength of Evidence
  • Likelihood of Success
  • Potential for Scale

Lever for Change is prioritizing evidence-based solutions delivered by highly qualified teams. Winning solutions should incorporate one of the following methods of evaluation:

  • There has been an external assessment of impact (e.g., randomized controlled trials; quasi-experimental design; contribution analysis; collective impact).
  • There has been at least one external evaluation of outcomes.
  • Your team (or others) has conducted internal evaluations or outcome assessments.
  • Your team formally collects and documents qualitative and/or quantitative feedback to assess progress.

Successful proposals will be in one of the following project stages:

  • Operating at Scale: Team has evidence its strategy achieves impact and is delivering the solution at scale.
  • Scaling: Team has evidence of impact and is expanding/adapting the strategy to a greater number of target beneficiaries, potentially in new geographies, but has yet to achieve large-scale implementation.
  • Proof of Concept: Team has been implementing the strategy for a small number of target beneficiaries and has plans to scale.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187338

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

One $10 million grant will be awarded to implement the proposed solution and the remaining Finalists will each receive $100,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Only 501(c)(3) organizations based in the United States or its territories with operating budgets of at least $1 million may apply. Use the Organizational Readiness Tool to find out if you’re a good fit for the Challenge.
- Lead organizations are welcome to partner with for-profit companies, foundations, schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, individuals, and other entities in order to implement the initiative.

The following persons and organizations are not eligible to apply for the Economic Opportunity Challenge:
- Organizations with budgets of less than $1 million;
- Individuals;
- For-profit entities;
- Government agencies; Doctoral Universities, Master’s Colleges and Universities, and Baccalaureate Colleges (please note: public community colleges ARE eligible to apply);
- Organizations that are not based in the United States or the United States Territories.
Such ineligible persons or entities may, however, act as a partner to any team that is led by a Primary Organization that meets the above eligibility criteria.

Employees of the Competition Sponsor, Lever for Change, RAMPIT, The Common Pool, LLC, and any of their subsidiaries and affiliates, and immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such employees, are not eligible.

For a complete set of eligibility requirements, refer to the Rules page.

Award funds must be used for the project for which they are awarded, and may not be used:
- For non-charitable purposes;
- To carry on propaganda or otherwise to attempt to influence legislation within the meaning of Code Section 4945(d)(1);
- To influence the outcome of any specific public election, or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive within the meaning of Code Section 4945(d)(2);
- To make a grant to any individual for travel, study, or other similar purposes, or to make a grant to any organization, except in compliance with the provisions of Sections 4945(g) or (h), as the case may be;
- For the creation of any endowment or for the aggregation of philanthropic capital by organizations that regrant to nonprofit organizations.

Advocacy cannot be the primary purpose of the project, but a modest percentage of the project budget - up to 20% - may be allocated to advocacy work.

Applicants may have overhead costs that are not directly attributable to the proposed project but are necessary for implementation. The Funding Source will consider paying for these indirect costs up to a maximum of 25% of direct project or activity costs within the $10 million award limit. Please ensure that any indirect costs are accounted for in your budget in the application. Please also note that as requested in the Budget Narrative section of the application, explain what portion of the budget, if any, is expected to be spent on capacity building to ensure effective execution on the project, as well as what portion of the budget is expected to be spent on measurement and evaluation of results.

Pre-Application Information:

How to Participate:
- Step 1: October 2019 - January 2020: Launch and Assessment
Before registering, complete an Organizational Readiness Tool to determine eligibility.
- Step 2: October 2019 - January 2020: Registration
After assessing your fit through the Organizational Readiness Tool, registration is required for the Economic Opportunity Challenge by Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 5:00 PM Pacific.
- Step 3: October 2019 - February 2020: Application
Once you have registered for the Economic Opportunity Challenge, complete and submit your application no later than Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 5:00 PM Pacific.
- Step 4: February 2020 - March 2020: Administrative Review
- Step 5: March 2020 - April 2020: Feedback
- Step 6: April 2020 - June 2020: Selection of Finalists
- Step 7: June 2020 - October 2020: Proposal Strengthening
- Step 8: November 2020: Grant Award

For Frequently Asked Questions, see URL for Full Text below.
For Organizational Readiness Tool, see:
For Rules, see:
For Scoring Rubric, see:
For Application Information, see:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To Register:

For questions, contact:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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