FAQs

What is The Audacious Project?

The Audacious Project is an initiative that shows what humanity can accomplish when bold ideas meet visionary, generous supporters. Now in its second year, The Audacious Project invites visionary social entrepreneurs and nonprofits to dream big — and helps to shape those dreams into multi-year plans that are both viable and sustainable. The project then invites its coalition of partners — which includes leading nonprofits and individual donors, along with the public — to pool their resources and work together in service of these ambitious ideas. The goal is to amplify the impact of the world’s change-makers and change-funders, and move forward ideas with the potential to impact lives at thrilling scale.

The Audacious Project is housed at TED, the nonprofit dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It operates with support from The Bridgespan Group, a leading global social impact advisory firm. Additionally, a remarkable group of organizations and individuals have joined with us to make this possible. Please see a full list on our About page.

How does The Audacious Project differ from existing philanthropic endeavors?

The Audacious Project attempts to address a major frustration faced by the world’s change-makers. Without access to venture capital or stock markets, social entrepreneurs have to pitch donors one-by-one, a very inefficient process that can detract from the work itself. The Audacious Project invites change-makers to dream bigger and bolder, and works with them to shape their wildest ideas into viable multi-year plans that are ready for action. The Audacious Project presents these ideas to groups of donors and shares them at the annual TED Conference, inspiring supporters to come together and make them a reality. By removing the barriers associated with funding and exposure, The Audacious Project lets social entrepreneurs take on the world’s biggest and most urgent challenges in the way only they know how.

Who can apply?

Individuals, ages 18 and up, may apply on behalf of themselves, a nonprofit, NGO, institution or collaboration between multiple entities. Before applying, we encourage you to read the criteria found on our Apply page.



How do I apply?

If your organization meets the criteria and you believe you have an idea that’s a fit for The Audacious Project, we encourage you to complete the ideas survey.

What are the timelines for submissions?

The deadline for ideas survey submissions to be considered for our current application cycle is February 18, 2022. Surveys received after the deadline will be considered in future application cycles.

Please note: given the volume of submissions, we will not be able to respond individually or schedule follow-up calls or meetings to discuss surveys. If we have questions we will reach out to the email you included in your submission.

Can I nominate someone else?

We only accept applications from the organizations and individuals to whom the bold idea belongs. However, you are welcome to send us your suggestions via email to audacious@ted.com, or to steer your nominee to our Apply page.



How many ideas does The Audacious Project support a year?

There’s no set number of ideas that The Audacious Project supports. In 2020 we supported eight ideas

Are there specific issue areas The Audacious Project focuses on?

The big ideas that are part of The Audacious Project vary widely — from global health to ocean exploration to social justice to education. We are currently considering all issue areas, and welcome your thoughts on the pressing problems we should be addressing.

How is The Audacious Project related to the TED Prize?

For 12 years, TED turned big ideas into action through the TED Prize, providing visionary leaders with up to $1 million and a wide range of resources from the TED community to help them turn their bold wishes into reality. However, in order to have greater global impact, TED realized it needed to work alongside partners. So while The Audacious Project has replaced the TED Prize, it as a significant ramp-up of the Prize’s mission. It’s a bigger bet on the power of ideas and the entrepreneurs that champion them.

How can I support an Audacious idea?

There are multiple ways to support an idea that intrigues you. You can join our support community by signing up for updates — you’ll receive a regular newsletter that includes action steps you can take to advance the mission.

It might sound small, but sharing the idea is actually an incredibly powerful thing to do. Tell your friends, family and colleagues why this issue matters to you, and the potential you see in this solution. On each grantee's page, you’ll see social media sharing icons. Use them and power the idea forward.

How can I follow the progress of these projects?

By signing up for updates via our newsletter or following us on Twitter. But if a project intrigues you, we also recommend following the organization on social media.

What kind of ideas will be considered for The Audacious Project?

The Audacious Project looks for timely ideas that are that magic combination of deeply inspiring and convincingly credible. That means ensuring your idea balances the ability to change the way people look at an issue, with a deliverable plan that will make that vision come to life. The emotional appeal and personal connection should be met with a logical approach and a track record of your teams' relevant successes. For a complete list of our criteria, visit our Apply page.

Can two or more organizations collaborate on a single idea?

Yes, absolutely — one of our most powerful ideas in 2018 came from two separate, yet mutually supportive organizations: Last Mile Health and Living Goods. We encourage teaming up with like-minded organizations for increased impact.

Will I be able to make adjustments to the survey after I have submitted it?

At this time, our system does not allow for changes. Please review your form before clicking the submit button.

In which languages do you accept ideas?

Applications may be completed in any language for which online translations are easily accessible. However, should the idea advance, conversations with project leaders will need to be conducted in English. Additionally, the TED Talks delivered by grantees will also need to be given in English.

Is there a budget range that Audacious ideas need to fall within? Are there any restrictions?

There are no restrictions on the project funding requests. Funding varies widely, depending on the needs, requirements and possibility of each project. Each budget must be realistic and align with the project activities and proposed timeline.

Who are the funders?

Financial commitments come from both the public and a pool of well-resourced donors. A list of our philanthropic partners who have provided resources, can be found on our About page.

Does TED provide funding for the projects?

While The Audacious Project is housed at TED, TED itself does not provide funding for grantees. TED’s role is one of curation, ideation and community development.

When should I expect to hear back about my survey submission? 

We will review submissions on a rolling basis and may contact a small number of survey responders to submit an application. Please note that given the volume of submissions, we are unable to respond individually, schedule follow-up calls or offer feedback.

I have a question that wasn’t addressed here. What should I do?

Send an email to audacious@ted.com! We are happy to answer your questions.

Let’s change the way we change the world