Photo of the TED stage


Audacious is learning

By leveraging TED’s core strengths as a Curator, Convener, Storyteller, and Steward, The Audacious Project is catalyzing impact at a grand scale. Here's how we do it.

Read 5 years of Audacious lessons


Since the beginning, Audacious has been issue agnostic. We believe this flexibility allows us to spot compelling projects that defy our expectations for what social impact looks like and where it comes from.

Illustration of a lighthouse
Illustration of spot light

Our approach

In general, we take a “lighthouse” approach to sourcing, seeing what kinds of innovations come in. But increasingly we’re adopting a “searchlight” approach to complement it. We actively seek out social entrepreneurs and projects our usual networks might miss, with an emphasis on pipeline gaps (areas where we’d like more projects), equity gaps (communities we see are missing), and emergent impact (projects tackling tomorrow’s challenges, along with today’s).

The portfolio

Issue Areas

Breakdown of portfolio categories – 12% Breakthrough Science, 12% Social Justice, 19% Social Safety Net, 21% Health for All, 23% Tech for Change, 26% Climate Solutions


Audacious projects can only become reality if they are matched with audacious levels of funding. We are building and nurturing an ever-growing community of like-minded donors who are aligned on 6 core values.


That means big ideas and big gifts in equal measure, but also trust and long-term commitment.


We seek projects that have a credible path to execution. We want to support those who can make a fact-based case for their vision, who have a track record of getting things done, and who have created a believable plan with measurable milestones, even if it means a massive step up from their current operation.


None of us can do this alone. Though we don’t all care about, or are affected by the same issues we do all share a sense of urgency, a desire to work together, and an ambition for philanthropy to achieve more.


We understand that those who are closest to the problem often have the greatest insight about how to solve it. We offer our knowledge and listen with equal enthusiasm.


Like the social entrepreneurs we support, we approach philanthropy with a growth mindset — always looking for opportunities to contribute more humanely and effectively.


We work on tough issues, but we do so with a spirit of fun, good faith, and pragmatic optimism. This is philanthropy as a team effort.

Graph showing amount committed per year in US dollars: 2018 - 583 million; 2019 - 546 million; 2020 - 611 million; 2021 - 919 million
Amount catalyzed in US$
Figures reported *as of December 2022

Money catalyzed over the years

The number of donors in our community continues to grow and so has the audacity of giving, the amount of money catalyzed grew by almost 60% since 2018.


The Audacious Project does not stop at helping leaders communicate their projects to potential donors. Playing to its strengths and roots at TED, The Audacious Project also supports leaders in spreading their ideas to wider audiences too.

Two speakers on the TED stage

Bringing Audacious ideas to the world

Each cohort of The Audacious Project has been launched at the annual TED conference — the reveal of the Audacious cohort is always highly anticipated by the audience with attendees and live stream viewers alike excited to hear the ideas being supported. Some of the ideas are shared in TED Talks, while others are communicated through documentary-style videos and onstage Q&As. Each presentation lets the world in on their vision.

Since 2020 The Audacious Project has collaborated with TED-Ed, TED’s Webby award-winning educational platform, to create animated lessons for the classroom and beyond. From exploring the history of cash bail and the electric car to delving into the depths of the Ocean Twilight Zone these lessons bring the work of Audacious Projects and the issues they’re solving to life in new ways.

Watch the Audacious TED Talks
Graph showing talk views per year: 2018 - 9 million; 2019 - 14 million; 2020 - 13 million; 2021-2022 - 14 million
Talk Views

Talk views

Audacious TED Talks have been viewed 55 million times

TED-ED Lessons co-authored with Audacious Projects have been viewed over 1,3 million times with 25 000 questions answered about the topics.


The Audacious community is built not just to facilitate funding but also to build bridges and promote connections between donors, grantees, and supporters.


Supporting the development of the audacious idea into an investment proposal.


Facilitating the ongoing relationship between donors and grantees.


Supporting ongoing implementation, measurement, evaluation, and learning.

Impact by year

Submit your idea

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