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.
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).
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.
“Big bets in philanthropy make the difference because, for years, philanthropists were investing in some projects here, some ideas there. Now, what we have is a situation where the problems are getting bigger, and at the same time, the philanthropy is getting bigger too.”
Monica Araya, Drive Electric
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.
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.
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.