Chicago, Illinois, March 8, 2022 – Today, in honor of International Women’s Day, The Patchwork Collective, ICONIQ Impact, and Lever for Change launched the Maternal & Infant Health Award (“the Award”), a $10 million grant competition to help improve maternal and infant health outcomes around the world.
Mothers play a critical role in the family and society, yet women in low-resource countries and communities often lack access to safe, equitable, and quality maternal and infant healthcare. According to the most recent data, over 800 women die each day from preventable complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. For each of those, an additional 20 to 30 women suffer delivery-related injuries, infections, and disabilities. Meanwhile, millions of children under the age of five die annually—the majority from preventable and treatable causes, such as birth asphyxia, pneumonia, congenital anomalies, diarrhea, and malaria. In 2019, the last year in which figures are available, there were approximately 5.2 million child deaths.
Access to maternal and infant healthcare is often determined by location, socio-economic status, and race. Inadequate maternal healthcare can result in undetected, severe complications for both the mother and child—that are mostly preventable through timely intervention, treatment, and adequate care.
“Many mothers and infants worldwide still have little or no access to fundamental health services,” said the co-founder of The Patchwork Collective. “Though we’ve made some progress, it’s not been nearly enough. Globally, mortality rates remain high, and, in the U.S., maternal and infant health outcomes are marked by stark racial disparities. With this award, we are focused on sourcing and scaling community-led solutions that will drive improvements in maternal and infant health for the most marginalized communities.”
The Maternal & Infant Health Award is the third in a series of grant competitions managed by Lever for Change in collaboration with ICONIQ Impact. The Award follows the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award, a grant competition launched in 2020 to help secure a brighter, more durable future for refugees worldwide, and the Stronger Democracy Award, a grant competition launched in 2021 to help strengthen our democratic institutions, improve political representation, and increase participation in the United States’ democratic process.
Launched in 2019, ICONIQ Impact is ICONIQ Capital’s global platform for collaborative philanthropy. ICONIQ Impact’s partnership with Lever for Change helps donors like The Patchwork Collective identify philanthropic opportunities through open, transparent, and rigorously evaluated competitions, enabling them to fund solutions to some of the most challenging social issues of our time.
“We’re thrilled to be launching this challenge in partnership with The Patchwork Collective in honor of the women and children across the globe who lack access to critical maternal and infant healthcare,” said Matti Navellou, head of ICONIQ Impact. “ICONIQ Impact was established to help our community tackle big problems and meaningfully drive social impact at scale. We’re inviting philanthropists to join this effort and increase the impact we can have in this underfunded space by elevating and funding interventions we know are working to improve maternal and infant health outcomes around the world.”
The Maternal & Infant Health Award is being managed by Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that leverages its networks to help donors find and fund solutions to the world’s greatest challenges—including racial and gender equity, economic development, and climate change.
“This much-needed Maternal & Infant Health Award will provide communities around the world with the dedicated resources they need to prioritize the health of their mothers and children,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change. “We invite proposals from traditionally under-funded communities that drive equity by breaking down systemic barriers to improved maternal and infant health.”
Organizations from around the world are encouraged to apply. The most competitive proposals should offer solutions that are community-led, impactful, durable, and, feasible. Up to five finalists will be selected in late 2022, and the Award recipient will be announced in the summer of 2023.
Interested organizations must register to apply before 5 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Complete applications are due before 5 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time on Thursday, June 30, 2022 and will undergo several rounds of rigorous evaluation, including an administrative review, a peer-to-peer review, and a final evaluation by a panel of experts.