Seven groups get MacArthur awards

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago has awarded eight nonprofits across the world with its lucrative Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, which comes with a prize of up to $500,000 for each winner.

The recipients represent a diverse group of small organizations, including the Resources Himalaya Foundation in Kathmandu, which supports biodiversity in the Himalayas, and the Institute for Policy and Law in Moscow, which conducts research and training on constitutionalism and law.

All 2007 winners have annual budgets of less than $1.6 million and have demonstrated important contributions to their fields, the foundation says.

“In creating this award, we wanted to make a strong statement that the institutions of civil society matter,” Jonathan Fanton, president of the foundation, says in a statement.

“These eight extraordinary organizations empower ordinary citizens to shape their own destinies, and they accelerate our collective journey toward the highest aspirations of human dignity, security, and opportunity,” he said.

In its second year, the awards program does not accept nominations and is open only to groups that have annual budgets of $2.5 million, are financially stable and have received support from the foundation previously.

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