Yes, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is best known for its so-called “genius awards,” the no-strings-attached cash grants given annually to unusually creative people. But the foundation also makes awards to nonprofit organizations and this year the Public Radio Exchange is one of the recipients.
No nominations are accepted – the foundation seeks out recipients via its own, low-key processes. Eligible nonprofits must, among other things, demonstrate “exceptional creativity and effectiveness,” be well managed and have budgets of less that 2.5 million per year. Thus, the grant of 500K is a pretty big deal to these groups.
Here’s what the foundation had to say about its radio winner: “Public Radio Exchange (PRX)/Station Resource Group – Cambridge, Massachusetts: By gathering and distributing new programming and using technological innovation to expand content choices, PRX is leading public radio to become more interactive, diverse, and democratic.”
PRX said it will use its half million grant to establish a cash reserve fund, a content venture fund, and to develop new technologies.