PLATINUM2024

ideas42

Using insights from behavioral science to improve lives, build better systems and policies, and drive social change.

New York, NY   |  www.ideas42.org

Mission

Working globally, we use a deeper understanding of humans to reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies. We also teach others, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and promote health, wealth, justice, and sustainability for all.

Ruling year info

2012

CEO

Bridgette Gray

Main address

80 BROAD STREET, 30TH FLOOR

New York, NY 10004 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-1678009

NTEE code info

Social Science Research Institutes, Services (V20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We’re a non-profit applying insights from human behavior—why people do what they do—to help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Economic Justice

Through our Economic Justice work, we envision a U.S. where a shared, behaviorally informed narrative of poverty removes inequities that prevent all people from leading fulfilled lives of their own definition. To achieve that vision, we work closely with the communities we serve to design and advance solutions that make it easier for people facing economic hardship to exercise their power for individual, community, and systems change. We also believe that economic justice and racial justice are deeply entwined, and so we bring a racial justice lens into all of the work that we do.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

We apply behavioral science breakthroughs and insights to global health programs to amplify impact and advance positive change. Our goal is to transform global health practice to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide with a focus on women and children under 5 years old in low- and middle-income countries.

In the U.S, we apply behavioral science to some of the toughest problems in the healthcare system: low and high-value care, chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, public health crises like vaccination and opioid use, healthy aging, and bias in care and algorithms. Ultimately, we envision a future where a healthy and dignified life is attainable and affordable for all, individuals and providers alike.

Population(s) Served

Earning a college degree is one of the best paths available to a secure economic future. But across the United States, too many people who want to earn a college degree are either not enrolling, or are enrolling but failing to graduate. Behavioral science research has revealed a number of subtle, sometimes surprising factors that can interfere with college enrollment, persistence, and completion.

In close partnership with colleges, universities, college success non-profits, foundations, and others, ideas42 works to identify these factors and design behaviorally-informed interventions to address them. Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked on more than 55 projects aimed at helping students persist through their postsecondary journey.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

In the legal system, the smallest of mistakes — such as accidentally missing court or inability to pay a fine — can have outsized impacts on people’s freedom, livelihoods, and well-being. This is especially true for those most experiencing poverty, systemic racism, and/or violence.

Our Safety & Justice team uses rigorous research and inventive behavioral design to improve outcomes (and prevent negative outcomes) in the legal system. We work directly with courts, police, probation and parole, district attorneys and public defenders, community organizations, and mayors’ offices to bring about positive change. This is done in partnership with communities, civil rights groups, action networks, and other researchers. We aim to reduce the harms of our current system in the U.S. while helping to build a more fair, dignified, and equitable one.

Population(s) Served

Maximizing the impact of existing and new global livelihoods and humanitarian efforts using insights from behavioral science can help improve life for millions in contexts of extreme poverty or instability around the world. Living in such contexts forces people to make tough trade-offs every day, in turn making it difficult to improve their well-being and long-term economic prospects. This can include: sending children to work instead of school, spending time on income-generating work rather than vocational training programs, and meeting immediate consumption needs at the expense of protection, health, or other long-term priorities.
Using behavioral insights to redesign the delivery of global anti-poverty and humanitarian programs will give millions the slack needed to minimize such trade-offs, maximizing program effectiveness and providing participants with tools to improve their economic well-being as they see fit.

Population(s) Served
Families
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Farmers

In the United States, engagement in civic life is low and does not reflect the diverse makeup of the country as a whole. This leads to distorted policies, weakened accountability structures, and a government that fails to equitably serve all the people it represents. At ideas42, we’re using our expertise in behavioral science to design and apply innovations that make voting easier and more deeply meaningful for everyone. By removing the most pernicious barriers to participation, we can create a vibrant American democracy that equitably empowers and safeguards all eligible voters, build a broad electorate that mirrors the diversity of the country as a whole, and bring about a government that is accountable at every level to the true will of the people.

Population(s) Served

Through our Financial Health work, we envision a world where financial products, services, and programs are behaviorally-informed, and designed to meet the needs of people of all socio-economic statuses, ages, races, and genders so that they can have a financially secure present and a self-determined future.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers reflect the number of ideas42 email subscribers

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At ideas42 we believe that a deep understanding of human behavior will help us improve millions of lives.

We create innovative solutions to tough problems, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and create a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

We’re a non-profit applying insights from human behavior—why people do what they do—to help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change.

Working globally with a range of partners, we reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

Our approach at ideas42 has three main steps:
1. Design the contexts, large and small, in which people can make choices that align with their needs and intentions, allowing them to shape better futures.
2. Give them the opportunity to act on their decisions more frequently, consistently, and decisively—with the best possible chance of success.
3. Test our work rigorously and take successful results to scale by:
- Guiding others as they adapt our models to reshape similar decision-making contexts
- Fostering sustainable businesses that provide better contexts
- Crafting and embedding effective policies to yield systemwide impact
- Helping build smarter, more efficient, and fairer systems.

ideas42 is made up of a group of talented, creative professionals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, united by our expertise in and passion for applying insights from the behavioral sciences to today’s most complex social problems. We have team members in New York; Boston; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Accra, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; Cape Town, South Africa; Mexico City, Mexico; New Delhi, India; and Nairobi, Kenya. But we work on projects in almost every corner of the world.

We partner with leading foundations, non-profits, government agencies, and socially-minded companies.

True to our academic roots and rigorous scientific approach, our work is informed by a network of more than 60 academic affiliates and advisors, including the world’s most influential pioneers in applied behavioral science.

Since our founding in 2008, weve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science in the real world. And as weve developed our expertise, weve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have so far extended to more than 500 projects in 55 countries, reaching 34.5 million people around the world through our interventions.

Looking ahead, weve strengthened and refined the guiding purpose that drives ideas42: To make the world better, we need to make it fairer. Everything we do, however different in focus, geography, and execution, is ultimately aimed at addressing the problem of inequality and its effects.

Were taking proven successes to scale, and driving system-level change. Having designed and tested effective interventions for specific groups, communities, and jurisdictions, were now scaling up those successful solutions to extend their impact. Were helping governments, public institutions, foundations, NGOs, and private enterprises develop the knowledge and skills they need to improve existing services, programs, and policiesand to design more effective systems from the ground up.

Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ideas42

Board of directors
as of 04/24/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

George Overholser

Antoinette Schoar

Diana Taylor

English Sall

George Overholser

Larry Kantor

Michael Warren

Stacey Hightower

Susan Sobbott

Alexandra Zubko

Piyush Tantia

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/24/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/04/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.