About the J.M.K. Innovation Prize

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize seeks to identify, support, and elevate innovators who are spearheading transformative, early-stage projects in the fields of the environment, heritage conservation, and social justice.

In 2023, we will award up to 10 Prizes, each including a cash award of $150,000 over three years, plus $25,000 in technical assistance funds, for a total award of $175,000. Awardees also receive guidance through the Fund and its resource network, accessing tools and training to help turn their innovative ideas into life-changing social impacts.

News about this year’s Prize coming soon! Subscribe below for updates about our application process and timeline.

The Prize Process

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize is open to individuals or teams representing nonprofit or mission-driven for-profit organizations with projects that:

  • Represent a game-changing answer to a clearly identified need;
  • Innovate within one or more of the Fund’s three program areas;
  • Demonstrate the potential to develop an actionable pilot or prototype with Prize funding
  • Hold out the promise to benefit multiple individuals, communities, or sectors through a clearly articulated theory of change.

To dive deeper into the Prize, read our reports on previous cycles:

  • Building Pathways to Collective Power (2021) highlights trends and lessons learned from this year’s pool of proposals, as well as reflections on how the Prize has touched off social impacts far beyond the Fund.
  • Growing Grassroots Resilience (2019) features seven takeaways highlighting the resourcefulness and moxie of social innovators committed to advancing community resilience.
  • Community-Based Change Agents Rise Up (2017) features insights from entrepreneurs using new technologies, cross-sector collaboration, and a blend of for-profit and not-for-profit tools to create change across the country.
  • Learning from America’s Social Entrepreneurs (2015) explores themes from the inaugural Prize cycle, including a prescient concern for income inequality as a lens for social practice.