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. Leveraging a legacy of catalytic grant-making at the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Prize seeks out visionary nonprofit and mission-driven for-profit organizations that work within, across, or in a manner related to one or more of the Fund’s three program areas:
The Environment: Slowing the pace of climate change and mitigating climate impacts.
Heritage Conservation: Conserving the places that communities care about most.
Social Justice: Strengthening democracy and reforming the criminal justice and immigration systems.
Applications are open to individuals or teams representing nonprofit or mission-driven for-profit organizations. The Prize will be awarded to projects or ideas 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; and
Hold out the promise to benefit multiple individuals, communities, or sectors through a clearly articulated theory of change.
Following review of first-round submissions, select applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed second-round application in late spring. Finalists will present their ideas to the trustees of the J.M. Kaplan Fund in the fall, with awardees formally announced in November 2023.