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J.M.K. Innovation Prize

J. M. Kaplan Fund

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #154397

Grant Description

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Grants to USA nonprofit and for-profit organizations for innovative solutions for a wide variety of environmental and social challenges. Funding is intended for programs focused on preserving history, protecting the environment, and fighting for social justice, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and recent political upheavals.

Leveraging a legacy of catalytic grant-making at The J.M. Kaplan Fund, the Prize seeks out visionary non-profit 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:

  • Social Justice: Buttressing democracy, voter education, and reforms to the criminal justice and immigration systems.
  • The Environment: Slowing the pace of climate change and mitigating climate impacts.
  • Heritage Conservation: Conserving the places that communities care about most.

The Prize will be awarded to projects or ideas that:

  • Represent a game-changing answer to a clearly identified need;
  • Are innovative 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.

Over three rounds of the Prize, twice-yearly convenings have been a fulcrum of the awardee experience. These meetings spotlight awardee organizations, foster peer learning, and offer mentoring from experts in organizational development, leadership training, and more. Until in-person programs can safely resume, virtual convenings will continue to support each Prize cohort through an invaluable community of change agents.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Individuals or teams representing nonprofit or mission-driven, for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be an informational webinar about the 2021 J.M.K. Innovation Prize, a grantmaking initiative of the J.M. Kaplan Fund that 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.

Topics of discussion will include the purpose of the Prize, eligibility requirements, the application and selection timelines, and much more.

March 30, 2021, 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US)

Register online:

Pre-Application Information:

First-round applications to the 2021 J.M.K. Innovation Prize are being accepted from February 3 through April 30, 2021.

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 2021.

Additional Funding Information:

Number of Grants:

Up to 10 prizes will be awarded.

Estimated Size of Grant:

A cash award of $150,000 over three years, plus $25,000 in technical assistance funds, for a total award of $175,000.

Term of Contract:

Three-year term

Contact Information:

Apply online:

71 West 23rd Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10010

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