J.M.K. Innovation Prize

Funding Agency:
J.M. Kaplan Fund

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 ten 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, providing tools and training to support them through the challenges of a startup organization.

Deadline: Apr. 28, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Since 2015, over four biennial cycles, we’ve called on change-makers across the country to submit projects with transformative potential. To date, we’ve supported 40 wildly creative social and environmental initiatives, ranging from Catholic sisters engaged in land reparations to rural entrepreneurs converting mining runoff into pigments for high-quality paints. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

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.



Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 28, 2023