3 Nonprofits Win Heritage Foundation’s Inaugural Innovation Prizes


The Heritage Foundation announced Wednesday the inaugural recipients of its new Innovation Prize, an award recognizing and supporting special projects of organizations focusing on research, litigation, education, and communication. 

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the Independent Women’s Forum, and the State Financial Officers Foundation will each receive $100,000 for their work in creating innovative solutions to major issues facing America, such as parental choice in education, border security, Big Tech accountability, reducing inflation, ensuring election integrity, and protecting life and the family.  

The winners were announced Wednesday at Heritage’s annual Resource Bank meeting, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The stated purpose of the Innovation Prize is to “financially support innovative projects, bold strategies, and highly creative policy solutions that help build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.”  

The Innovation Prize will award up to $1 million annually. 

“The conservative movement must go on offense like never before against those trying to bring down the nation from within,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said.

The American people are looking for bold and innovative leaders who are willing to call out this radicalism for what it is, but also provide ideas and solutions to the problems millions are facing today. 

That’s why Heritage created the Innovation Prize. It’s about serving the movement and uniting conservatives—particularly outside the Beltway—to defeat the destructive ideology and designs of the radical left.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal organization committed to protecting religious liberty and free speech, received an Innovation Prize for its Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, which measures the level of “corporate respect for religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square” of 50 influential companies on the Fortune 1000 list, among them Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram), Twitter, and Bank of America.  

The Viewpoint Diversity Score provides resources, such as suggested policies, research, and opportunities for constructive dialogue, to companies the ADF scores that encourage improvement of free speech and religious and ideological diversity. 

The Independent Women’s Forum is a nonprofit that informs women on policy issues that affect them and fights for conservative ideals in politics, law, health care, the economy, and the workplace. The IWF was awarded an Innovation Prize for its work on the Women’s Bill of Rights, a document defining basic terms such as “woman” and “mother” and affirming both the equality of—and inherent differences between—males and females.  

“With support from Heritage, we will have the capacity to go on the offensive, forcing the left to publicly defend—or renounce—its anti-female agenda,” Independent Women’s Forum President Carrie Lukas said. “Thank you to everyone at Heritage for supporting this critical weapon in the fight for equal opportunity, fairness, and science.”  

The State Financial Officers Foundation is a nonprofit free-market organization dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility on the state level. The foundation received an Innovation Prize for its work in educating policymakers and state financial officials about the harmful effects of so-called environmental, social, and governance standards, which can undermine state-based economics and concentrate investment power in a small group of governmental and business leaders.  

“[The State Financial Officers Foundation] state treasurers, auditors, and other financial officers have been working tirelessly to educate the public and key stakeholders on the dangers of [environmental, social, and governance] investing, all while corporations are trying to circumvent the democratic process and drive their own political agenda,” said Derek Kreifels, the foundation’s CEO. “It is such an honor to be recognized with a Heritage Foundation Innovation Prize as we work to educate the public with SFOF’s ‘Our Money, Our Values’ campaign.” 

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