Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize Awards

Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize Awards

Nov 14, 2022 7 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today announced several new recipients of the Heritage Innovation Prize. 

These recipients include the Alliance for Opportunity, Americans United for Life, Charlotte Lozier Institute, Defense of Freedom Institute, Forge Leadership Network, and the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.  

The Heritage Innovation Prize recognizes and provides substantive financial awards totaling up to $1 million annually to results-oriented nonprofits for projects involving research, litigation, education, outreach, or communications, particularly those focused on empowering parents in education, holding Big Tech accountable, countering the threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), securing America’s borders and reducing crime, ensuring free and fair elections, reducing the growth of spending and inflation, and promoting life and family formation.   

The winners of the first-ever Heritage Innovation Prize earlier this year were Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), and the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF). Each organization received $100,000, sponsored by The Heritage Foundation’s robust endowment fund for innovative conservative projects.   

The Alliance for Opportunity, a coalition of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Georgia Center for Opportunity, and Pelican Institute for Public Policy, will receive a $225,000 award over two years in support of the organizations’ efforts to lift Americans out of poverty and promote human flourishing.  

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, released a statement upon announcement of the Alliance for Opportunity’s award:   

“However well-intentioned some aspects of the so-called War on Poverty may have been, we’ve created nearly three generations of Americans who are dependent on government and, sadly, in Joe Biden’s America, the American dream is growing increasingly out of reach for many. Still, there is no better place in the world to find opportunity and rise above challenging circumstances than the United States of America. Our country is built on the backs of those who overcame obstacles and defied the odds against them to forge their own path to success.” 

For more on the Alliance’s award, click here.   

Americans United for Life (AUL) will receive a $60,000 award in support of its work to help protect un-born Americans—specifically, advancing its newly launched AUL.org Digital Advocacy Platform database, augmenting AUL’s “Defending Life” state-by-state playbook with interactive maps and providing Americans with real time information about pro-life efforts in their states, including the status of pro-life pieces of legislation. 

Roberts said:  

“The fight to protect life will not just be fought in Washington—it will be fought in every state in our union by Americans across the political spectrum who believe that life is the most precious, most basic right gifted to us by God. If we are truly to advance the cause of life in all 50 states, Americans must be armed with the tools and information necessary to put pressure on their elected representatives and get those measures across the finish line. We cannot stop until every unborn American is given equal protection under the law. AUL’s initiative is a much-needed effort to make sure we not only inspire millions to act, but give them the tools do so.”  

For more on AUL’s award, click here

The Charlotte Lozier Institute will receive a $65,000 award in support of its work to determine the tangible, real-world consequences of abortion for women, families, and communities in the United States in the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Dobbs case.   

Heritage’s award will help the Charlotte Lozier Institute fund the research and publication of a series of high-quality, holistic, and thorough reports on the economic consequences of legalized abortion in the United States, and provide policymakers with the information they need to implement policies that protect life.  


“Life is the most precious gift given us by God, and how we value and protect that gift speaks volumes about who we are as a people. I am so encouraged to see groups like the Charlotte Lozier Institute continuing that fight. In the wake of the Dobbs decision, a host of pro-life groups have been working to achieve legislative protections for life, and that work must continue. Part of winning in state capitals and in the imperial city of Washington, D.C., though, is making sure policymakers and the American people can see the devastating consequences of abortion for themselves. That’s why this work of the Charlotte Lozier Institute is so critical, and I am eager to see the impact they will have in building a culture of life in the nation.”  

For more on the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s award, click here

The Defense of Freedom Institute (DFI) will receive a $100,000 award in support of its work to expose the Biden administration’s refusal to counter the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), particularly the regime’s efforts to influence and take advantage of universities and research institutions in the United States.  

DFI will use the Innovation Prize to help advance its oversight of, and legal challenges against, the administration, forcing Biden officials to be transparent about why they terminated the China Initiative, which special interests played a role in its demise, and the universities that have benefitted from CCP largesse.  

Roberts said of this award: 

“There is no greater foreign threat to our values, our institutions, and our American way of life than the Chinese Communist Party. That threat is made all the more deadly by bureaucrats and academic elites who have politicized our national security for the sake of research dollars. It is vital that we expose who is working with the Biden administration to weaken our policy towards the CCP and hold those people accountable; whether they’re in government, academia, or the private sector. Heritage’s own Oversight Project will no doubt help support this work, as well. But someone must lead the way, and I know the experts at the Defense of Freedom Institute are the patriots we need for this moment.”    

For more on the DFI award, click here.  

The Forge Leadership Network will receive a $500,000 award over three years to expand its programs to new states and double the number of young leaders trained and mentored. 


“The conservative movement can’t truly remain on offense without a farm team. We must train young patriots to take up the mantle of freedom and engage with the culture and fight for what’s so good in America. I am so excited by the work Forge Leadership Network is doing to identify, prepare, and equip the next generations of conservative leaders, and I look forward to seeing their efforts expand in the years ahead.”   

For more on Forge’s award, click here

The Thomas Jefferson Institute will receive a $150,000 award in support of its efforts to advance parental rights and empower Virginia families to make their own education choices. The institute helps lead the Virginia Education Opportunity Alliance, a vast coalition of groups assembled to promote parental rights in education.  

Thomas Jefferson Institute is focused on making substantial strides in increased education choice, curriculum and funding transparency, and improved privacy for children over the next three years.      

Roberts released a statement on the institute’s award:  

“As a lifelong educator, I can say from firsthand experience that nothing is more important to the long-term health of our republic than properly educating the next generation. However, too many schools across this country are failing to accomplish this task. What’s happening in Virginia right now, though, gives me hope for the future. The Thomas Jefferson Institute and the rest of the VEOA are doing what must be done to ensure that Virginia’s children are able to receive the education they deserve and that their parents are empowered to make those choices for them. These decisions do not belong to bureaucrats and should not be dictated by zip code—they belong to us as parents. We all must continue to fight for that simple truth.” 

For more on the Thomas Jefferson Institute's award, click here.

For more information about the inaugural awards of the Innovation Prize, read here. For more information about the prize itself, read here.

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