Heritage Foundation Announces Winners of New Innovation Prize

Heritage Foundation Announces Winners of New Innovation Prize

Jun 1, 2022 5 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today the inaugural winners of the Heritage Innovation Prize, a new initiative to financially support organizations providing innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing America.  

The winners of the first-ever Heritage Innovation Prize are Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), and the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF). Each organization will receive a $100,000 prize sponsored by The Heritage Foundation’s robust endowment fund for innovative conservative projects. The winners were announced Wednesday at Heritage’s annual Resource Bank meeting, held this year in Nashville.  

The Heritage Innovation Prize recognizes and provides substantive financial awards 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. Its purpose 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.  

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement upon announcement of the awards:  

“America is at one of the most critical turning points in her history. The only way we will save our republic is if the American people stand up and take action to defeat radical leftists and the destruction they are unleashing on our country. The conservative movement must go on offense like never before against those trying to bring down the nation from within. 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. As we have for nearly five decades, Heritage will continue to focus on winning policy fights here in Washington, behind enemy lines. But we are also increasingly going to help the movement take the battle to the left throughout the country as we fight to save America’s future.” 

Alliance Defending Freedom was awarded the Innovation Prize for its creation of the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, the first comprehensive benchmark designed to measure and improve corporate respect for religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square. The index is a unique tool that scores the most powerful corporate entities on the Fortune 1000 list on how well they respect religious and ideological diversity—or far more often, how they fail to do so. As massive corporations continue to go woke, holding them accountable and ensuring all Americans’ access to the basic services they provide has never been more important.   

ADF President and CEO Michael Farris: 

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award, and thank our friends at The Heritage Foundation for their critical leadership promoting our nation’s founding principles across our culture—including in Corporate America. CEOs and business leaders have positions of considerable power. They shouldn’t weaponize their influence or the companies they run to divide Americans or engage in speech censorship or anti-religious bigotry. We hope that our Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index will motivate C-suite leaders to adopt policies and practices that respect the core liberties of their employees, consumers, and fellow Americans.” 

Independent Women’s Forum received the Innovation Prize for its efforts to craft the Women’s Bill of Rights, a simple and sensible declaration on the biology of sex. As the left wages war on basic biology and the concepts of manhood and womanhood, IWF stepped into the breach with the Women’s Bill of Rights, which defines basic terms such as ‘woman,’, ‘female,’ and ‘mother’ consistent with science and common public understanding. And it reiterates that, while men and women are legally equal, their innate differences sometimes justify separation of the sexes. The Women’s Bill of Rights project will reveal who among our leaders truly stand for equal opportunity, fairness, and science—and those who do not.     

IWF President Carrie Lukas:  

“Independent Women’s Forum is so grateful to The Heritage Foundation for recognizing our Women’s Bill of Rights project with an Innovation Prize. 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. 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 has been at the forefront of fighting the left’s push for so-called environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, which would essentially introduce an oppressive social-credit system in the United States and give a radical group of government, business, and cultural elites an unprecedented ability to control the daily lives of millions of Americans.  

SFOF Chief Executive Officer Derek Kreifels:  

“SFOF state treasurers, auditors and other financial officers have been working tirelessly to educate the public and key stake holders on the dangers of ESG investing, all while corporations are trying to circumvent the democratic process and drive their own political agenda. 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.” 

Heritage plans to announce additional Innovation Prize winners in the future. More information is available at heritage.org/innovationprize

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