Prize Overview

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Prize Overview

"The Lipman Family Prize recognizes organizations whose vision of creating positive social impact is realized through their unusually innovative—and strikingly effective—organizational practices.  As a University built on new ideas, passionate people and practical pursuits, the University of Pennsylvania is delighted to welcome the Lipman Prize honorees as members of the Penn and Wharton community who are having a positive impact on the world."

Amy Gutmann
President of the
University of Pennsylvania



The Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize at the University of Pennsylvania is an annual global prize given to one organization that celebrates leadership and innovation in the social sector with an emphasis on impact and transferability of practices. The award recognizes and amplifies the work of organizations devoted to positive social impact and creating sustainable solutions to significant social and economic challenges. The ultimate goal is to spread the global lessons found in local success.

Winners of the Lipman Family Prize are models for the good they achieve as well as for their approach and implementation. The winner of the Prize tackles universal problems in a local setting offering an approach, model, or innovation that can be adapted to create a positive impact elsewhere around the globe. The Lipman Family Prize recognizes and supports these organizations — providing a service to the broader social sector by connecting agencies across areas of service in a learning community.

With a core emphasis on education, the Lipman Family Prize:

  1. Rewards exemplary work in the social sector.
  2. Supports the organizational sustainability of its finalists through an educational and consultative partnership.
  3. Convenes leaders from exemplary organizations to learn from one another.
  4. Educates University of Pennsylvania students about the social sector through the philanthropic process.

Award Components

Announced each spring at an award ceremony at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the Lipman Family Prize includes:

  • A $125,000 cash award for the winning organization
  • An ongoing partnership with the University dedicated to knowledge sharing and support of the organization. Examples of available support include
    • a tuition-free executive education program, valued at approximately $10,000 
    • pro-bono consultation from University faculty and staff, and access to faculty research and research centers
    • development of case studies
    • student projects and internships
    • peer learning events
    • Media and University recognition through Penn and Wharton networks.

Finalists for the Lipman Family Prize receive a $12,500 cash award and also receive the same non-cash benefits as the winner. Together with the University and Wharton, each year’s winner and finalists will help to build new knowledge, resources, and solutions for the social sector.