Recent News

Op-Ed About 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize in Chronicle of Philanthropy

Chronicle of Philanthropy published Peter Davidson and Amy Freitag's op-ed that reflects upon the role of the Prize in the Fund's grantmaking, especially within this political climate. Read more here:The Power of Social Enterprise and Grass-Roots Decision Making: Lessons in Innovation.

The J.M. Kaplan Fund Announces the 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize Awardees

The J.M. Kaplan Fund is excited to announce our 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize Awardees. Read the press release here: Ten Emerging Social Initiatives Win 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize


Gina Clayton, 2015 Awardee of The J.M.K. Innovation Prize and Founder of the Essie Justice Group, was awarded the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize - the highest prize offered by an American college for social justice work. Read the full article: Grinnell College Awards Grinnell Prize to Gina Clayton, Founder of Essie Justice Group

DIGITAL TRADE UNIONS WILL EMPOWER TOMORROW’S SHARING ECONOMY EMPLOYEES, 2015 Awardee of The J.M.K. Innovation Prize, is mentioned multiple times in Wire for their innovative idea, which many say is changing the future of worker's rights. Read the full article here: Digital Trade Unions Will Empower Tomorrow's Sharing Economy Employees


Behold! New Lebanon, a 2015 Awardee of The J.M.K. Innovation Prize, received coverage in The Wall Street Journal in an August 1, 2016 article that talked about the organization's commitment toward creating a model for community economic development for tiny, rural towns across the U.S. Founder Ruth Abram speaks to the importance of such work, and explains what lies ahead in the future for Behold! New Lebanon. Read the original article here: A Place to Learn the Do-It-Yourself Arts


Innovation Prize Awardee and newly appointed President of the Board of Directors of Growing Veterans, Chris Brown, was featured in the University of Washington's online newsletter, in an article titled "Seeds of Hope".  It outline's Chris' experiences as a veteran, as well as the motivation and path behind his conceptualization of the Growing Veterans organization.  To read the article, click on this link: Seeds of Hope

Coalfield Wins Grant for On-the-Job Training Program

The Herald-Dispatch ran an article announcing the selection of Reclaim Appalachia as an Awardee of The J.M.K. Innovation Prize. Reclaim Appalachia, an organization based out of West Virginia, was founded by Brandon Denison and provides paid on-the-job training for unemployed young adults and laid-off coal miners in the creative trades. Read the full article here: Coalfield wins grant for on-the-job-training program

Bay2Tray Brings Fresh Local Seafood to the School Cafeteria in Monterey

Kion Right Now ran an article about The J.M.K. Innovation Prize Awardee Bay2Tray, and how the program and its leader, Alan Lovewell, is bringing fresh local seafood to schools by taking advantage of bycatch that would otherwise go to waste. Here is the full article: Bay2Tray Brings Fresh Local Seafood to the School Cafeteria in Monterey

Travel New and Now: Disney-Colortopia, W.Va. Ski, Rural Life

The New York Times ran an article on November 17th acknowledging Behold! New Lebanon's selection as a J.M.K. Innovation Prize Awardee. Ruth J. Abram, the founder of the organization, is a social activist also responsible for creating the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan. Check out the piece here: Travel New and Now: Disney-Colortopia, W.Va. Ski, Rural Life

Nonprofit Gives Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones Some Relief

KQED Radio Station - one of the most listened-to radio stations in the Bay Area media market - shines light on the work that Essie Group Justice is doing to help women with incarcerated loved ones. Essie Group Justice and its Founder and Executive Director, Gina Clayton, were recipients of the J.M.K. Innovation Prize. Listen to the interview and Kaplan's Executive Director Amy Freitag and Essie's Gina Clayton speak about the meaningful impact that this nonprofit is generating here: Nonprofit Gives Women with Incarcerated Loved Ones Some Relief