Beacon Awards FAQ

What are the Beacon Awards?

The 2020 Beacon Awards will be presented to two previous Lipman Family Prize honorees* that have demonstrated success in growing their social impact efforts. Each winner will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. The Beacon Awards will be presented in October 2020, during the Wharton Global Forum in San Francisco.


Why launch the Beacon Awards?

We have consulted with 18 previous Lipman Family Prize honorees from 2011-2017 – all of whom are potential recipients of the Beacon Awards – about their progress and their challenges. Based on their feedback and in-depth research conducted with Spring Impact, we conceived of the Beacon Awards to fill two main purposes:

  • to provide additional financial resources to the Prize community members in mature stages of solution development
  • to encourage and reward those honorees that are collaborating with others to advance collective knowledge and improve the quality of social  impact work.

Who is eligible for the Beacon Awards?

Eligibility for the Beacon Awards includes all Lipman Family Prize honorees from 2012 to 2017, including the grand prize winners and runners-up.

Will the Beacon Awards replace the Lipman Family Prize?

The 2020 Beacon Awards will not replace the Lipman Family Prize. In 2020, the Lipman Family Prize will be awarded in April 2020, and the Beacon Awards will be awarded in October 2020.

What are the selection criteria for the awards?

The selection criteria includes:

  • Evidence of continuing impact since receiving the Lipman Family Prize.
  • Evidence of successful transfer of a process, approach, or methodology to another entity
  • Demonstration of deep, ethical, and intentional organizational leadership
  • Clear potential for continued transfer of approach

Who are the Beacon Award judges?

Experts from Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy will partner with the Lipman Family Prize leadership team to analyze all organizations. From there, the Awards Committee, comprised of leaders from the social sector, academic and business worlds, will select the two winners of the Beacon Awards.

How do I apply for the Beacon Awards?

To be considered for the Beacon Awards, eligible organizations must submit an Expression of Interest form by Wednesday, December 4, 2019. This form will be sent directly to eligible honorees via email on October 14, 2019 and can be accessed through our password-protected Beacon Awards applicant portal.

What is the application timeline?

October 14 – December 4, 2019

Eligible honorees may submit an expression of interest form

January 6 – -February 7, 2020

Qualified candidates may submit a portfolio of evidence

February 10 – June 2020

The selection team will analyze candidate submissions, narrow down the applicant field, and alert candidates to their status

Early June 2020

The selection team will conduct interviews of selected candidates

Late June 2020

The selection team determines the winners

October 2020

The Beacon Award Winners will be announced publicly at the Wharton Global Alumni Forum in San Francisco.

Who can we contact if we have additional questions?

Please contact Tunisia Meek at or call at 215.746.3101.