Beacon Awards FAQs

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 announced on July 15, 2020 and presented during a special celebration in April 2021.

Why launch the Beacon Awards?

We have consulted with 18 previous Lipman Family Prize honorees from 2012-2017 – 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, 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.

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 is the selection criteria for the awards?

The selection criteria includes:

  • Evidence of continuing positive social impact since being named a Lipman Family Prize honoree
  • Leadership demonstrated through intentional action at all levels within the organization to effectively execute the mission and ensure organizational sustainability
  • Evidence of knowledge sharing, partnership, and collaboration with other entities in order to achieve greater social impact and contribute to the social sector
  • Clear vision, plans and potential for collaboration and knowledge sharing leveraging the organization’s expertise and learnings for the betterment of the social impact sector

Who are the Beacon Award judges?

The Lipman Family Prize leadership team will recruit experts from its institutional networks, inside and outside the University of Pennsylvania, to analyze the applicant 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 16, 2019 and can be accessed through our password-protected Beacon Awards applicant portal.

What is the application timeline?

October 16 – December 4, 2019

Eligible honorees may submit an Expression of Interest form

January 6 – February 7, 2020

Eligible honorees may submit the Phase I Growth Narrative application

March – April 2020

Phase II Interviews and Analysis conducted

June 2020

The Awards Committee determines the winners

October 2020

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

Who can we contact if we have additional questions?

Please contact us at