Prize Philanthropy

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Categories: Supporting Your Foundation

Search Topics: Advanced Grantmaking

What do the first trans-Atlantic flight, canned beans, and a children’s dance video game have in common? All three were the products of prize competitions, and in all three cases, the winning achievement broke new ground, changed public perception, and led the way to inspire others to build on these successes.

And you can do the same. It’s one of the 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Your Foundation.

The concept of offering a prize to incentivize performance is not new. In 1795, the French government responded to food shortages on the battlefield by offering a prize to the person who could devise a more effective method for preserving food. Niccolas Appert’s solution of sealing food in airtight jars got safe, nutritious food to Napoleon’s troops, won Appert 12,000 francs, and became the basis of the modern canning industry.

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