CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University has announced a call for applications for the 2011 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation.
The first-place prize is $100,000, thanks to a generous grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. The second-place award is $7,500, and the third-place prize is $5,000.
Administered annually since 1991, the Drucker Award is granted to a social-sector organization that demonstrates Drucker’s definition of innovation—change that creates a new dimension of performance. In addition, the judges look for programs that are highly effective and that have made a difference in the lives of the people they serve.
“Peter told us that the purpose of this prize is to find the innovators, whether small or large; to celebrate their example; and to inspire others,” said Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute. “In an era of continuing turbulence and constrained resources, the need for all organizations to innovate each and every day, in ways big and small, has never been greater.”
Wartzman noted that the Drucker Award application has been designed as a teaching tool, providing those organizations that fill it out with some of Peter Drucker’s key insights on innovation. Last year, 87% of respondents to an Institute survey indicated that the application had, in fact, prompted them “to explore additional opportunities for innovation.”
The winners of this year’s competition will be invited to attend the Drucker Innovation Forum in Claremont later this fall. At this intimate, invitation-only event, participants will gather for a uniquely cross-sector conversation about strategies for making innovation systematic and effective within their organizations.
Hailed by BusinessWeek magazine as “the man who invented management,” Drucker not only consulted for major corporations; he also advised the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and countless other social-sector organizations. He called the nonprofit “America’s most distinctive institution.”
The 2010 first-place Drucker Award winner was LYDIA Home Association, a Chicago-based organization whose Safe Families program offers a temporary sanctuary to children whose families are in crisis but who don’t qualify for foster care. In addition to providing a safe alternative to the child welfare system, Safe Families also offers support services to parents, and in many cases Safe Families volunteers continue on as mentors even after the child is returned home. What’s more, by providing an overwhelmed and resource-limited parent with a safe, temporary place for his or her child without the threat of losing custody, the program helps to reduce the potential for abuse and neglect.