$100,000 Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation

Today, we announced a call for applications for the 2012 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.

The award application is now available on the Drucker Institute website. All IRS-certified 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply. The submission deadline is July 1. (If you have questions about the application or award process, please contact award@druckerinstitute.com).

Administered annually since 1991, the Drucker Award is granted to a social-sector organization that demonstrates Peter 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 believed that in the 21st century, it would be up to nonprofits to ‘increasingly take care of the social challenges of a modern society,’” said Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute. “We hope that this prize marks at least a small step in that direction, as we seek to find the leading innovators in the sector, celebrate their example and inspire others.”

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, 96% of respondents to an Institute survey indicated that the application had, in fact, given them a better understanding of how their program was innovative and 90% were prompted “to explore additional opportunities for innovation.”

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 2011 first-place Drucker Award winner was Direct Relief International, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based humanitarian organization that provides essential medicines, health supplies and equipment to improve the health of people affected by poverty, disaster and civil unrest. The award recognized, in particular, Direct Relief’s aggressive adaptation of information technology to better meet its mission.