Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration

     Shapiro Prize

The biennial Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration recognizes alliances of forward-thinking Jewish funders who collaborate to have an impact in their chosen fields of interest. It honors JFN members who are engaged in the kind of grant making exemplified by Sidney Shapiro, a founding JFN board member, which was characterized as being responsive to real and pressing societal needs.

Shapiro, who died in 2007, was regarded as one of the leading lights of American Jewish philanthropy. Among his many endeavors, he also served as executive director of the Boston-based Levinson Foundation, and was a funder for Lilith magazine and the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education.

An award with Shapiro’s name has been given by JFN since 1997. The prize was formerly called the Sidney Shapiro Tzedakah Award.

Developing philanthropic partnerships and collaborations remains a high value and priority of the Jewish Funders Network, and the Prize embodies this element of our work. This distinguished award recognizes the Jewish world's alliances of forward-thinking Jewish funders who collaborate to achieve a collective impact in their chosen fields of interest. This prize recognizes the partnerships that are playing a transformative role in the world of strategic Jewish philanthropy.

Selection Criteria

  • Nominees have formed a philanthropic collaboration with common mission, vision, and goals, and have entered into this collaboration with a process for directing these mutually shared mission, vision, and goals;
  • Nominees must have formed a philanthropic collaboration designed to strategically address a problem and/or further a specific purpose or field;
  • Nominees should have at least three partners in the collaboration;
  • At least one member of the collaboration must be a JFN member for it to be eligible;
  • A collaboration consisting of individuals, families, and foundations is eligible;
  • A collaboration formed in response to a particular crisis or event and concluded at the resolution of that crisis/event is eligible;
  • Nominees have pooled financial resources as an investment towards their philanthropic vision, but no partner should contribute more than one-third of the total budget. In collaborations where one partner is the majority funder, all partners should have an equal vote;
  • Nominees are to have demonstrated success in reaching their philanthropic collaborative goals, and have made progress towards solving the problems that the collaboration is intended to address
  • Nominees should have a clearly defined evaluation process to track outcomes of the collaboration.

Desirability Criteria

In addition to the selection criteria above, the Shapiro Prize review committee will evaluate applications based on the following desirability criteria:

  • Alignment—degree to which the collaboration's mission aligns with the goals set out in this prize;
  • Longevity—The Shapiro Prize review committee will take into account the collaboration’s effectiveness over time, regardless of whether the collaboration is still active;
  • Community Relations—Degree to which the community understands the purpose and mission of the collaboration, as well as the degree to which the collaborative partners have positive relationships in their respective communities.