Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
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Richard C. Cornuelle Award Nomination and Selection

The Institute also annually presents Richard Cornuelle Awards for Social Entrepreneurship to as many as five nonprofit organizations that directly serve the public. The Cornuelle Awards nurture private solutions to difficult public problems and include a cash award of $25,000 to the winning organizations.

These awards recognize the creative energy of the nonprofit sector by highlighting new ideas and mature organizations led by social innovators. Click here for a complete descriptions of past winners.

Please note the nomination process for the William E. Simon Prize is separate from the Richard Cornuelle Awards. We encourage nominations from across the country, not just within the Tri-state New York City area.

Nominations may be submitted by anyone familiar with an individual’s or group's activities, except for a current employee of that individual or group. All nominations must be submitted through the online form and are due March 3, 2014.

Applicants are assessed according to the following principles:

  • Non-profit, 501c(3) domestic organizations in the United States, founded and led by an identifiable individual, or “social entrepreneur.” Annual budget, audited financial statement and/or Form 990 helpful, though not mandatory.
  • Organizations providing specific services to an identifiable target group of those in need. Examples could include assisting disadvantaged youths with academics; ex-offenders in finding employment; new immigrants with life adjustments.
  • Organizations based on original ideas by their founder or founders, rather than response to government request for proposals.
  • Preference for organizations reliant on private, philanthropic support.  Some government support acceptable, but should not comprise majority of annual budget.
  • Preference for organizations effectively engaging volunteers, including volunteer board of directors. Other evidence of local support considered.
  • Past winners generally provide direct and specific services to the needy, rather than solely engaging in advocacy activity.
  • Preference for Cornuelle prizes given to organizations founded fewer than 10 years ago.

Selection Committee Process

All nominations are submitted to the Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneurship Awards Selection Committee. After review and discussion, the committee selects up to ten finalists. A representative of the Manhattan Institute visits each finalist. Based on site visits, the committee selects winners, who receive their prizes at our annual awards dinner.

In addition to Manhattan Institute president Lawrence Mone and vice president Howard Husock, the award selection committee for both awards includes:

  • Howard Husock, Vice President, Policy Research, Manhattan Institute, New York, NY;
  • Cheryl Keller, Foundation Consultant, Rye, NY;
  • Leslie Lenkowsky, Professor of Public Affairs and Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN;
  • Adam Meyerson, President, The Philanthropy Roundtable, Washington, D.C.;
  • Lawrence J. Mone, President, Manhattan Institute, New York, NY;
  • James Piereson, President, William E. Simon Foundation, New York, NY;
  • William Schambra, Director, Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.

Please direct questions about Social Entrepreneurship Awards to Michael Barreiro at







The Manhattan Institute, a 501(c)(3), is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas
that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

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