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2021 Elevate Prize

We are looking for leaders, innovators, activists, and risk-takers who are impacting their community every day. Does your work have the potential to elevate humanity and inspire others to act as engines for social good?

Submissions are Closed


Applicant Webinar: Ask Us Anything! - April 9, 2021


Is the prize awarded to the individual or their organization?

The prize is split, with a portion going to the individual and a portion going to the organization. Some people have asked if they can allocate their individual prize money to their organization, and the answer is yes.

How does the Elevate Prize work? Am I eligible to apply?

Details on eligibility and the application process can be found here. Want to hear some insights from last year’s winners? We’ve got those too! 

Should the application come from an individual or an organization?

The application should come from an individual, affiliated with an organization that is creating impact.

Can a team apply?

We’re focused on amplifying extraordinary individuals and their work - so it’s important that one person is selected to represent your team or organization. However, throughout the course of the program, we invite some team members to participate in an effort to build organizational capacity. 

What resources come with the prize?

The prize winners get access to a 2-year program that focuses on leadership development and building organizational capacity. This will be tailored to the winners and range from help creating content around their work and building a fanbase, to pro bono legal, marketing, and business development support for the organization.

How much time commitment will the program require?

The time commitment will vary, but we estimate up to 8 hours per month.

If I wasn't selected last year, can I apply again?

Yes, definitely!

If I’m not selected this year, can I apply again?

Yes, definitely!


How will my application be evaluated?

New this year is a simplified, two-phase application. Phase 1, now open to all applicants, includes a shortened written application, while Phase 2 will include a more robust set of questions, released only to select applicants this summer. 

Our judges are experts and leaders from across industries and sectors. MIT Solve and Elevate Prize Foundation staff and community members will conduct initial reviews of Phase 1 applications to select top submissions. Once Phase 2 has concluded, our judging panel will score applications based on the following criteria:

  • Sustainable Impact: The implementation of the organization’s work has already impacted lives, and the organization has a viable revenue model and plan for achieving long-term growth and financial sustainability.
  • Innovative Approach: The organization uses a new or significantly improved approach to address the problem they are solving.
  • Leadership Ability: The organization is led by a visionary individual who is a role model in their community and has a story that will capture the hearts and minds of others, and has demonstrated the necessary skills and track record to improve, expand, or replicate their work.
  • Elevate Prize Alignment*: The applicant clearly explains why they are poised to effectively leverage The Elevate Prize and how they and their organization would benefit from the significantly larger audience and range of resources offered.
  • Diversity*: The applicant’s work is designed with and for underserved communities; their team demonstrates proximity to the community, and embodies and addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout their organization.

* This criterion will only be scored by Elevate Prize Foundation Staff and the Judging Panel.

Will you prioritize certain issues over others?

No, we are issue agnostic. We want to see extraordinary people leading high-impact projects that are elevating opportunities for all people, elevating issues and their solutions, or elevating understanding of and between people.

Who will get the most from the prize?

The people who can get the most from the prize are those who believe in the power of building their brand identity and cultivating their community on social media. The prize can accelerate impact for those who are ready for media awareness and motivated to go the extra mile with the Elevate Prize’s marketing and communications program. 

Do you have a preference for an organization of a certain size or stage of development?

We welcome organizations big and small, at all different stages of maturity. The more important thing is proven impact – and the potential to scale that impact.

What if my project is just getting started?

While you can absolutely apply as an early-stage organization, you must have a proof of concept and be able to demonstrate meaningful impact. 

See more FAQs about the Elevate Prize HERE

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