Innovation is best fostered in a society that values individual liberty. And perhaps now more than ever we need innovative ideas to restore a culture committed to core principles of freedom.

That’s why the Heritage Foundation unveiled its Heritage Innovation Prizes, a new award program that financially supports innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing America. Just a week after launching our annual Business Index at, Alliance Defending Freedom was among the first recipients.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award, and thank our friends at The Heritage Foundation for their critical leadership promoting our nation’s founding principles across our culture—including in Corporate America,” said Alliance Defending Freedom President and CEO Michael Farris. “CEOs and business leaders have positions of considerable power. They shouldn’t weaponize their influence or the companies they run to divide Americans or engage in speech censorship or anti-religious bigotry. We hope that our Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index will motivate C-suite leaders to adopt policies and practices that respect the core liberties of their employees, consumers, and fellow Americans.”

Viewpoint Diversity Score offers a new way to equip companies to take concrete steps toward respecting those with a wide array of beliefs and opinions in their business practices, workforces, and public affairs. Through our 2022 Business Index, we score viewpoint diversity in corporate product and service offerings, workplace, and in the public square. Most importantly, through our model policies, research, toolkits, and ongoing conversations, we show businesses how they can better support the basic freedoms of both their employees and customers.

Businesses are posing a unique threat to free speech and religious liberty for all Americans. Powerful companies within tech and financial industries have grown to become de facto gatekeepers of information and essential services. Think Twitter, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Apple, Microsoft, and major banks. As the Business Index rankings indicate, these companies are undermining trust and civility in our public discourse while harming free speech and religious liberty for their employees, customers, and the general public.

Every generation faces different threats to our fundamental freedoms, requiring innovative and proactive solutions. That’s why the Heritage Foundation believes it is crucial that Americans who value freedom band together to help make that happen. 

The Heritage Innovation Prize recognizes and provides substantive financial awards of up to $1 million annually to results-oriented non-profits for projects involving research, litigation, education, outreach, or communications. Heritage’s Innovation Prize Selection Committee consists of leaders across the conservative movement looking to recognize organizations with bold ideas.

As Heritage explains:

Today, like the American revolutionaries in 1775, the conservative movement has no use for the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot who, during crisis, shrink from the service of their country. Instead, The Heritage Foundation and, indeed, the America people, are seeking those who will stand up against [illiberal] destructiveness and offer innovative projects, bold strategies, and highly creative policy solutions to help build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. 

Working together and inspired by Paine’s words, “Tyranny . . . is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph," we can ensure that this great American experiment our forefathers fought and gave their lives for will be here for generations yet to come.

We at Heritage know that the American spirit still lives on to fight another day, to bring about a brighter future for all Americans—and we are standing alongside America’s greatest conservative innovators to help make that happen.

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