The Board of Directors of the William E. Simon Foundation created the William E. Simon Prize Program to further the ideals fostered by William E. Simon, and to advance the principles of the Foundation. These ideals and principles, which guided Mr. Simon’s many philanthropic initiatives throughout his life, include personal responsibility, resourcefulness, volunteerism, scholarship, faith in God, and helping people to help themselves.

The William E. Simon Prize in Philanthropic Leadership and the William E. Simon Prize in Social Entrepreneurship are devoted to identifying and recognizing outstanding individuals who have made a difference in their communities, either through their philanthropic and charitable investments, or by creating successful social service projects to assist those in need.

Philanthropy has great potential to bring about improvements in individual lives and in the wider society, but to be effective, philanthropists must be guided by examples of excellence. The Board hopes that by honoring individuals who meet a standard of excellence as philanthropists or nonprofit innovators, a message of inspiration about the power of philanthropy change will lead others to support charities that achieve genuine results.