Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest

About The PrizeTony Pizzigati looks upward as holds a piece of chalk

The Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest annually awards a $10,000 cash grant to one individual who has created or led an effort to create an open source software product of significant value to the nonprofit sector and movements for social change.

The Pizzigati Prize honors the brief life of Tony Pizzigati, an early advocate of open source computing.

Honoring Collaboration & Sharing

The Pizzigati Prize seeks to honor software developers who create, for free public distribution, open source applications and tools that nonprofit and advocacy groups can put to good use.

These developers are making a two-faceted contribution to social change. First, they have an important practical impact: Their software helps nonprofits become more effective and build their capacity to better inform and mobilize their constituents.

Secondly, developers of software in the public interest also play a broader role. As they have evolved inside the open source movement, the ideals of public interest computing promote collaboration and sharing. Against the idea that progress demands cutthroat competition between individuals striving to get ever richer, these developers instead model the notion that we all benefit when we work together.

In the continuing struggle for a better world, this commitment to collaboration and sharing speaks to exactly what the Pizzigati Prize seeks to honor.

Prizes offer publicity to achievements crucial to social progress. Through the Pizzigati Prize, NTEN aims to specifically single out those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to software that serves the public interest. The prize program strives to both enhance the stature of public interest computing and public understanding of it.

Along the way, we hope and expect that this prize initiative will also help link public interest software developers with each other and with the nonprofit and advocacy groups that so strongly need their assistance.

How To Apply

The Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest welcomes applications from — and nominations for — single individuals. Those nominated for the prize should have developed an easily available software product that qualifies as open source, as defined by the Open Source Initiative. This software must have already demonstrated its value to at least one nonprofit organization. The software should also be a product that can be of value to multiple other nonprofit organizations. Applicants will be evaluated on a range of criteria by an advisory panel that includes veteran activists in the public interest computing community.

The timetable for the 2021 application process will be announced this summer.

Get Involved

You can support the Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest in several ways.

Help Spread The Word

If you play an active role in nonprofit or software developer circles, please share information about the prize by directing people to this page.

Support the Winners

Learn more here about the contributions of the 14 past Pizzigati Prize Winners. If you’re interested in drones and the public interest, for instance, check out the website of Piero Toffanin, the 2020 recipient of the Antonio Pizzigati Prize. If you’re on Twitter, follow Taylor Downs, the recipient of the Antonio Pizzigati Prize in 2017. You can also follow Crista Videira Lopes, the 2016 prize winner, as well as the Mifos Initiative led by 2015 winner Vishwas Babu. Other previous winners you can follow include Donald Lobo (2014), Michah Altman (2013), Nathan Freitas (2012),  and Ken Banks (2011).

Help Us Grow The Prize

The prize program currently centers around a single $10,000 annual award. With your help, we can increase the prize program’s scope with additional grants and opportunities for community support. To make a tax-deductible contribution to the fund managed by Tides, please email Paola Kim or complete this form to notify Tides of your gift. To learn more about opportunities for collaboration and community support, please email NTEN CEO, Amy Sample Ward.