TEMPLETON FREEDOM AWARD

Named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition. Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award beginning in 2013 is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust.  

Finalists for the Templeton Freedom Award must have:

  • Achieved strategic impact (in areas of policy impact, social impact, academic impact, media impact, or student impact, etc.),
  • Made innovative contributions to the field of free enterprise education or policy research, and
  • Laid the groundwork for future progress in improving countries’ scores in rankings of economic freedom (e.g., The Index of Economic Freedom or the Economic Freedom of the World report).

The winner of the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award will receive $100,000 and be honored at Atlas Network’s annual Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner, which will next be held in New York City on November 12 - 13, 2014. Additional finalists will receive $5,000 prizes and travel support to attend Liberty Forum and Freedom Dinner November 12 - 13.

Applications for the 2014 Templeton Freedom Award are now closed.

For press-related questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Daniel Anthony, vice president of marketing and communications at 202.449.8441.

For other questions about the Templeton Freedom Award, contact Gonzalo Schwarz, director of grants and awards at: Gonzalo.Schwarz@AtlasNetwork.org or 202.449.8449.


The 2014 Templeton Freedom Award finalists:

Acton Institute – Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Project: Acton University

Established in 2005, Acton University is a four-day conference that brings together a globally diverse group of influencers to discuss the intersection of human dignity and free enterprise.

Center for Political Studies – Copenhagen, Denmark
Project: Private Property Project

For the first time in Denmark’s history, this project made it easy to review government-led expropriation of private property, particularly for the benefit of private interests, in the country’s 98 municipalities. As a result, the incidence of expropriation of private property for the benefit of private interests has dramatically declined to only one such case in a single year.

Civismo – Pamplona, Spain
Project: Low Taxes Campaign for Spain

This campaign to lower taxes and promote economic freedom all throughout Spain paved the way to significant tax reform. One component of the reform package is that the average income earner will save about 600 euros (US$777) per year.

Foundation for Government Accountability – Naples, Florida, U.S.
Project: Uncover ObamaCare initiative

The Uncover ObamaCare initiative resulted in 24 states saying no to ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. The initiative has kept 9.4 million Americans from becoming dependent on government and will save taxpayers almost $500 billion over the next decade.

Goldwater Institute – Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Project: Education Savings Accounts initiative

Unlike school vouchers, education savings accounts create the maximum possible choice for parents and opportunities for competition among government schools, private schools, and other education providers. Arizona became the first state to launch education savings accounts in mid-2011. And in 2014 Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the country’s second education savings account program.

Illinois Policy Institute – Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Project: Campaign to stop an unfair progressive income tax

The campaign led to the defeat of a movement to amend the Illinois Constitution and replace the state’s flat income tax with a progressive rate structure. This victory means that over the next five years alone, nearly $30 billion dollars will stay in the hands of Illinois’ families and businesses instead of going to politicians in Springfield.

IPEA (Agora Institute for Strategic Thinking) – Queretaro, Mexico
Project: One Million Youth for Mexico campaign

The campaign was started to address barriers to freedom throughout Mexico and has produced a growing network of more than 155,000 young leaders in more than 20 cities across Mexico. The campaign played a critical role on the federal level in achieving the Law of Citizen’s Initiative being passed, which will strengthen civil society and rule of law throughout Mexico.

Lithuanian Free Market Institute – Vilnius, Lithuania
Project: Municipal Performance Index for Freedom and Free Enterprise

Launched in 2011, the index measures and ranks the performance of municipal governments in three overarching categories: municipalities for citizens, municipalities for investors, and municipal governance and administration. The methodology of the index comprised 55 indicators and anchored the evaluation criteria in the underlying values of freedom of choice, private ownership and initiative, free enterprise, efficient use of public resources, and transparent and accountable governance.


The 2013 Templeton Freedom Award winner:

The TaxPayers’ Alliance – London, United Kingdom
Project Name: 2020 Tax Commission and Single Income Tax report

The 2020 Tax Commission and Single Income Tax report represented a comprehensive campaign to reform Britain’s outdated and unfair tax system. The TaxPayers’ Alliance team, whose goal is to achieve a society where individuals have greater control over their own lives, completed a strategic, multi-phase public education campaign, recruiting high-profile and influential figures to spend twelve months developing the economic, moral and practical case for lower taxes. The commission’s meticulous 417-page report reframed the debate over Britain’s economic growth strategies and became almost instantly influential, with more than 10,000 downloads its first week of publication. “The TaxPayers’ Alliance has become such a force of nature in a relatively short amount of time,” said Brad Lips, Atlas Network’s CEO. “From impeccable research to clear messaging, they’ve really raised the bar for think tanks.”

The project played a critical role in achieving:

  • A scheduled reduction in the Corporation Tax from 24% in 2012 to an expected 20% in 2015, with the system simplified by merging the standard and small business rates;
  • A reduction in the top rate of Income Tax from 50% to 45%; and
  • An abolition of the beer and motor fuel duty escalators.

The 2013 Templeton Freedom Award finalists:

Centre for Civil Society – New Delhi, India
Project: People, Policies, and Principles campaign


The campaign has contributed to real change in key areas including economic freedom and education, where they have given an organized voice to private schools and advocated for fair implementation of reforms. Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo, A.C. (CIDAC) – Mexico City, Mexico Project: Advancing prosperity and productivity The CIDAC team has successfully developed research and communication products that are changing the national discussion on economic policies including industrial, labor, and criminal justice policy.

Istituto Bruno Leoni – Torino, Italy
Project: Index of Liberalization

The Index has become a major reference for opinion-makers, policy-makers and industry stakeholders in debating economic policy, driving reforms in select industries and municipalities related to industry ownership and price fixing.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy – Midland, Michigan, U.S.
Project: Right to Work campaign

After 20 years of consistently producing a wide variety of research, commentary and strategic communications, the campaign achieved a major victory in 2013 with the adoption of Michigan’s right to work legislation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation – Austin, Texas, U.S.
Project: for its Right on Crime project.


The project contributed to major reforms, both in Texas and in other states, saving billions of dollars by closing prisons and preventing prison expansion, and reversing a culture of over-incarceration and over-criminalization.