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.


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 are having an important practical impact: their software helps nonprofits both become more effective on a daily basis, and build their capacity to better inform and mobilize their constituents.

In addition, public interest software developers play a broader role. The ideals of public interest computing, as they have evolved inside the open source movement, 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.

This commitment to collaboration and sharing, in the continuing struggle for a better world, is exactly what the Pizzigati Prize seeks to honor.

Prizes offer publicity to achievements that are important to social progress. Through the Pizzigati Prize, The Florence and Frances Family Fund of Tides aims to specifically single out those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to software that serves the public interest can enhance both the stature of public interest computing as well as 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.  We hope that it will also inform future funding strategies for Tides and other foundations working for social change.


The Pizzigati Prize welcomes applications from—and nominations for—single individuals. Those nominated for the prize should have developed a software product that is open source, as defined by theOpen Source Initiative, and easily and widely available. This software must have already demonstrated its value to at least one nonprofit organization. Additionally, it should be a product that can be a value to multiple nonprofit organizations. Applicants will be evaluated on a range of criteria by an advisory panel that includes past winners of the Prize.

Please visit the Application & Timeline page for more information about eligibility, the application and nomination processes, and evaluation criteria.