Opus Prize winners embody the following core values:
- Social Entrepreneurship. Solving social problems in today’s world requires entrepreneurs who have the committed vision and inexhaustible determination to work to transform entire social systems. The Opus Prize seeks to recognize those faith-based social entrepreneurs who go beyond the immediate problem to fundamentally change individuals, families and communities.
- Transformational Leadership. A successful social entrepreneur motivates others to do much more than what anyone believed to be possible. She or he evidences leadership of others that can lead to truly transformational changes in communities and in society.
- Teaching One to Fish. The Opus Prize Foundation recognizes the enormous contribution of those caring individuals and agencies that provide direct services to people in need. However, the focus of the Prize is to recognize individuals and organizations that go far beyond direct services, who are successfully addressing the root causes of social problems. The Opus Prize rewards those entrepreneurs who adhere to the adage of an unknown author: “Give a person a fish; you have fed him for a day. Teach a person to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
- Faith That Is Lived Each Day. Faith is as integral and important to human life as breathing. It is not restricted to the confines of a church, a synagogue, a temple or a mosque, but rather melds into daily life in the form of prayer, thought and action. The judgments we make, the hierarchy of values we hold, our daily conduct and our life’s work all emanate from a religious faith that is at the heart of the Opus Prize recipient’s entrepreneurial efforts, and/or those of that organization.
- Service to Others. An Opus Prize recipient demonstrates by his or her actions that every person is precious, that people are more important than things and that the measure of a person’s faith is evidenced by his or her commitment to justice and compassionate service to others, especially those in society who are poor or vulnerable.
- Unsung Heroes. Very often, those doing the greatest amount of good in their communities are not widely known. They go about their work quietly, humbly, primarily concerned with achieving results. The Opus Prize seeks to identify leaders who are “unsung heroes,” those without broad recognition and financial support for their cause (yet with sufficient administrative capacity to manage a sizeable grant). In so doing, the Opus Prize hopes to act as a catalyst, infusing significant support for an individual and/or their organization and inviting the attention and investment of others.
- Dignity of the Human Person. An Opus Prize recipient demonstrates by his or her actions that each person possesses a basic dignity that comes from religious faith, that human life is sacred and must be preserved from conception through natural death. Therefore, the recipient will consistently strive to enhance and preserve, and not threaten, human life and human dignity.