The Booker Prize and the International Booker Prize are funded by Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Sir Michael Moritz KBE and his wife, Harriet Heyman.
The new arrangement began after the 2019 Man Booker International Prize winner announcement, which marked the conclusion of 18 years of successful and generous sponsorship by Man Group.
Crankstart was established by Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman in 2000 to support leaders and organisations that demonstrate know-how in areas of critical need, and have the ambition and grit required to tackle what often seems impossible.
It has organised or supported scholarship funds for students from low-income households at the University of Oxford, the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and many California Community Colleges and schools. Recipients of some of Crankstart’s more significant recent gifts include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and initiatives for the homeless in the San Francisco Bay Area. Crankstart’s activities also include a wide range of grants for arts and journalistic organisations which depend on philanthropic support.
Michael Moritz is a British venture capitalist and author, born in Wales. He studied at the University of Oxford and was a journalist before moving into the world of technology investment. He has been a partner at Sequoia Capital since 1986. He was appointed KBE in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to promoting British economic interests and philanthropy.
Harriet Heyman is a former journalist with The New York Times, a novelist and a sculptor.
Of their support for the Booker Prize Foundation and the prizes Moritz has said, ‘Neither of us can imagine a day where we don’t spend time reading a book. The Booker Prizes are ways of spreading the word about the insights, discoveries, pleasures and joy that spring from great fiction. These days I’m a global traveller but, just like The Booker, I was born in Britain and before coming to America was reared on English literature. Harriet and I feel fortunate to be able to support prizes that together celebrate the best fiction in the world.’
Crankstart committed to an initial five-year exclusive funding term beginning in June 2019, with an option to renew for a further five years.
The new arrangement began after the 2019 Man Booker International Prize winner announcement, which marked the conclusion of 18 years of successful and generous sponsorship by Man Group. Thereafter the original prize once again became known as The Booker Prize while the prize for literature in translation became The International Booker Prize.
Man Group sponsored the Man Booker Prize from 2002, and the Man Booker International Prize from its inception in 2005, until 2019. An active investment management firm founded in 1783, Man Group was recognised as a partner that mirrored the quality, integrity and longevity of the Booker Prize.
Prior to the existence of the Booker Prize Foundation, set up as a charity independent of sponsorship in 2002, the Booker Prize was funded by the Booker Group, which had backed it since its debut in 1969.