Join AARP in Celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Nominate Someone for the AAPI Hero Award

An elder man sharing with a diverse community an inspirational story of purpose and impact.

Photo Credit: Talking Eyes Media

The AARP Purpose Prize

Submit a Nomination

Already nominated? Complete your application here:

Nomination Submission Deadline 05/12/2017

Experiencing technical difficulties?
Email purposeprize@aarp.org

Description

- +

FAQ

Every year the AARP Purpose Prize honors 5 exceptional individuals who have tapped their wealth of experience to foster enduring and innovative positive social impacts. After a rigorous review process, recipients of this prestigious award each receive $50,000 to celebrate their achievements and to hopefully help broaden the scope of their work. Included within the AARP Purpose Prize is the Andrus Prize for Intergenerational Excellence. This award celebrates the legacy of AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. Dr. Andrus was an innovative educator and social change agent. The Andrus Prize for Intergenerational Excellence recognizes work that brings multiple generations together for a better community.

Eligibility and Criteria for Selection

Q: What makes someone a strong candidate for the AARP Purpose Prize?

We are looking for everyday people who do extraordinary things with their life experience to create social change. Consider nominating someone (or yourself) who is:

  • Tackling a major social problem

  • At least 50 years old

  • Started this work at the age of 40 or later

  • A legal resident or a US citizen living abroad, or a resident of a US territory

  • Not involved in a project that is exclusively religious or sectarian. People working in faith-based settings that have a broader social mission are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Q: What are the characteristics of a potential AARP Purpose Prize winner?

Applications will go through a rigorous review process based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation: A new approach to an old or emerging problem, or a creative way of scaling up or expanding a promising approach

  • Creative or entrepreneurial spirit: The nominee can demonstrate a commitment as a visionary or pioneer in their field of work.

  • Impact: Clear documentation of impact, whether through an external evaluation or ongoing internal efforts to track outcomes or indicators of success

  • Future focus: A trajectory for the applicant’s career and work that shows promise for the future; i.e. potential for the next five years

  • Experience-based: Clear connection between the applicant’s life experience and the work at hand, whether through the problem being solved, the skills being applied to the problem, or the life experience or insights that led to the work.

  • Integrity: Evidence that candidates are highly ethical individuals who will make an excellent AARP Purpose Prize representative and who can be role models for others who are using their life experience to make a difference.

Q: Can the candidate’s work be either paid or volunteer?

Yes, the candidate can operate in a paid or unpaid capacity—working as a volunteer, receiving a stipend or paid a salary. Some AARP Purpose Prize applicants receive income for their current work; others donate their time.

Q: Does the candidate have to have started a new organization?

No. We strongly encourage nominations for people who are using innovative approaches and systems to substantially transform existing programs or organizations. This can be in the nonprofit, public or private sectors. However, simply applying strong management skills to improve an organization’s performance is not sufficient to be selected.

Q: Does the candidate have to be working for a nonprofit?

No. Candidates can work for different kinds of organizations: nonprofits, government agencies, social purpose ventures, hybrid organizations that mix elements of for-profit and nonprofit, or profit-making ventures. As long as the work is leading to positive social change and has had a significant impact at the local, regional, national or global level, it is eligible.

Q: Can more than one person be nominated for a single award if all are responsible for the accomplishments?

Yes. However, each individual in the partnership must meet all the criteria and must share substantively in the transformation or creation of the program/organization.

Q: Can the candidate be working on issues outside the US?

Yes. If so, on the application, make sure to select ‘International’ geographic scope. That indicates that the candidate’s work primarily benefits people living outside the US borders.

Q: What issues are appropriate for the AARP Purpose Prize?

Past AARP Purpose Prize winners have been involved in issues as diverse as:

  • Civic engagement and community development

  • Environment and health

  • Children and youth

  • Economic opportunity

  • Arts and culture

  • Peace and security rights

While AARP does not limit the types of social impact issues that will be considered, it will strongly consider candidates who work in areas of particular concern to AARP; specifically:

  • Innovative workplace and employment practices

  • Caregiving

  • Healthy living

  • Financial resiliency, stability, and savings

  • Livable communities (e.g. local housing, transportation, age-friendly communities)

Q: Is a candidate still eligible if he/she has received recognition or honors in his/her local community or field?

Yes. However, in general we are looking for individuals who have not been widely recognized outside their geographic area or their field of work.

Q: Are there types of innovation that cannot be considered for the AARP Purpose Prize?

Creative endeavors that do not include social impact work will not be considered. Also, we cannot evaluate the merit of certain types of innovations. Here are some examples:

  • Our review team is unable to evaluate scientific or technological inventions, although of course these can be important social innovations. Therefore, an inventor would need to describe how he/she has spread the use of an independently recognized invention resulting in a measurable social impact.

  • Similarly, an academic researcher or fine artist would need to demonstrate that he/she has also been involved in using research or art to address a significant social problem with demonstrated impact.

Q: Are only AARP members eligible?

No. Anyone who meets the criteria listed above is eligible.

Q: Why does the candidate’s work need to start after age 40?

The AARP Purpose Prize is not a lifetime achievement award. Rather, it is meant as an award to celebrate how individuals are using their life experience and creativity to make a difference on important social issues.

Q: How recent does the work need to be?

As noted above, the candidate needs to be at least 50 years old at the time of the application deadline and have started the work at age 40 or older.

Q: What factors make someone INELIGIBLE for the AARP Purpose Prize?

The following categories of people are not eligible:

  • AARP staff

  • AARP Board Members

  • AARP consultants and vendors who have received remuneration during a 12-month period preceding the application deadline

  • Individuals who work at organizations that share a board member with AARP

  • Members of the AARP Purpose Prize review panel or jurors

  • Family members (including domestic partners) and business associates of any individuals in the categories listed above

  • Current grantees

  • Elected Officials

NOTE: Applicants selected for consideration as finalists must disclose any current or prior financial relationship or other support they have received from AARP, AARP Foundation, AARP Services, Inc., or members of the AARP Purpose Prize panel of reviewers or jury. Other support includes but is not limited to: technical assistance, promotion and advocacy. A current or prior relationship, financial or otherwise, does not immediately disqualify an applicant, but such factors will be considered in finalizing a diverse pool of winners. Similarly, AARP Purpose Prize reviewers and jurors as well as staff and Board Members of all AARP entities are required to disclose any current or prior relationship to any AARP Purpose Prize candidates. AARP reserves the right to disqualify any applicant at any time and for any reason should AARP determine that the application does not properly represent the organization/program’s mission, goals, and policies.

Q: Who makes the final selection of winners?

An independent panel of jurors recommends a final slate of winners. Jurors are distinguished national leaders selected for their experience and judgment. The AARP CEO is also a part of the jury panel.


 

Other Prize Information

Q: What is the monetary award and how can it be used?

Each of the AARP Purpose Prize winners will receive $50,000. There are no restrictions on how the money may be used by the winners. Most past winners have used the money to further the work of their organizations, but that is not required. Our hope is that the funds are a down payment on future work for the greater social good.

Q: What else do the winners receive?

Winners receive:

  • The opportunity for their stories and work to be promoted across a variety of media channels

  • Media training

  • Access to a network of social innovators

Q: What are the obligations of the winners to AARP?

Willingness to share your personal story with others is critical. We seek individuals who will make an excellent representative of the AARP Purpose Prize and who can be role models for others who are using their life experience to make a difference.

Q: Why and when was the AARP Purpose Prize created?

The AARP Purpose Prize was created in 2006 by Encore.org (then called Civic Ventures) to recognize the power of older adults to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. In the past ten years, nearly 10,000 PP nominations were received, almost 500 winners and fellows were recognized and awarded over $5 million in prizes to social entrepreneurs working in fields as diverse as early childhood education to eradicating homelessness.

In 2016, the prize came to AARP from Encore.org. Under the leadership of AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP is committed to giving the AARP Purpose Prize an even bigger ‘stage’ to tell the story of remarkable people using their life experiences and creativity to have a lasting social impact.

Q: Where can I find the official rules?

The official rules are located at www.purposeprize.aarp.org.


 

Rules

- +

AARP PURPOSE PRIZE CONTEST OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

 

1. BRIEF OVERVIEW: The AARP Purpose Prize (“Promotion” or “Contest”) takes between February 14, 2017 and May 19, 2017 until 11:59 PM EST. (“Promotion Period”). The Promotion consists of a nomination process in which individuals will nominate someone who has helped to tackle a major social problem, with prizes awarded to Finalists based on the judging criteria outlined in these Official Rules. More specific details are stated below.

2. ELIGIBILITY: Nominees must be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States/District of Columbia and its territories or a US citizen living abroad, who are at least fifty (50) years old as of the date of entry and who started the work for which they are nominated at the age of forty (40) or older, except officers, directors, and employees of AARP (also referred to as “Sponsor”), its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising/promotion agencies, and/or their affiliates, assigns or representatives (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Sponsor & Others”), and all other persons or entities associated with the development, administration, judging, promotion, execution of, supply to or printing of this Promotion. AARP volunteers and staff are not allowed to nominate themselves or family members. Additionally, current grantees, elected officials, individuals involved in a project that is exclusively religious or sectarian, individuals that work for organizations that share a board member with AARP, or members of the same household and immediate families, (i.e., parents, children, spouse, siblings) of any individuals listed above are not eligible .

Individuals may nominate groups of people as a Nominee, so long as all members of the group meet the eligibility requirements outlined above and have shared substantively in the transformation or creation of the program/organization.

3. HOW TO PARTICIPATE/SELECTION OF WINNER/PRIZE/ODDS OF WINNING:

A) AARP Purpose Prize Contest: There will be a total of five (5) Prizes awarded to Finalists selected from a pool of eligible Nominees. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Nominee at any time and for any reason should Sponsor determine that Nominee does not properly represent Sponsor’s mission, goals, and policies. An individual may only submit one (1) either self-nomination or nomination of another individual. Only one (1) entry per individual. The entry and selection process is as follows:

  • Nomination: Individuals may nominate someone by visiting www.purposeprize.aarp.org between February 14, 2017 and May 12, 2017; and completely fill out the Official Nomination Form, including the Nominee’s name, organization, email address, and a description of the work for which they should be recognized (limit 2,000 characters). Nominee’s work must have a clear social impact. Creative endeavors that do not include social impact work will not be considered. While Sponsor does not limit the types of social impact issues that will be considered, it will strongly consider candidates who work in areas of particular concern to Sponsor; specifically:

    • Innovative workplace and employment practices;

    • Caregiving;

    • Financial resiliency, stability, and savings; and

    • Livable communities (e.g. local housing, transportation, age-friendly communities).

  • Application: Upon submission of the completed Nomination Form, each Nominee will receive an email containing a link to the Official Application Form. Individuals who nominate themselves will automatically be directed to this form. Nominees must complete the application form prior to 11:59 PM EST on May 19, 2017 to be considered. Upon completion of the Application Form, each applicant will automatically be entered into the Contest. Nominees who fail to submit an Official Application or do not comply with application instructions will not be considered.

  • Judging and Selection Process: The judging will consist of two (2) rounds, a Semi-Finalist and a Finalist Round (collectively, “Contest Rounds”). Semi-finalists and Finalists (collectively, “Round Winner”) will be selected by a panel of Jurors appointed by AARP. The Jurors are distinguished national leaders selected for their experience and judgment. Based upon the jury recommendations, the AARP CEO determines the final winners. The winner of each round will be selected from all entries received throughout the Promotion Period. Jurors will evaluate entrants on a scale of 1-5 based upon the following criteria:

    • Innovation Nominee has tackled a new approach to an old or emerging problem, or a creative way of scaling up or expanding a promising approach

    • Creative or entrepreneurial spirit: The nominee can demonstrate a commitment as a visionary or pioneer in their field of work.

    • Impact: The extent to which there exists clear documentation of Nominee’s impact, whether through an external evaluation or ongoing internal efforts to track outcomes or indicators of success

    • Future focus: The extent to which there is a trajectory for the Nominee’s career and work that shows promise for the future; i.e. the next five years

    • Experience-based: The extent to which there is a clear connection between the Nominee’s life experience and the work at hand, whether through the problem being solved, the skills being applied to the problem, or the life experience or insights that led to the work.

    • Integrity: Nominee is a highly ethical individual who will make an excellent AARP Purpose Prize representative and who can be role models for others who are using their life experience to make a difference.

    In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged based on the same criteria listed above and Round Winner will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Entrants agree to the Official Rules and to the decisions of the Jurors, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Award of a prize to any Round Winner will be subject to verification of that Round Winner’s eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules.

  • Contest Rounds Administration and Round Winner Notification:

    • Semi-Finalist Round: On approximately June 28, 2017 at approximately 5:00 PM EST, Semi-Finalists will be selected by the Jurors. Semi-Finalists will be notified via email on or about July 5, 2017. To be considered in the Finalist Round, Semi-Finalists must complete a second Semi-Finalist Application. The return of any Semi-Finalist notification message or document as undeliverable or the failure to complete the Semi-Finalist Application form or comply with the applicable instructions will result in disqualification of said Semi-Finalist, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize and the selection of a substitute Semi-Finalist from among all remaining eligible entries.

    • Finalist Round: On approximately September 19, 2017 at approximately 5:00 PM, -Finalists will be selected by the Jurors. Finalists will be notified via email on or about September 27, 2017. Finalists must email purposeprize@aarp.org within five (5) days of notification to claim prize. The return of any prize notification message or document as undeliverable will result in disqualification of the applicable Finalist, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize and the selection of a substitute Finalist from among all remaining eligible Semi-Finalists.

      Finalists must disclose any current or prior financial relationship or other support they have received from AARP, AARP Foundation, AARP Services, Inc., or Jurors. Other support includes but is not limited to: technical assistance, promotion and advocacy. A current or prior relationship, financial or otherwise, does not immediately disqualify a Finalist, but such factors will be considered in finalizing a diverse pool of Finalists.

  • Prizes: Each Finalist will receive $50,000. Finalists may also receive, but are not guaranteed, (1) the opportunity for their stories and work to be promoted across a variety of media channels; (2) media training; and (3) access to a network of social innovators. Limit: Only one (1) prize per individual. Odds of Winning: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received, and the Jurors’ evaluation of said entries.

Participant need not be an AARP member in order to enter and/or win the Prize Contest. Being an AARP member will not increase your chance or odds of winning.

4. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO PRIZE RECIPIENT (“PRIZE RECIPIENT”):

Prize Limit: An individual, including a member of his/her household, regardless of email address used, may only win one (1) prize throughout the Promotion Period. Each Finalist will receive the prize within 45 days of having been confirmed as a Finalist. Prizes are not transferable or substitutable except by Sponsor with one of equal or greater value. Sponsor is not responsible for any Prize Recipient’s inability to utilize her/his prize.

Note: All taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of cash awarded are the sole responsibility of individual winners. Cash awarded will be reported by AARP on an IRS Form 1099. It is further the policy of AARP: That all AARP Purpose Prize winners of cash awards be advised to consult with their own tax professionals and/or legal counsel to ascertain the tax impact of receiving such cash awards, whether such applicable winners do or do not elect to divert their awards to an eligible non-profit organization.

The policy of AARP is the following: That winners of The Purpose Prize may direct a portion or the entirety of their cash awards (if any) to an eligible 501(c)(3) organization without triggering the need for AARP to file a 1099 form on behalf of such winners to the IRS to report potential taxable income, so long as:

  1. The winners of the cash awards did not self-nominate;

  2. The elections to direct awards to designated charities are made before the cash awards have been transmitted to the applicable winners; and,

  3. The recipient organizations can provide proper documentation to Encore.org of their charitable status, prior to receipt of funds.

All federal, state and local taxes are solely the responsibility of each Prize Recipient. AARP reserves the right to modify this policy at its own discretion at any time and within applicable IRS guidelines.

Additionally, at the sole discretion of the Sponsor, disqualification, forfeiture and the selection of an alternate Finalist may result from any of the following: (a) a potential Finalist’s failure, upon request, to provide Sponsor with satisfactory proof of age, identity, residency, and/or eligibility; (b) a potential Finalist’s failure to accept or utilize the prize as provided herein; or (c) any other non-compliance, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, with the Official Rules.

5. LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Sponsor & Others are not responsible for interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections; for miscommunications; failed telephone, computer or electronic transmissions; for jumbled, scrambled or misdirected entries or transmissions; for phone, electrical, network, technology or computer hardware or software or program malfunctions, failures or difficulties; or any other errors, omissions, interruptions, or deletions of any kind, whether human, mechanical or electronic; or for non-receipt of any entry regardless of the cause of it not being properly received by Sponsor. Sponsor & Others are not responsible for illegible, unintelligible, late, lost or stolen entries; for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Promotion; or for any technical, printing or human errors which may occur in the receipt, non-receipt or processing of any entries in the Promotion. In no event will Sponsor award more Prizes than are stated in these Official Rules. Persons found tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and may be subject to prosecution. Any person attempting to enter using multiple email addresses, multiple identities or any other device or artifice to enter multiple times or to interfere with the proper play of the Promotion will be disqualified from participation in the Promotion. If, in the judgment of Sponsor, the Promotion is compromised by viruses, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor, which or may corrupt the administration, security, fairness or proper play of the Promotion, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify, discontinue, suspend or terminate the Promotion and proceed to select potential Round Winners in a manner it deems fair and reasonable.

SPONSOR & OTHERS MAKE NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NONINFRINGEMENT AS REGARDS ANY PRIZE OR ANY COMPONENT OF ANY PRIZE. SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS OF EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES. CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS TO LEARN IF ANY OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

6. CANCELATION: Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, virus, human error, tampering or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prizes from among the eligible entries or plays received up to the time of the impairment. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the or to be acting in violation of the Official Rules of this or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

7. PRIVACY POLICY: Any personally identifiable information collected during an applicant’s participation in the Promotion will be collected by Sponsor and used by Sponsor in accordance with Sponsor's Privacy Policy as such is stated at https://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/info-0502010/privacypolicy.html. Sponsor will not share the nominators’ name or contact information with any nominee or with the general public.

8. PUBLICITY RIGHTS: By accepting a prize, each Prize Recipient agrees to allow Sponsor and/or Sponsor's designees the perpetual right to use his/her entry, name, biographical information, photos, videos and/or likeness, and statements for promotion, trade, commercial, advertising and publicity purposes, at any time or times, in all media now known or hereafter discovered, worldwide, including but not limited to on the World Wide Web and Internet, without notice, review or approval and without additional compensation except where prohibited by law. The above language also applies to all applicants who are designated as Semi-Finalists.

9. GOVERNING LAW: Issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of Washington, DC.

10. RELEASE: By participating, each entrant releases and agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor & Others from and against any and all costs, claims, damages, or any other injury, whether due to negligence or otherwise, to person(s) or property (including, without limitation, death or violation of any personal rights, such as violation of right of publicity/privacy, libel, or slander), due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, to participation in the Promotion, or arising out of the receipt, use or misuse, or enjoyment of any Prize.

11. GENERAL: By entering the Promotion, entrants agree to abide and to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final in all matters pertaining to this Promotion. All entries become property of Sponsor and will not be returned. Void outside of the fifty (50) United States/District of Columbia and wherever prohibited or restricted by law. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

12. WINNER’S list: To obtain the names of the Finalists, send a properly stamped, self-addressed envelope, by 12/31/17, to AARP Purpose Prize Winners’ List, A3 – 113 601 E. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20049.

SPONSOR: AARP, 601 E. Street NW, Washington, DC 20049

© 2016 AARP

AARP is a trademark of AARP Non-Profit Corporation, D.C. These Official Rules may not be reproduced or reprinted in part or in their entirety without the express prior written permission of AARP.