The AARP Purpose Prize award is a national award in the United States that celebrates people 50 and older who are using their life experience to make a difference. Through the Purpose Prize award, AARP celebrates the creativity, innovation, and inspiration that life experience brings.
Through this important annual award, AARP seeks to create a world in which it is the norm for people age 50 and over to leverage their life’s wisdom and lived experience to find a new purpose, make a difference, and be valued for their innovative ideas. Up to five Winners who have founded a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit organization will win $50,000 for their organization to honor the Winner’s achievements. They will also have access to a number of technical assistance supports and resources to help broaden their organizations’ impact.
AARP also recognizes other outstanding applicants by designating up to 10 Fellows from the AARP Purpose Prize award applicants. Fellows’ organizations will receive $10,000 each and the Fellows will also have access to a number of technical assistance supports and resources.
All applications go through a formal and structured review process that includes several rounds of review by a prestigious jury of national leaders who have used their life experience for good and AARP staff reviewers. Based on the selection criteria, the jury and the AARP staff reviewers make final Winner selections which are subject to the approval of the AARP CEO.
In addition, the Winners of the AARP Purpose Prize award will have the opportunity to enter a second portion of the awards program, called the AARP Inspire award where the general public will vote to select one (1) AARP Inspire Award Winner among the five (5) previously selected AARP Purpose Prize Award Winners that meet the criteria of (1) Impact, (2) Personal Story and (3) Innovation (4) , after evaluating each entry based on their video recorded responses to the following question which correspond with the selection criteria:
1. Impact: What kind of results does your organization have among the communities it serves?
2. Personal Story: What was the moment, event or experience that sparked your passion to create a new solution to a social problem?
3. Innovation: How is the work that your organization is doing different from others doing the same work or is your organization’s work unique?
The AARP Inspire Award Winner will receive an additional $10,000 for his or her organization. More details about the AARP Inspire Award Contest will be available on October 4, 2021.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.
Commitment to Diversity
AARP staff reviewers and jury are committed to principles of diversity, inclusion and equity. From its inception, this award was created and intended to uplift the voices and lived experiences of all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or disability status.
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: AARP Purpose Prize Contest (“Promotion” or “Purpose Prize Contest”) applications will be accepted between January 27, 2021 and March 31, 2021 until 5:00 PM ET. (“Promotion Period”). The Purpose Prize Contest consists of an application process in which founders of 501 (c)(3) and 501 (c)(4) nonprofits organizations will apply for prizes awarded to Winners and Fellows based on the judging criteria outlined in these Official Rules. More specific details are stated below.
2. ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be US citizens living in the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, who are at least fifty (50) years old as of the date of entry and who started the work for which they are applying for at the age of forty (40) or older. 󠆺There must also be a connection between the Applicant’s own life and their work . Applicants must have founded a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with its principal place of business located in the United States in good standing in its state of origin and tax exemption under the Internal Revenue Code at the time of Applicant’s submission and throughout the Purpose Prize Contest selection process (“Founded Non-profit”). The mission of the Founded Non-profit should be consistent with the Applicant’s social impact work. Officers, directors, and employees of AARP (“Sponsor”), its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising/promotion agencies, and/or their affiliates, assigns, agents, vendors or representatives (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Sponsor & Others”), and all other persons or entities associated with the development, administration, judging, promotion, execution of this Purpose Prize Contest are not eligible to apply. AARP-appointed volunteers and staff and their immediate family members are not allowed to apply. Additionally, past Purpose Prize and AARP Purpose Prize Winners, past Fellows from the previous two (2) years of AARP Purpose Prize classes, current AARP or AARP Foundation 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 and members of the same household and immediate families, (e.g. parents, children, spouse, siblings) are not eligible.
3. HOW TO PARTICIPATE/SELECTION OF WINNER/PRIZE/ODDS OF WINNING:
A) Purpose Prize Contest: There will be a total of five (5) Prizes awarded to Winners selected from a pool of eligible Applicants. In addition, up to ten (10) Fellows will be selected from a pool of eligible Applicants. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Applicant at any time and for any reason should Sponsor determine that Applicant does not properly represent Sponsor’s mission, goals, and policies or if the actions of Applicant or his/her Founded Non-Profit bring tarnish of any kind to the AARP brand/trademark. An individual may only submit one (1) application which will require the submission of the following documents:
- A resume
- Three letters of references
- A copy of your organization’s IRS determination letter
- Your organization’s annual budget
- An organizational chart
Only one (1) entry per individual. The entry and selection process is as follows:
Individuals may apply by visiting www.aarp.org/apply between January 27, 2021, and March 31, 2021 and completely filling out the Official Application Form and submitting all requested documents.. Applicant’s Founded Nonprofit must be mission-drive and be able to show the social impact of its work. 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, the following areas are of particular interest to Sponsor:
- Intergenerational work (opportunities for different generations to come together to share their experience, knowledge, and skills)
- Rethinking the workplace (jobs, work environments, alternative approaches)
- Caregiving and caregiver resources (support for vulnerable populations and the people who care for them)
- Healthy living (food and nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, etc.)
- Financial health (financial stability, resilience, economic opportunity, etc.)
- Hunger (food insecurity, waste, distribution, etc.)
- Affordable housing (safe, well-managed, and affordable housing and services)
- Social connections (isolation among vulnerable community members)
Other general areas include:
- Civic engagement and community development (helping people be active participants in building and strengthening their communities)
- Environmental issues (combatting the challenges facing the planet)
- Children and youth (helping kids and young people reach their full potential, in school settings and elsewhere)
- Arts and culture (using art and culture as tools to engage communities in positive change)
- Peace and security rights (establishing or preserving justice and equality by peaceful means)
- Homelessness (addressing the needs of homeless populations)
- Veterans (providing services for veterans, advocating for veterans’ rights, empowering veterans)
- Animal protection (ensuring animal welfare, promoting animal companionship with vulnerable populations)
Judging and Selection Process: The judging will consist of five (5) rounds
- Winners and Fellows’ Round
Those selected for each round will be selected from all remaining entries from the previous round, which were all originally received throughout the Promotion Period.
Candidates, Semi-Finalists, and Finalists will be selected by a group of AARP staff reviewers and/or external jurors.
The Winners and Fellows’ round will be selected by AARP internal reviewers identifying a cohort of up to 15 Finalists from which an external jury will then select a cohort of up to five (5) Winners. Once the five (5) Winners are identified, each of them will then have the opportunity to enter into the AARP Inspire Award Contest where the general public will be invited to vote and select the “AARP Inspire Award Contest Winner based on specific criteria of (1) Impact, (2) Personal Story and (3) Innovation, after evaluating each entry based on the Applicants’ video recorded responses to the following question which correspond with the selection criteria:
1. Impact: What kind of results does your organization have among the communities it serves?
2. Personal Story: What was the moment, event or experience that sparked your passion to create a new solution to a social problem?
3. Innovation: How is the work your organization is doing different from others doing the same work or is your organization’s work unique?
For more details about the AARP Inspire Award Contest, visit www.aarp.org/InspireAward on October 4, 2021 ET.
The remaining 10 Finalists identified during the Winners and Fellows round of the Purpose Prize Contest and not selected as Winners will become Fellows.
All selected Winners will be subject to the final approval of the CEO of AARP.
AARP Reviewers and Jurors will evaluate Applicants on the following criteria:
Impact (30 points): Clearly documented impact of the population you serve, this could be through external evaluation and/or internal efforts to track success.
Execution (25 points): How your Founded Non-Profit is structured, staffed, and funded. What strategies are in place to successfully implement and sustain the work that you do?
Personal Story (20 points): Is there a connection in your own life that drew you to this work and compelled you to make a difference.
Innovation (15 points): New approach to an old or emerging problem, or a creative way of building on an existing idea so that it reaches more people.
Equitable Social Purpose (10 points): Clearly documented steps to imbed the concepts of diversity, inclusion equity and equality in their organizational structure to support marginalized communities
In the event of a tie, tied entries will be re-judged based on the same criteria listed above and the Round Winner will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Applicants agree to the Official Rules and to the decisions of the AARP Reviewers and Jurors and the AARP CEO, 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 Round Administration and Round Winner Notification:
Round 1 (Applicant Round): All Applicants must submit their applications by 5:00pm ET on March 31, 2021. The failure to complete the application form or comply with the applicable instructions will result in disqualification of said Applicant, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize and the selection of a substitute Applicant from among all remaining eligible entries. AARP Reviewers will identify all eligible applications that meet the outlined Purpose Prize Contest criteria. From the eligible applications, the AARP Reviewers will select up to 150 applicants to continue to Round 2. Applicants that are not selected to continue to the next round will be notified via email by approximately April 16, 2021. The failure to complete the application form, provide all requested documents or comply with the applicable instructions will result in disqualification of said Applicant, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize and the selection of a substitute Applicant from among all remaining eligible entries.
Round 2 (Candidate Round): During the Candidate round, approximately 25 Candidates will be selected by AARP Reviewers to continue to Round 3 of internal reviews. The Candidates that are not selected to continue to the next round will be notified via email by April 30, 2021.
Round 3 (Semi-Finalist Round): AARP will notify the Semi-Finalists that they have been selected by approximately May 7, 2021 and schedule site-visits (virtual or in person) to meet the Applicants and to assess first-hand the work of their Founded Non-Profits in action. These site visits will take place throughout May and June, 2021. In addition, Applicants selected as Semi-Finalists will undergo background checks during this round. The results of the site visits and the background checks will be considered in the remaining rounds.
By approximately July 2, 2021 approximately 15 Finalists from the Semi-Finalist round will be selected by AARP Reviewers to continue to Round 4. Candidates not selected to continue to the next round will be notified via email approximately by July 9, 2021.
Round 4 (Finalist Round). By approximately July 9, 2021, Finalists will then be reviewed by AARP Reviewers who will then select 7-10 Finalists to be voted on by the Jury in Round 5. Candidates not selected to continue to the next round will be notified via email by July 16, 2021.
Round 5 (Winner Round): By approximately July 25, 2021, the Jury will select five (5) Winners. By July 29, 2021 the AARP CEO will review the five (5) Winners for final approval to confirm the final Winners.
Winners will be notified by phone and via email on or about July 30, 2021. Winners must email firstname.lastname@example.org within five (5) days of notification to claim prize. The return of any prize notification message or document as undeliverable may result in disqualification of the applicable Winner, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize and the selection of a substitute Winner from among all remaining eligible Finalists.
All Purpose Prize Contest Finalists must disclose any current or prior relationship, financial or otherwise, including without limitation, other support they have received from AARP, AARP Foundation, AARP Services, Inc., or Jurors and the organizations they represent. 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.
In the event there are not five (5) eligible Finalists available for selection as a Winner, Sponsor reserves the right to reduce the number of Winners to the number of individuals that are eligible for selection based on the selection criteria provided herein.
Prizes: Each Winner’s Founded Non-Profit will receive $50,000 in celebration of the Winner’s achievement and in furtherance of the Founded Non-Profit’s mission. The Winner will receive: (1) The opportunity to participate in a 1-year AARP Purpose Prize peer cohort; (2) Attendance at the AARP Purpose Prize Award Event (virtual or in-person); (3) Media engagements via AARP facilitation and/or delivery channels; (3) Access to internal AARP and external resources to support their work;
AARP Inspire Award Contest: The Five (5) Winners of the Purpose Prize Contest will be entered into a public voting contest where one (1) AARP Inspire Award Contest Winner will be selected among the five (5) previously selected Purpose Prize Contest Winners that meet the criteria of (1) Impact, (2) Execution, (3) Personal Story, (4) Innovation and (5) Equitabel Social Purpose, after the public voters evaluate each entry based on their video recorded responses to the following question which correspond with the selection criteria:
1. Impact (30 Points): Clearly documented impact of the population you serve, this could be through external evaluation and/or internal efforts to track success.
2. Execution(25 Points): How your Founded Non-Profit is structured, staffed, and funded. What strategies are in place to successfully implement and sustain the work that you do?
1. Personal Story (20 Points): Is there a connection in your own life that drew you to this work and compelled you to make a difference.
2. Innovation (15 Points): Clearly documented steps to imbed the concepts of diversity, inclusion equity and equality in their organizational structure to support marginalized communities
3. Equitable Social Purpose (10 Points): How is the work your organization is doing different from others doing the same work or is your organization’s work unique?
The AARP Inspire Award Winner will win an additional $10,000 for his or her Founded Non-Profit. More details about the AARP Inspire Award Contest will be available at www.aarp.org/InspireAward on October 4, 2021 ET.
Odds of Winning: The odds of winning the Purpose Prize Contest depend on the number of eligible entries received, and the AARP Reviewers and/or Jurors’ evaluation of said entries.
Applicants need not be an AARP member in order to enter and/or win. Being an AARP member will not increase your chance or odds of winning.
AARP Purpose Prize Fellows: While there can only be a maximum of five (5) Purpose Prize Contest Winners each year, AARP recognizes that there are many strong Applicants whose work contributes to improving local and global communities. Therefore, AARP will invite a select group of Finalists to be “Fellows.” The Fellows will help round out each year’s “class.” AARP Purpose Prize Fellows will receive: (1) Participation in a 1-year AARP Purpose Prize peer cohort; (2) Attendance at the AARP Purpose Prize Award Event; (in-person or virtual) (3) Access to internal AARP and external resources to support their work; (4) Media engagements via AARP facilitation and/or delivery channels; and (5) an award of $10,000 for their Founded Non-Profit organizations.
NOTE: Fellows are eligible to reapply for the AARP Purpose Prize award after a two-year period from the date of their most recent AARP Purpose Prize Fellow selection.
4. TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLICABLE TO PRIZE RECIPIENT (“WINNER”):
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 Winner will receive the prize within 45 days of having been confirmed as a Winner. Prizes are not transferable or substitutable except by Sponsor with one of equal or greater value. Sponsor is not responsible for any Winner’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 and their Founded Non-Profits. Cash awarded will be reported by AARP to the IRS as AARP deems necessary according to applicable law. It is further the policy of AARP that all AARP Purpose Prize Winners and Founded Nonprofits be advised to consult with their own tax professionals and/or legal counsel to ascertain the tax impact of the Founded Non-Profits receiving the cash awards.
All federal, state and local taxes are solely the responsibility of each Winner and their Founded Non-Profits.
Additionally, at the sole discretion of the Sponsor, disqualification, forfeiture and the selection of an alternate Winner may result from any of the following: (a) a potential Winner’s failure, upon request, to provide Sponsor with satisfactory proof of age, identity, residency, and/or eligibility; (b) a potential Winner’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 and Fellows 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 Promotion 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 Promotion, 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 Promotion 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.
8. PUBLICITY RIGHTS: By accepting a prize, each Winner 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.
9. GOVERNING LAW: Issues concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia.
10. RELEASE: By participating, each Applicant and their Founded Organizations 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, Applicants 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 Winners, send a properly stamped, self-addressed envelope, by 12/31/21, to AARP Purpose Prize Winners’ List, A10-125c, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20049.
SPONSOR: AARP, 601 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20049
© 2021 AARP
AARP and Purpose Prize are registered 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.