We are looking for people who have founded 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations doing extraordinary things by tapping their life experience to make a better future for people of any age. Your organization doesn’t have to have a big budget or a large team to be a strong candidate.
Because we believe that life experience can change the world, you must be at least 50 years old and have started your work at the age of 40 or later to qualify.
We are not looking for people who have simply applied strong management skills to improve an organization’s performance, i.e. doing the job they were hired to do and doing it very well. This should also not be viewed as a lifetime achievement award. We are looking for people who saw a problem and created a solution.
Here are the review criteria we use to assess the applicants’ organizations:
Some applicants get paid a salary for their current work, some donate their time, while others receive a nominal stipend.
Yes. Presently people who have founded 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations and continue to work for the nonprofits they founded are eligible, as long as the work leads to positive change and has had a significant impact at the local, regional, national or global level.
Yes, but each person in the partnership must meet all the criteria and they must demonstrate how they’ve each contributed significantly to the work.
Yes, we do accept applications from people whose work primarily benefits people living outside U.S. borders, but you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and the 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) non-profit organization you founded has its principal place of business in the United States, District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico,
We strongly consider applicants working in the following issue areas:
Yes, but in general we are looking for people who haven’t been widely recognized outside of their local communities or their field of work within the nonprofit sector.
Anyone who meets the criteria listed above is eligible, regardless of their AARP membership status.
Because we believe that life experience can change the world, you must be at least 50 to apply and have started your work at the age of 40 or later to qualify. Important note: The AARP Purpose Prize award is not a lifetime achievement award. It celebrates people who are currently using their life experience and creativity to make a difference on important social issues.
As noted above, applicants need to be at least 50 at the time of the application deadline and have started the work at age 40 or older. The work needs to be taking place at the time of the application.
The following categories of people are not eligible:
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 award 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 affiliated entities are required to disclose any current or prior relationship to any AARP Purpose Prize candidates. AARP-appointed volunteers and staff are not allowed to apply. 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.
An independent panel of jurors recommends a final slate of Winners. Jurors are distinguished national leaders selected for their experience and thought leadership. Based on the jury’s recommendations, the AARP CEO determines the final Winners.
Due to the volume of high-caliber applicants, AARP recognizes up to 10 Fellows to complete each year’s class. The founded 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations of the Fellows will receive $5,000 each and will also have access to a number of supports and resources.
Each AARP Purpose Prize Winner’s founded 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations will receive $50,000. Each AARP Purpose Prize Fellow’s founded 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization will receive $5,000. Our hope is that the funds will be used for future work towards the greater social good.
Note: All taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of cash awarded are the sole responsibility of individual Winners’ designated organizations. Cash awarded will be reported by AARP to the IRS. It is further the policy of AARP: That all AARP Purpose Prize Winners’ and Fellows’ designated organizations that will receive the cash awards are advised to consult with their own tax professionals and/or legal counsel to ascertain the tax impact of receiving such cash awards.
The individual Winners and Fellows receive:
NOTE: Fellows are eligible to reapply to the AARP Purpose Prize award after a two-year period