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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 organizational 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 organizational 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 an AARP executive.
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, 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. For more details about the AARP Inspire Award Contest for the 2024 class of winners, visit: www.aarp.org/InspireAward in late September 2023. There will be a three-week voting period for the Inspire Award.
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.