The Purpose Prize Moves to AARP

Q. Why did Encore seek out this opportunity?

A. The Purpose Prize was created to elevate the stories of changemakers in the second half of life. As our ‘experiment’ gained traction — with prominent media exposure and most particularly, the outstanding work of The Purpose Prize community — it became clear that a bigger platform would permit The Purpose Prize to move from a great idea to a major force for social change and disrupting aging on a larger scale.

At  Encore.org we seek to pioneer and prototype innovations that showcase and harness the unique resources of experienced adults. When these innovations prove successful, we often seek a partner to take them to scale. This is exactly the path we took with Experience Corps, another flagship program initiated by Encore.org and now operated by AARP.  AARP has proved to be the ideal home for Experience Corps, which is now operating in 22 cities and rapidly scaling. We seek the same kind of growth pattern with The Purpose Prize, which has the potential for far greater reach and impact with the resources of a national organization like AARP.

Q. Why is The Purpose Prize important to AARP?

A. To paraphrase AARP CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP looks forward to the day when the kinds of initiatives and engagement celebrated by The Purpose Prize become the norm — and that the prize will be the spark that ignites a new generation of 50+ Americans to discover their real possibilities to find their own purpose in life.

Q. What is AARP’s commitment to The Purpose Prize?

As the future home of The Purpose Prize, AARP is making a significant financial and personnel commitment to its operation and its success. This includes:

  • Guarantee to operate the program for a minimum of five years
  • Similar focus on honoring older adults who have created new ways to accelerate social change in a wide range of societal needs
  • Strong visibility and continuity with the use of the same or a similar name e.g., AARP Purpose Prize
  • Significant cash award, with prizes going exclusively to individuals doing social purpose work.
  • Focus on encore-stage adults with a change in the current age requirement to 50 and older.

Q. How can I apply for the 2017 AARP Purpose Prize?

A. Applications for 2017 are open until May 12. Click here to apply.

Q. What will be Encore.org’s relationship and commitment to the
prior winners & fellows?

Encore.org has created a special website celebrating ten years of the prize, including links to all 500+ winner and fellow stories. We will also continue to work with winners and fellows as part of our storytelling and media relations strategy. We envision many other roles for the Purpose Prize community to be part of our work building the encore movement.

Q. Will something replace The Purpose Prize?

Encore.org is committed to recognizing, and incentivizing, innovations that advance the encore movement. Specifically, we will focus on innovations that promote opportunities for encore seekers to deliver social impact. These new prizes will mark an evolution from The Purpose Prize, as we shift our focus from solely highlighting older social innovators, to a focus on innovative organizations and innovators of any age — in the encore space. Check out the new Encore Prize: Generation to Generation Challenge to find out more.