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Nominations Open for Purpose Prize, Honoring Older Americans Involved in Charitable Work

February 3, 2008

(Feb. 4, 2008) Americans age 60 and over who address critical social problems with their creativity, talent and innovation may be nominated for The Purpose Prize®.

Nearly 8,000 baby boomers turn 60 every day, and many are looking to use their skills and experience in meaningful ways. The Purpose Prize, conducted by Civic Ventures, honors those individuals who have demonstrated creativity and leadership on an initiative or with an organization to address a major social problem in the United States or abroad.

The Purpose Prize awards five $100,000 and 10 $10,000 investments to recipients. Individuals can be nominated by an organization or can self-nominate. The application deadline is March 1, 2008, and the prizes will be announced in the fall of 2008.

Full information about the prize can be found here.

Criteria for Selection

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Will the person be a compelling role model whose own story will serve to inspire others, not only to think differently about the second half of life, but also to take on new leadership roles and perform significant service in this phase?
  • Is the person an outstanding social innovator, working creatively and in a transformative capacity to spearhead significant change?
  • Has the person initiated important innovations (in a new or ongoing organization) after the age of 50?
  • Does the person plan to continue to innovate and lead in the years to come?
  • How important is the issue the person is addressing? How much of an impact has his or her work had on that issue? Is his or her work already effecting, or does it have the future potential to effect, systemic change?
  • What does he or she plan to do in the next five years? Would the prize be a good investment in the future work of this individual?
  • Is the person a highly ethical individual?


An eligible candidate for The Purpose Prize is:

  • At least 60 years old (by the application deadline of March 1, 2008)
  • Someone who initiated important innovations (in a new or ongoing organization) after the age of 50 and has demonstrated creativity and leadership within the past five years or so with the promise of more to come
  • A legal U.S. resident (residents of U.S. territories are also eligible)
  • Currently working in a leadership capacity on an initiative or in an organization or institution (public, private, nonprofit or for-profit) to address a major social problem in the United States or abroad
  • Effecting measurable change
  • Not an elected official
  • Not involved in a project that is strictly religious or sectarian (The prize will not be awarded to a person whose efforts are confined exclusively to individuals within a denomination or for the sole purpose of expanding the religious mission of the denomination or faith. People working in faith-based settings that have a broader social mission are eligible and encouraged to apply.)

Civic Ventures is a San Francisco-based think tank focusing on aging in America and redefining the second half of life as a source of social and individual renewal.

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