The multistage selection process for The Purpose Prize® is designed to evaluate all candidates consistently and fairly. At every stage, individuals reviewing nominees are required to disclose any relationship with the candidates.

Reviewers, staff, judges or board members whose relationship to any candidate appears to pose a possible conflict of interest must recuse themselves from scoring or voting on the candidate.

Our competitive review process includes these steps:

  1. Nominations and self-nominations for The Purpose Prize® are accepted until January 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm, ET.
  2. The individual nominated is automatically informed by email that he or she has been nominated and is invited to submit an application comprising an online application form and an application narrative by the application due date, February 7, 2014 at 11:59 pm, ET.
  3. An internal team of Encore.org staff reviews and evaluates all complete applications received by the deadline and identifies those candidates who most closely meet the criteria for The Purpose Prize®. Based on a predetermined rating system, 30 to 50 semifinalists are selected in late March or early April and are asked to provide additional information to Encore.org.
  4. The semifinalist stage of the application process includes additional narrative information about the candidate’s encore work, a resume, references, and a phone interview.
  5. An independent national selection panel of recognized leaders in social innovation, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership and grant-making selects 5 to 7 of the top-scoring candidates to advance to The Prize jury for consideration as finalists.
  6. The Prize jury uses a confidential, rank-ordered system to vote for their top choice for the $100,000 winners.
  7. Votes are returned to Encore.org, tabulated and delivered to a special subcommittee of judges, led by the chair of the panel of judges, to resolve ties or conflicts. The chair presents the recommended slate of winners to the board of Encore.org.
  8. The Encore.org board approves a final slate of winners based on the recommendations of the judges and retains the right to substitute with one or more of the alternates.
  9. Winners are invited to participate in an awards ceremony. Semifinalists who are not selected to advance to the finalist stage of review, and finalists who are not selected as winners, may be invited to be Purpose Prize fellows, an honor that recognizes and promotes the individual’s work but does not award a cash prize. Winners and Fellows are invited to become part of a learning community and to be spokespeople for the encore careers movement, as appropriate.