Q: What is the history of Do Something Awards?

A: In 2007, The BRICK Awards became the FIRST EVER televised awards show about making the world better. Millions watched it on The CW and it was a critical success.

In 2008, The BRICK Awards were renamed the Do Something Awards and became the first non-celebrity category of the Teen Choice Awards with Scarlett Johansson presenting the $100,000 grand prize on the show.

In 2009, the Do Something Awards were held at the world famous Apollo theater in New York with a live audience of 1600, musical performances by Akon and Boys like girls and celebrity presenters and honorees Usher, Nick Cannon, and Russell Simmons.

In 2010, the Do Something Awards made its debut live on VH1 in Hollywood, CA. The ceremony was hosted by Jane Lynch of GLEE, and included performances by Lifehouse, Travie McCoy and Burno Mars, and Natasha Bettingfield, and included presenters and honorees Christina Applegate, Demi Levato, and Kathy Griffin,

In 2011, the Do Something Awards aired on VH1 and were once again hosted by the amazing Jane Lynch of GLEE fame. Celeb presenters and honorees included Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, David Beckham, Olivia Wilde, and Will Ferrell. Musical performances were by Demi Lovato, One Republic featuring B.o.B. and Foster the People.

In 2012, the Do Something Awards aired on VH1 hosted by the three guys from the New Girl. Celeb presenters and honorees included Kristen Bell, John Cho, Olivia Munn, Will Ferrell, Harry Shum, Jr., and FUN!.

In 2013, the Do Something Awards aired LIVE on VH1 hosted by Sophia Bush. In addition to the 5 celebrity honorees, there were musical performances by Jennifer Hudson, J Cole, Fitz and the Tantrums and Sara Bareilles.

Q: How does the selection process work?

A: Do Something Award applications are reviewed and judged by the Do Something Award Academy (comprised of former winners) and Do Something Awards team (comprised of Do Something staff) who read through every application and select semi-finalists.

The Do Something Award finalists are flown to New York City, where representatives from the Do Something Award Selection Committee (comprised of key not-for-profit and corporate professionals) and the Academy interview the finalists face-to-face. The semi-finalists are narrowed down to five Do Something Award finalists who will be honored in late August and receive a minimum of $10,000 in community grants and scholarships. Of those five winners, one will be selected as the grand prize Do Something Award winner and receive a total of $100,000 in community grants.

*Applicants must be 25 or younger and be a US or Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

**The Do Something Award community grant money is paid directly to the nominee's organization or the not-for-profit of the nominee’s choice. All winners have the option of receiving $5,000 of the total money awarded in the form of an educational scholarship.

Q: What is an example of a good application?

A: Good applications address the Judging Criteria. You can also look at our 2013 nominees for the type of projects we look for. While they're all very different, they share the same characteristics of being self-driven, unique, community-oriented with measurable impact.

Additionally, strong applications include:

  • Detail. Please describe your individual role and impact in the organization, campaign or community initiative you are talking about. What did you do exactly? Why do you care about your particular cause/issue/problem? What does this work and the Do Something Award mean to you?
  • Your Story. What was your inspiration? What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome them to make change?
  • Impact. How many people has your project helped? Have people in your community contributed to your efforts? 100 people? 1000 people? 10,000 people? Even MORE? A personal story about someone you helped is great to include, but it is important to include hard numbers as well.

Q: I started my project with a partner. Can we apply together?

A: Unfortunately, no. The Do Something Award is for individuals. The best thing to do is to have a serious talk with the other partners in your group and decide on who should represent the project for this application. If that person wins, the project as a whole benefits because the award money gets paid directly to the organization of the nominee's choice.

Q: What information should my recommendation letters provide?

A:Recommendation letters are intended to flesh out your application and give the judges more insight into who you are as a person. Please ask your recommenders to write about their experience with you and their thoughts about your work, your impact, and your collaboration with the community, if possible. They should be very specific.

Q: How do I go back and edit my application?

A:The deadline to apply has now passed, so unfortunately you can no longer edit your application.

Q: What happens if my computer crashes while I am working on the application?

A:Yikes!! Computer crashes happen to everyone. To protect your application from being lost, make sure to FIRST write your essays in Word and then copy/paste them into the online application. Also, as you work on your application, periodically hit "Submit" to save your changes. We have no ability to access your application if your computer crashes before you save it, so please help us help you by making sure you have back up copies of your essays.

Q: What do I do when I get an error or "Access Denied" message when I try to apply?

A: If you are having trouble posting a project or viewing the application it is most likely because you have not verified your email address. When you created a log in for the Do Something site you were sent an email. In that email there is link to verify your email address. Check your junk mail. If you can't find the email or are still have trouble please submit a help ticket with our tech department. We'll, will get back to you pronto.*****

Having other technical issues? CLICK HERE

Have non-technical questions? Email dsawards@DoSomething.org.