DoSomething.org FAQs

Does membership cost anything?

No way! We don't want your money; we want your energy, ideas, and help solving community problems you care about.

What do I have to do to become a member?

Right now, you just need to sign up with your mobile number or email. Later we'll ask for your birthday (hello, annual gifts!), zip code (so we can invite you to exclusive events) and school. To activate your membership and be eligible for all the sweet perks, get involved with one of our campaigns (or start your own thing)--and tell us about it!

Is there an age limit?

Yup. This is a movement of young people...and that means you gotta be 25 or younger. (Sorry 26 year olds, you are officially over-the-hill.)

How is membership different from the old DoSomething.org?

The better we know you and what you care about, the more we can help you do good stuff (and give you stuff you actually want).

Is this a political thing?

Nope. We don't care if you are Tea Party, Coffee Party, just like to party, or never partied. We're not interested in wearing a navy suit, a red-striped tie and debating stuff. We're less talk, more action. Get out there and do something about the problems in your community!


More Frequently Asked Qs

If you have a question about one of our programs, check the FAQs below first—chances are someone else has had the question, too!

GRANTS

Q. What are the Do Something Grants all about?
Q. Am I eligible to apply for a grant?
Q. What can grant money be used for?
Q. How can fundraisers be incorporated into my project?
Q. What do I need to apply for a Grant?
Q. Is there a paper version of the application?
Q. I can't access the application! Q. What is an example of a good application?
Q: I started my project with a partner or group. Can we apply together?
Q. My project is partnered with another organization, or part of a larger organization. Can I still apply?
Q. What needs to be included in my budget?
Q. How long do I have to use my grant money?
Q. Who should I approach to get a good recommendation?
Q. What do I do when I get an error or "Access Denied" message when I try to apply?
Q. How do I go back and edit my application?
Q. What happens if my computer crashes while I am working on the application?
Q. How do I find out if I've won?
Q. So what happens if I don’t win?

DO SOMETHING AWARDS

Q. Am I eligible to apply for an award?
Q. What is an example of a good application?
Q. I started my project with a partner. Can we apply together?
Q. Who should I approach to get a good recommendation?
Q. What do I do when I get an error or "Access Denied" message when I try to apply?
Q. How do I go back and edit my application?
Q. What happens if my computer crashes while I am working on the application?

CLUBS

Q. Does my club have to be school based?
Q. Do I need an old person to start a club?
Q. What’s the best way to get our school administration excited about Do Something?
Q. We can’t find a teacher to be our advisor. What should we do?
Q. How often do I need to host meetings?
Q. What exactly do we need to do?
Q. Can we work on more than 2 projects?
Q. What do I need to put in my project posts for the Do Something website? Q. What if a Community Service club already exists at my school? Can I start my own Do Something Club?

SCHOLARSHIPS

Q. Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?
Q. What can scholarship money be used for?
Q. How long do I have to use my scholarship money?
Q. What do I need to apply for a scholarship?
Q: My community action and volunteer experience has been with a group. Can we all apply together?
Q. I am getting an error or "Access Denied" message when I try to apply.
Q. What happens if my computer crashes while I am working on the application?
Q. How do I find out if I won?

GRANTS

Q. What are the Do Something Grants all about?

A. We are one of the only organizations that puts money directly into the hands of young people. Our community action grants help turn dream projects into a reality and take existing projects to the next level. Past grantees have used the money to create a community-run organic farm, publish a youth-written literary magazine for women of color, and even create an organization that teaches sick kids how to fly. The Do Something Grants program isn’t just about giving money, though. Through our monthly alumni calls, newsletters, Boot Camps, and online content we provide our grant winners with the skills to grow and sustain their projects.


Q. Am I eligible to apply for a grant?

A. Eligibility Rules:

  • You must be 25 or younger.
  • You must live in the US or Canada in order to apply. Or be a US/Canadian citizen living abroad.
  • You have not won a grant from Do Something in the past year (you can *apply* for as many grants as you'd like, but you can only *win* one grant from Do Something in a twelve-month period, excluding the Do Something Award or unless otherwise noted).

Q. What if I'm a U.S. or Canadian citizen, but I'm living abroad?

A. No worries, you're still eligible!


Q. What can grant money be used for?

A. What the grant money can be used for is specific to each grant, but check out some examples of past projects we have funded HERE.Do Something Grants CANNOT be used to fund:

  • Travel Costs (if you are looking for grants to help you cover a travel abroad experience check out mytravelbug.org or studyabroadfunding.org)
  • Individual Sponsorships
  • Shipping Costs
  • Individual School Fees (Do Something Grants are not educational scholarships)
  • Fundraisers* (see below)

*Q. How can fundraisers be incorporated into my project?

A. If your project has a fundraising element it can still be considered so long as there is a direct community impact through education, awareness, or taking action. We do not fund projects whose sole goal is to raise funds. Additionally you CANNOT contribute the Do Something Grant money towards your fundraising goal; specifically, the money CANNOT be funneled to any other organization.


Q. What do I need to apply for a Grant?

Required

  • A budget detailing how the $500 will be used
  • A recommendation from a non-family member
Optional (but recommended)

  • Photos and video of your project
  • A project website

Q. Is there a paper version of the application?

A. The application is only available online. This helps us save paper waste, and is a great way to share a lot of information quickly and easily among our panel of judges.


Q. I can't access the application!

A. Make sure you are logged in. If you still can't access it, open up a help desk ticket.


Q. Do I have to create a project page before submitting a grant application?

A. Yes. Because the grants revolve around a project, it's necessary to first create a project page.


Q. What makes up a good application?

A. A good application should follow the judging criteria. Additionally, your application should address your individual role in the project: how you have measured or will measure the impact you are making on your community. And please! Pay attention to detail in your grammar and spelling.


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

A: Yes, our grants are awarded to both individuals and groups. On the application form, you can choose which category your project fits into. For groups, you should choose one person to act as the project leader who will be the main contact person. The project leader will enter other group members' emails on the application form so that we can update all of you with any news.


Q. My project is partnered with another organization, or part of a larger organization. Can I still apply?

A. Yes! If you are partnering with another organization you can apply for a Do Something Grant, so long as your project stands on its own and you are the leader of it. The same is true if your project is a part of a larger organization. Again, the project must be a separate and distinct part of the organization of which you must hold a leading role.


Q. What needs to be included in my budget?

A. Your budget should provide a general overview of your project and how you plan to use your money. Make sure to take a look at what we DO NOT fund, and make sure none of your plans include those items.


Q. How long do I have to use my grant money?

A. You must use your grant money within 6 months of receiving your check. So if your project is planned further in advance than six months, you might want to wait to apply. Remember, the Do Something Grants are accepted on a rolling basis, so you can apply at any time.


Q. Who should I approach to get a good recommendation?

A. The strongest applicants have recommendations written by people who are well informed about their projects and ideas. This should be someone who knows you well, but more importantly can attest to the goals and strength of your project, rather than your personal character. This means they should know your project or your plan of action, what you’ve done or what you plan to do. Please ask your recommenders to write about their experience with you and their thoughts about your work, impact, and collaboration with the community, if possible. They should be as specific as possible. We suggest that you send your recommender the Judging Criteria.


Q. I am getting 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 a link to verify your email address. Check your junk mail. If you can't find the email or are still having trouble please submit a help ticket with our tech department. Someone should get back to you within a day.


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

A. You can edit your application by logging into www.dosomething.org, going to MY ACCOUNT (On the top right side of the page, right above the "Sign Up" box. Your Do Something Grants application will be listed under "Grants I've Applied For."


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 a word processor (like Word or Google Docs) 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 hit submit, so please help us help you by making sure you have back up copies of your essays.


Q. How do I find out if I've won?

A. The Do Something Seed Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis, which means that there is no application deadline. You will be notified whether or not you have won a grant within 2-3 months of submitting your application. It's annoying to wait, we know, but we have to read through a lot of applications! Winning applicants will be notified by phone. Non-winning applicants will be notified by email two to three months after submission.


Q. So what happens if I don’t win?

A. Non-winning applicants will be notified by email 2-3 months after submission. We encourage you to take another look at your application and re-apply. It might be that we had so many great applications that month that we just couldn’t fit you in. Or it might be that your application has room for improvement (maybe it needs more clarity on how your project measures change, or maybe you need to explain what makes your project unique). Take a look at other projects that we’ve funded to see what we’re looking for. And, if you are still having problems with your grant applications, email grants@dosomething.org for one-on-one advice on how to improve your application.


DO SOMETHING AWARDS

Q. Am I eligible to apply for an award?

A. Eligibility Rules:

  • You must be 25 or younger.
  • You must live in the US or Canada in order to apply. Or be a US/Canadian citizen living abroad.
  • You have not won a Do Something award before.
  • Your award money must go directly to a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit.

Q. What is an example of a good application?

A. Good applications address the Judging Criteria. You can also look at past 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 or group. 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. Who should I approach to get a good recommendation?

A. The strongest applicants have recommendations written by people who are well informed about their projects and ideas. This should be someone who knows you well, but more importantly can attest to the goals and strength of your project, rather than your personal character. This means they should know your project or your plan of action, what you’ve done or what you plan to do. Please ask your recommenders to write about their experience with you and their thoughts about your work, impact, and collaboration with the community, if possible. They should be as specific as possible. We suggest that you send your recommender the Judging Criteria.


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 a link to verify your email address. Check your junk mail. If you can't find the email or are still having trouble please submit a help ticket with our tech department. Someone should get back to you within a day.


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

A. You can edit your application by logging into www.dosomething.org, going to MY ACCOUNT (On the top right side of the page, right above the "Sign Up" box. Your Do Something Grants application will be listed under "Grants I've Applied For."


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 a word processor (like Word or Google Docs) 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 hit submit, so please help us help you by making sure you have back up copies of your essays.


CLUBS

Q. Does my club have to be school based?

A. Nope! If you care about making the world a better place and have five friends that share your passion you can start a Do Something Club in your living room, your church basement, wherever - just as long as your club does something!


Q. Do I need an old person to start a club?

A. Do Something doesn’t require an old person, but your school might. If your school requires a teacher, parent, or faculty advisor, pick someone you like. Choose someone who will understand that your club is really about the issues that you care about and the projects that you want to do. It’s not about adults! You might need their advice and help in planning events or learning more about a topic, but they shouldn’t impose or take control. You lead, they support.


Q. What’s the best way to get our school administration excited about Do Something?

A. We have a sample letter that you can use for this situation! Give it to your principal or the appropriate people in charge. It has info about Do Something, the purpose of Do Something Clubs, and why a club will be a great contribution to the school community and more. You can also direct them to our website www.dosomething.org or ask them to e-mail clubs [at] dosomething [dot] org.

Show them your stuff. Show your passion about your club. Get together with the members to write up proposals for the projects you want to do. Present them to the administration and they can’t help but take you seriously. Ask a mentor to send a memo to the rest of the faculty explaining asking for their support.


Q. We can’t find a teacher to be our advisor. What should we do?

A. We also have a letter that you can give to potential advisors. Let them know that they won’t have to do too much work, since teachers tend to be pretty busy. They just need to be there to support your initiatives. If all else fails, see if there are other old people at the school, like a coach, who could be your advisor.



Q. How often do I need to host meetings?

There’s no one way to organize a Do Something Club. You decide what works best. As long as you can successfully run your projects – go for it. Weekly meetings are a good way to keep everyone engaged and excited about upcoming events.


Q. What exactly do we need to do?

A. Your club needs to tackle at least 2 projects over the school year and create a profile on our website for each completed project. We’ll remind you about the deadlines throughout the year. Club profiles are just for you! Update them with upcoming meetings and events and keep in contact with club members. That’s it! The rest is up to you. Be creative and spread the Do Something spirit of service in your own way.


Q. Can we work on more than 2 projects?

A. Sure! Do Something is all about making a difference. You can absolutely work on short-term projects along with your ongoing projects and get on board for Do Something’s national cause campaigns like Do Something 101 and Teens for Jeans. Just make sure that you have enough people in your club to successfully run the projects. If you only have 10 club members and you are working on 15 projects, you are probably not giving each project the proper attention it deserves. Don’t spread yourselves too thin. Sometimes working on one or two projects has a greater impact!


Q. What do I need to put in my project posts for the Do Something website?

A. The project form guides you through all the info you’ll need to input for a full project posting. You should absolutely include photos, videos, and links to websites with even more info.

Here's a bit more on the most important items:

  • See it: Which problems or needs in your community did your club decide to address with your project? Give facts and examples to prove that there is a need for change.
  • Believe it: Explain your project and describe how it addresses the need you identified.
  • Build it: What steps did you take to plan your project? (For example: Did you create a timeline or list of tasks? How did you publicize? How did you collect materials? What information did you need, and how did you get it?) Outlining these steps will help other people replicate your great work and expand your impact.
  • How did it go?: Describe how actual project/event went and fill in all the vital stats. How many people were involved? How many were impacted? What roles did your club members take on? What are the next steps you're going to take?

Q. What if a Community Service club already exists at my school? Can I start my own Do Something Club?

A. Sure! Do Something Clubs are different from lots of clubs. They allow you to take the lead, start your own thing and impact the causes you care about. Your work could be a really great addition to your school and community. You can even work with the existing club to lead school-wide projects in your school. Make sure you think about the pros and cons before you register. Will you be able to recruit enough members? Will you be able to offer something unique? Do Something is all about young people changing our world by working together and inspiring others. Two small clubs may both be effective, but one large club can become an unstoppable force.


SCHOLARSHIPS

Q. Am I eligible to apply for a scholarship?

A. Eligibility Rules:

  • The applicant must be 25 OR UNDER.
  • The applicant must live in the US or Canada in order to apply. Or be a US/Canadian citizen living abroad.

Q. What can scholarship money be used for?

A. Scholarship money will go directly to your college or university of choice.


Q. How long do I have to use my scholarship money?

A. Your scholarship money will go directly to the school of your choice. If you are not enrolled in school when you are awarded DoSomething.org will hold the money until you have selected a college or university.


Q. What do I need to apply for a scholarship?

A. Required:

  • Fill out a project posting following the directions
  • Tell us which project you're submitting for consideration (in the Join the Surge form)

Optional (but recommended):

  • Photos and video of your project
  • Your project's or volunteer website

Q: My community action and volunteer experience has been with a group. Can we all apply together?

A. Unfortunately, no. The scholarships are for individuals.


Q. I am getting 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 a link to verify your email address. Check your junk mail. If you can't find the email or are still having trouble please submit a help ticket with our tech department. John, will get back to you pronto!


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 project posting essays in Word and then copy/paste them into the online application. We have no ability to access your application if your computer crashes before you hit submit, so please help us help you by making sure you have back up copies of your essays.


Q. How do I find out if I won?

A. You will be notified via phone if you are selected as a winner. If you are not selected as a recipient, you will be notified via email.


Hotlines

If you have a serious problem involving the safety of you or someone you know please contact one of these hotlines. We have personally called each one to make sure they are teen friendly and can answer your questions or emergencies.