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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is the Robin Hood AI Poverty Challenge?

Robin Hood launched the AI Poverty Challenge in February 2024 with the purpose to scale what works and encourage more uses of AI that expand opportunity and support more people to achieve greater economic security throughout the United States. The AI Poverty Challenge aims to elevate voices of those on the ground and showcase a range of new and existing solutions that leverage the power and capabilities of AI technology for good.

Who can participate?

The AI Poverty Challenge welcomes applications from nonprofit and for-profit entities located within the United States and U.S. territories, including:

  • An entity described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (“IRC”), that has received a tax determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (such entity, a “501(c)(3) organization”).  
  • An entity other than a 501(c)(3) organization, including a nonprofit corporation, for-profit corporation, limited liability company or partnership, benefit corporation, flexible purpose entity, or similar "hybrid" entity organized under the laws of a state or territory of the United States that is in good standing under the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is organized or formed.

Eligible organizations are welcome to collaborate with nonprofit organizations, companies, foundations, schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, individuals, and other entities (either U.S.-based or non-U.S.-based). An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for multiple applications provided that each application proposes a separate, distinct solution.

Teams that are operating as fiscally-sponsored projects of a 501(c)(3) organization under formal fiscal sponsorship arrangements may each submit separate applications naming the 501(c)(3) organization as the Lead Organization on their applications. Regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations, as well as departments, schools, and programs within or based in a college/university, may each submit separate applications naming their parent organization as the Lead Organization on their applications. In all circumstances described above, the proposed solutions must be separate and distinct. There should be no overlap in team members. The intent of the policy is to ensure that any team is concentrating their best effort into a single application. We encourage teams to select a single project that best represents your organization's ability to deliver a solution that meets the scoring criteria.

What types of projects are you looking for?

Strong solutions for the AI Poverty Challenge will focus on one or more of our solution categories (Education, Financial Empowerment, and Workforce) and will meet the four criteria outlined in the scoring rubric.

Learn more...

How do I apply?

You must first assess your fit and eligibility for the AI Poverty Challenge, then register no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, May 9, 2024. Registration is required and is a simple two-step process. First, create a username and password then check your inbox to confirm your registration. Next, complete the online registration form. Once you are registered, submit your application online no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

How will submissions be assessed?

Once the submission deadline passes, the AI Poverty Challenge team will perform an administrative review to confirm each submission meets the rules and application requirements before advancing to the Evaluation Panel. Judges will use the scoring rubric to provide scores and valuable feedback on their assigned submissions, and all scores will be statistically normalized to ensure fairness.

Robin Hood will review the top-scoring submissions to select up to nine Finalists based on considerations that may include, but are not limited to, Evaluation Panel resulting rank order, organizational capacity, geographic diversity, and demonstrated potential. The Selection Committee will recommend up to three awardees to receive $1 million each. Final decisions and selection of awards will be made by Robin Hood.

Will you consider funding a proposed solution in the early, pilot stages?

New and existing solutions are eligible to apply, however solutions in early development without a well-defined approach are not likely to be competitive. Please review the scoring rubric to learn more about how we define a strong proposal.

How can we use the AI Poverty Challenge award?

Award funds must be used for the project for which they are intended and may be dispersed to partners for project-related purposes. Award funds may not be used:

  • For non-charitable purposes;
  • To influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive (within the meaning of United States Internal Revenue Code ("Code") section 4945(d)(2));
  • To carry on propaganda or otherwise to attempt to influence legislation within the meaning of Code Section 4945(d)(1);
  • To distribute funds to any organization not related to the proposal;
  • For the creation of any endowment or for the aggregation of philanthropic capital by organizations that regrant to nonprofit organizations;
  • For the creation of a venture capital fund, or pooled funds to invest in or distribute to for-profit organizations.

Proposed solutions must be used consistent with the Competition Sponsor’s charitable purposes and may not result in impermissible private benefit, as defined under IRC Section 501(c)(3), to other people, organizations, or entities, other than incidental private benefit that is a necessary byproduct of the accomplishment of the charitable purpose. Non-charitable (for-profit) Applicants are encouraged to consult with qualified legal counsel. The Competition Sponsor will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis.