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Understand the legal rules governing the competition.

Thank you for your interest in the AI Poverty Challenge. (the “Competition”). The Competition is sponsored by Robin Hood Foundation (the “Competition Sponsor”) with program and platform support provided by Carrot. Please know that by participating in this Competition and in accordance with these Rules you are eligible to receive various forms of recognition and a possible Award from the Competition Sponsor of up to $100,000 each for up to nine (9) Finalists and $1 million each for up to three (3) Awardees. The Rules governing this Competition ("RULES") are stated here as an extension of the Terms & Conditions ("TERMS") for use of this website. The full TERMS are available for your review by accessing them on this Website. The RULES constitute "Competition Terms and Conditions" under Clause 2.3 of the TERMS. Capitalized words used but not defined in the RULES have meanings given to them in the TERMS. Further, any language contained on this website, including but not limited to these RULES, are also an extension of the TERMS, and therefore You are required to read and understand the entirety of the Website content before proceeding.  

Please read these RULES and the TERMS carefully, as they describe the conditions under which you are allowed to participate. As you participate, you may periodically be asked to recognize your acceptance of these RULES and the TERMS by clicking "accept" at various pages on this website, but by continuing any use of this website you expressly consent to all of these RULES and the TERMS.



1. Eligibility

The AI Poverty Challenge welcomes applications from nonprofit and for-profit entities located within the United States and U.S. territories. Each Applicant must identify a Lead Organization. The Lead Organization will assume responsibility for the receipt and management of any Award from Competition Sponsor and will maintain those fiduciary duties in close coordination with any partner organizations. The purpose of including a Lead Organization is to ensure that there is sufficient administrative support and management for the use of any Award and not to disintermediate any partners who are essential to the implementation of any proposed project contained in any Entry. 

Eligibility related to any Lead Organization by type are as follows:

  • 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) in order to develop the solution. An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for multiple applications provided that each application proposes a separate, distinct solution.

Except as described in the following sentences of this paragraph, an organization can submit only one application as the Lead Organization. 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.

2. Ineligible persons or entities

Individuals, government agencies, and non-U.S.-based organizations are not eligible to participate as the Lead Organization but may serve as partners on an Entry submitted by an eligible entity. 

Current or former recipients of Robin Hood Foundation funding may apply with projects that represent significantly different concepts from those already funded. 

Directors, officers, and employees of Robin Hood Foundation, Carrot, funders of the Competition, and any of their subsidiaries and affiliates, and immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they live) or persons living in the same households of such individuals, are not eligible to participate as a key member of the project team. The Competition Sponsor reserves the right to deem a project ineligible for consideration if, in the sole opinion of the Competition Sponsor, granting an Award to the project would give rise to an actual or apparent conflict of interest.

Political parties, electoral campaign committees, and political action committees are not eligible to participate.

3. Geographic Eligibility

All proposed projects must be U.S.-based and relevant to issues facing residents of New York City.

4. Financial & Organizational Capacity

All Applicants must demonstrate the financial capacity of any Lead Organization that may be the recipient of any Award in order to carry out any project and to appropriately manage any Award.

5. Prohibited Use of Award Funds

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.

In addition to direct project costs, the budget may include a reasonable allocation for indirect expenses associated with the overall operations of the organization that are shared across the organization’s activities. We reserve the right to review and adjust the amounts allocated for indirect expenses. Applications from university-based teams should not have an indirect rate exceeding 15%.

6. Guidance Related to Non-Charitable Applicants

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.

7. Treatment & Use of Intellectual Property

Each Application should reflect the anticipated ownership, use, and licensing of any intellectual property; the use and licensing of intellectual property of the winning Entry will be subject to the terms of an agreement with the Competition Sponsor. You represent and warrant that your Entry is an original work created solely by You, that You own all Intellectual Property in and to the Entry, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Entry, except as expressly identified by You to us in writing in Your application. You retain all right, title and interest in any inventions, software or work of authorship You invent or create and the ownership and use of intellectual property arising from this Competition remains with You, subject as may be set forth in the agreement with the Competition Sponsor.

8. Award Agreement

Any Awardee shall enter into a direct and separate award agreement with the Competition Sponsor, containing key terms and conditions which are separate from these RULES and TERMS posted on this website for this Competition.

NOTE: Each grant agreement governing the use of Awards may vary, depending on the nature of the project, the organization receiving the Award, and the Competition Sponsor.

9. Reporting

Any Awardee who enters into a separate agreement to receive funding will be required to report progress towards milestones and other goals. Those reporting requirements may vary, based on the organization and the project, and will be determined by the Competition Sponsor. However, it is likely necessary that a minimum of one financial report and one narrative report may be required by the end of the two-year project period.

10. Other Rules

10.1 Your application must be in English.

10.2 You must complete registration to participate in the Competition. You cannot reside in nor be governed by countries that are prohibited by law, regulation (including United States or other applicable export laws and regulations), treaty or administrative act from entering into trade relations (including export of technology) with the United States of America or its citizens.

10.3 Your Entry should meet the application requirements stipulated on this website. You are required to register in advance of any deadlines for the submission of an Entry, and You must comply with all other deadlines posted on this website. Your Entry may not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Competition Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend Competition in whole or in part without liability to You. Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot also reserves the right to disqualify You from participating.

10.4 By participating in the AI Poverty Challenge, You represent, warrant, and agree that:

  1. You are the sole author, creator, and owner of the Entry;
  2. the Entry is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  3. the Entry does not and will not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
  4. the Entry does not and will not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as "malware," "viruses" or "worms"); and
  5. the Entry, and Your use of the Entry, does not and will not violate any applicable laws or regulations, including, without limitation, applicable export control laws and regulations of the United States and other jurisdictions. If the Entry includes any third party works (such as third-party content or open-source code), You must provide the Competition Sponsor with all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. In the event You cannot provide all such required licenses and releases, the Competition Sponsor reserves the right, in the Competition Sponsor's sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable Entry.

10.5 You may participate by registering, but You may not register more than one true and uniform identity; multiple registrations for a participant using multiple identities are not allowed. Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot reserve the right to disqualify any Entry made by a participant violating this limitation, regardless of whether all of the respective parties had knowledge of such violation. Each registrant may only submit one Entry.

10.6 Upon submitting Your Entry, the Entry will be subjected to an Administrative Review, to ensure compliance with all of the requirements. The application requirements for your Entry are clearly described on this website. Your Entry will be assessed initially by five Judges, who will be assigned to score your Entry either randomly or after considering any potential conflicts of interest, using the scoring rubric and any other judging criteria that are also described on this website. In cases where a Judge indicates any potential conflict of interest, the Entry will be assigned to another Judge. Judges will be responsible for scoring your Entry.

10.7 Once a rank order of Entries has been calculated, the top-scoring Entries will be reviewed by the Competition Sponsor and Selection Committee with consideration given to diversity of solutions, geography, feasibility, and other criteria that may incorporate considerations beyond the Judges’ reviews. The Competition Sponsor and Selection Committee Judges are permitted to communicate with Competitors solely for the purposes of carrying out due diligence for evaluating Your Entry and assigning a score during the review process, but those Judges are not required to contact any individual. By participating in the AI Poverty Challenge, You acknowledge and agree to be bound by the final decision of the Competition Sponsor.

If a Finalist is unable to fully participate in the next phase of the Competition, then they may forfeit their designation as a Finalist, and the next Competitor in the rank order of Entries may be named a Finalist in their place. Final determination of Finalists and Awardees rests with the Competition Sponsor.

10.8 While Carrot is providing an online platform for your participation, Carrot is not responsible for the payment of any Award(s). Payment of any Award(s) is the sole responsibility of Robin Hood Foundation and its designees, and under the Terms each participant has agreed to look solely to Robin Hood Foundation, as the Competition Sponsor, for the payment of any Award.

10.9 By submitting your Entry, you agree to release, discharge and hold harmless the Competition Sponsor and Carrot and their partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors and representatives from any Loss arising out of your participation in Competition and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any Award(s). Neither the Competition Sponsor nor Carrot assume responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Competition entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. Neither Competition Sponsor nor Carrot are responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to competitors’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Competition. In the event of a dispute about the identity of any Competitor, an online registration will be declared as if made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at time of entry.

10.10 THIS COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Competitors agree that this Competition shall be subject to and governed by the laws of the United States of America and the forum of any dispute shall be in the courts of the United States of America. Any arbitration between You and Carrot or Competition Sponsor will be governed by the Commercial Dispute Resolution Procedures and the Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes (collectively, "AAA Rules") of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"), as modified by the TERMS, and will be administered by the AAA. The AAA Rules and filing forms are available online at, by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879.

10.11 If for any reason Competition is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of Carrot that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Competition, Carrot reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Competition. If Competition Sponsor and/or Carrot terminates the Competition, it will not retain any rights in the submitted Entries.

10.12 The Competition Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any Competitor who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of AI Poverty Challenge, to be acting in violation of these Rules, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of AI Poverty Challenge, or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person.

10.13 Entry into AI Poverty Challenge does not constitute entry into any other Robin Hood Foundation competition or program, Carrot competition or program, or promotion that may be offered by the Competition Sponsor and/or its affiliates.

10.14 Robin Hood Foundation and/or Carrot reserves the right to disqualify any participant who violates these RULES, the TERMS and any standards of behavior expressed or implied in them.

10.15 The names of the Awardees will be posted on this website for such period of time as the Competition Sponsor deems reasonable.

Contact Information

You may contact us with any questions or comments about these RULES. You may reach us by email.