Video Contest Official Rules

Summary -

Please review the Official Rules below to learn more details about:

  • Eligibility
  • How to participate and what to include in your video
  • Eligible Entries
  • Submission Period: March 10 through July 15, 2012
  • Prizes
  • Judging Process
  • Terms and Conditions; Consent; Privacy Policy


The theme of the 2012 AmeriCorps video contest is “AmeriCorps Works.”   This theme communicates the value and effectiveness of AmeriCorps while providing flexibility to be used in many different contexts.  It provides an overarching framework to communicate AmeriCorps triple bottom line return on investment -- for the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation.  For example:

AmeriCorps Works…

  • To meet pressing community needs
  • To expand economic and educational opportunity for those who serve
  • To make our communities safer, stronger, and healthier
  • To improve the lives of vulnerable Americans
  • To build the next generation of nonprofit leaders 
  • To develop innovative community solutions
  • To mobilize volunteers and resources to strengthen America’s voluntary sector

AmeriCorps Works in many different ways.  However you choose to make your video, be sure to shows how AmeriCorps Works!


Submission of a video constitutes the entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Video Contest (Contest) submission period commences on March 10, 2012 and ends at 5:00 pm EDT on July 15, 2012. The contest is sponsored and conducted by CNCS, an agency of the Federal government. CNCS is headquartered at 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20525.

(1) Eligibility:

This contest is only open to any current AmeriCorps member or any former AmeriCorps member who has successfully completed his or her term of service. The AmeriCorps member or alumni submitting a video may work individually or as a team with others who are not members or alumnus, but the official entry must be submitted by an individual who is a current AmeriCorps member or alum. Employees, officers, Board members, contractors, and consultants of the Corporation for National and Community Service, companies awarding prizes, or their immediate family members, are ineligible to participate in the contest. "Immediate family members" means spouse, parents, step-parents, legal guardians, children, step-children, siblings and step-siblings, and each of their respective spouses.

(2) How to Participate:

For the 2012 AmeriCorps video contest, create a 60 second video that tells a compelling, impactful story about how AmeriCorps Works and the effect AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps projects have on local communities and the nation. The video should be informative, memorable, and creative and include a call to action that encourages viewers to get involved and demonstrate that AmeriCorps Works.  All entries must include the AmeriCorps logo at least once during the video. Entrants must also submit a transcript along with their videos.

Videos may include a variety of perspectives:

  • Current AmeriCorps members or alumnus may share their stories of service or provide opportunities to show service in action
  • Beneficiaries of AmeriCorps service may share how their lives improved as a result of the service of AmeriCorps members
  • Mayors or city council members with AmeriCorps programs in their cities can share the impact the program has had on their communities
  • School principals with AmeriCorps members in their classrooms may share the difference these AmeriCorps members are making for students

We are seeking high quality videos that may be used in whole or in part to promote the AmeriCorps program nationally. As such, we encourage you to collaborate with others to develop your video.  You do not need to have the video equipment or a background in producing videos; you simply need to have a great idea for a video that demonstrates the impact of AmeriCorps and a great collaborator to help you to put it together.

Consider involving public officials, community leaders, AmeriCorps members and alums, and service recipients who have seen or experienced the impact of AmeriCorps programs on the community, in issue areas such as:

  • Disaster Services
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Education
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Healthy Futures
  • Veterans and Military Families

 If you are connected to a multi-site program, feel free to include the impact of AmeriCorps across multiple communities.

Potential collaborators for the development and production may include:

  • Marketing or advertising students at your local college or university
  • Video or film production or editing students or people who do video work as a hobby
  • Friends with educational or professional backgrounds in marketing or video production
  • Local business engaged in advertising marketing or video production
  • Public access television to assist with video production

You are free to begin creating your video right away. You may submit your video anytime between March 10 and July 15, 2012 by uploading it to YouTube and posting a description and link on

Eligible Entries:

Entries may be in any form of moving image.  Duration of entry must be 60 seconds or less. Both audio/visual and visual only entries are permitted. To be eligible for entry in the Contest, entries must be entered by 5:00 PM EDT on July 15, 2012, and meet the following criteria:

  • By submitting an entry, entrant warrants that he/she is the sole author and copyright owner of entry or has the permission (via license or otherwise) to use or incorporate those entry portions authored or owned by third parties.
  • Video contains an image of the AmeriCorps logo at least once during the video.
  • Videos may not have been entered into any other contest or won any other award.
  • Use of images, music, and other works in the public domain may be incorporated into videos. However, materials that infringe on the rights of any third party may not be used unless consent has been obtained.
  • The Video must not contain brand names or trademarks except those related to AmeriCorps or national service programs;
  • The Video must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
  • The Video must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation; and
  • The Video must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where Video is created.

The Corporation is not responsible for late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible or unintelligible entries. The purpose of this contest is to encourage the creation and submission of videos that educate the general public on the impact of AmeriCorps and the opportunities that exist to engage in service in the United States.

By submitting a video to this contest, each participant automatically confers on CNCS an irrevocable, nonexclusive and unrestricted license to use the Video for purposes consistent with the agency's national service mission. This includes the right to copy, reproduce, display, or distribute the video, and to make derivative works based upon the Video or a substantial portion of it without attribution or prior permission. Other than the authority to CNCS, as set out in this paragraph, participants retain ownership rights of their videos.

(3) Prizes:

There will be a $4,000 cash prize for the person receiving the most public votes (first place), and a $1,000 prize for the second place (runner-up).

 (4) Judging Process:

After submission, all videos will be reviewed to ensure that they meet the criteria specified under Eligible Entries above. Videos that pass this general screening process will be available for public viewing.  Please note that it may take up to 72 hours after submission for a video to appear for public viewing.

A panel of judges consisting of Corporation for National and Community Service staff will review the video submissions and select the submissions that will move forward to public voting.

Judges will base their ratings of video entrants on the following criteria:

  1. Overall Impact (educational, inspiring, persuasive)
  2. Creativity
  3. Memorable Content and Delivery
  4. Clear Message about how AmeriCorps Works
  5. Alignment with Mission and Goals of AmeriCorps

The finalists' entries will then be voted on by the general public who will determine the first place  and runner-up winners. For public votes, there may be only one vote, per active email address. Individual online votes that are either fraudulently generated or duplicated, or associated with inactive or "dummy" e-mail addresses, are subject to disqualification. The online voting period ends at 5:00 pm EDT on September 1, 2012.  In the event of one or more submission tying for first place, the Corporation for National and Community Service will convene a panel to cast the deciding vote.

Judges' decisions are final. Companies awarding prizes shall have no role, responsibility, or liability in sponsoring or administering the Video Contest. Companies awarding prizes are allowed and encouraged to publicize the contest.

CNCS reserves the right to disqualify and remove any entry which is deemed, in the judging panel's discretion, inappropriate, offensive, defamatory, or demeaning to CNCS’, AmeriCorps' or any other party's reputation or goodwill. Winners will be notified by e-mail, express mail and/or phone and shall be required to complete an affidavit or declaration of eligibility, liability release and, except where prohibited, a publicity release and such other documents as may be required by the CNCS to protect its right to air and use the winning entry. Required documents must be signed and received within 7 days of the date printed on the prize notification. Failure to comply or return of any prize notification as undeliverable may result in forfeiture of prize and selection of the next highest score entrant as the winner. CNCS is not responsible for and shall not be liable for late, lost, misdirected, or unsuccessful efforts to notify winners.

Accepting the prize constitutes CNCS's and companies awarding prizes permission to use the winner's name, hometown (including state) and/or likeness for promotional purposes, without compensation.

(5) General Terms and Conditions:

By participating, entrants agree that CNCS and companies awarding prizes and their respective agents are not responsible or liable for, and shall be released and held harmless from: (i) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind; (ii) any condition caused by events beyond the control of CNCS that may cause the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted; (iii) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest; (iv) any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with or resulting from participation in the Contest, including claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy. CNCS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, extend, or suspend the Contest should (in its sole discretion) computer virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Contest. In such case, judges will select the winners from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by CNCS. CNCS reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it determines to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or the CNCS website.

 (7) Privacy Policy:

See the CNCS Privacy Policy regarding use of all material entered and/or submitted for this Contest or otherwise collected by CNCS, except as otherwise provided in these Official Rules.