To be eligible for the Joining Forces Community Challenge entrants and nominees must be currently offering or providing a program and/or service and be a:

  • U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • Community or community-based organization,
  • School (private/public, elementary – college/university),
  • Non-profit organization,
  • Faith-based institution,
  • Philanthropic organization, or
  • Local government

Business entities such as corporations, companies, or for-profits are not eligible for the Joining Forces Community Challenge. 


Challenge Guidelines

  1. Only appropriate submissions will be eligible to enter the contest. Challenge sponsors therefore reserve the right to refuse any material that it finds inappropriate or not reflecting challenge rules.
  2. Entries will be judged by a panel of judges. The decisions of the judges on all matters relating to the challenge are final. Judging will take place prior to January 23, 2012 when finalists will be announced.  Finalists' submissions will be judged throughout January and February 2012, when winners, including the People's Choice winner, will be announced on March 16, 2012. Each individual or organization will be notified if they have a winning submission.
  3. By entering this contest, each entrant consents to the use, reproduction, publication, transmission and/or broadcasting of his/her name and or prize information, without compensation, in any of the challenge sponsor's website/material. In addition, finalist entries will be featured on Challenge.gov for the People's Choice portion of the challenge.  Winners will be featured on the Champions of Change webpage.


Judging Criteria

Community Building

The program(s) and/or service(s) foster the strengthening of bonds between military families and the communities in which they live and directly support the well-being of these families.


The program(s) or service(s) offered play a vital role in helping military families cope with the unique needs that surface as a result of a deployment.


Program or service activities promote and facilitate participation by all military families and do not exclude families based on service branch affiliation including Reserve and National Guard.


Program(s) and/or service(s) may, but are not required to, represent novel and creative approaches for tackling the issue. 


Program(s) and/or service(s) can be easily replicated and scaled elsewhere in the country. 

The judging criteria sets the guidelines for determining finalists and winners; however, the prize also seeks to recognize individually-based efforts that may not be large in scope but that are making significant impact, for example.  Those individuals and organizations with smaller but impactful efforts are especially encouraged to apply.