PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards for Work with NGOs

Deadline: 15 November 2013
Open to: all professional, amateur and student photographers
Prize:  $15,000 for professionals, $2,000 for students, amateurs


PhotoPhilanthropy believes in the power of photography to inspire hope and understanding and to connect people around the world. The Activist Awards have been established to emphasize the important role of high quality documentary photography and visual storytelling as a vehicle to create meaningful impact and social change.

The PhotoPhilanthropy Activist Awards identify outstanding work done by photographers in collaboration with nonprofit organizations worldwide and awards prizes ranging from $2,000-$15,000. In previous years, work was submitted on behalf of 435 nonprofit organizations from 88 different countries.

For the first time in its history, PhotoPhilanthropy offers this year a mobile photography award in addition to its traditional student, amateur, and professional category awards for most compelling documentary photography essays completed on behalf of nonprofits. Each photographer whose work is accepted receives a page on the PhotoPhilantrophy website and exposure to a growing audience of concerned and committed global citizens.


The contest is open to all professional, amateur and student photographers regardless of age, gender, or nationality. Entrants under 18 years of age require the permission of a parent or guardian.


Photo essays must be entered into one of three categories. Two finalists in each category will also be announced.

  • Professional Photographer –  $15,000 Grand Prize: Any individual who earns the majority of their living from photography or has been professionally trained.
  • Amateur Photographer – $2,000 Grand Prize: Any individual who does not earn the majority of their income from photography.
  • Student Photographer – $2,000 Grand Prize: Any current student with less than two years of professional work including internships.
Special category:
  • Mobile Photography Award – $2,000 Grand Prize: Open to all photographers irrespective of their skill level.


The submission period for the 2013 Activist Awards ends on November 15, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. US Pacific Standard Time (PST).

Photo essays must be entered into one of three categories:

  • Professional Photographer: submit HERE
  • Amateur Photographer: submit HERE
  • Student Photographer: submit HERE

Please review the Submission Guidelines HERE before submitting. Submitted photos must depict the work of a charitable organization (designated by 501(c)3 in the US, or international equivalent) and be presented as a photo essay. Collaboration with the charitable organization will be verified. In order to reflect current issues, photographs in the essay must have been taken within the last three years. Long-term projects will be accepted but they must contain some images that were taken in the last three years.

Photographers may enter two essays in the same year. The two essays may be of work with the same nonprofit but they must be about different subject matters. An essay entered in a previous year of the competition may not be re-entered (this includes re-editing of a previous entry).

For more information read the Frequently Asked Questions page HERE and visit the official website HERE.

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