This year, Optimist International officially retired the CPA Binder and completely changed how clubs submit a CPA.  Learn more about the changes and what you need to do to compete for an award.
Prepared by:  Optimist International
The Community Projects Awards (CPA) Program is an annual competition that recognizes Clubs for the projects they sponsor within their communities.  Prior to 2012-13, clubs would complete a multi-page report and include copies of material that they used to run a community service project or fund raiser.  Those reports would be placed in a binder and then judged at the District 1st Quarter meeting each fall.

Starting with the 2012-13 Optimist year, the CPA program is all digital! The digital entry process encourages participation, streamlines the submission process and provides the best possible resource for Clubs looking for new project ideas. 

Getting started

Clubs may submit in two new categories: 
  • Best Film (with a video clip of 10 minutes or less on CD) or 
  • Best Writing in a CPA Entry (all documents submitted in .pdf form on CD).

The Official Rules and Project Story for the 2012-2013 year are available here. A typeable version of the Project Story can be found here. Please make sure that your Club uses the current form when completing an entry. Clubs are required to answer all the questions on the Project Story.

Please use this photo release to obtain permission to include any photography in your Club publicity and CPA entry. 

Clubs must submit entries on CD only. Entries submitted in binders will no longer be accepted as part of the CPA program.

Club entries should be submitted directly to Optimist International by December 15. Clubs may submit multiple entries in both categories. Each entry must be submitted on a separate CD. 

Submissions are actually easier

Creating a submission for the CPA program is easier than it may sound! Every Club can participate and is encouraged to do so.

Optimist International offers a PowerPoint Presentation tutorial to help you get started. This presentation will take Members through the process of creating both a .pdf entry and a video entry.

Some Video Examples

Why Participate

The Community Projects Awards program is intended to:
  • Encourage significant community-serving activities, which enhance the image of the Club and Optimist International.
  • Aid Optimist International in acquiring information on outstanding Club projects for the guidance of other Clubs seeking similar community-serving opportunities.
  • Give the Club a reference that can be used in the future as a guide for the organization of a similar activity.
  • Stimulate membership involvement in meaningful Club activities, thereby providing maximum opportunity for individual participation and enhancing the desirability of membership.
  • Provide recognition to Clubs for outstanding projects that fulfill the objectives of Optimist International.
If you have questions, contact the Programs department at 800-500-8130 or via e-mail at programs @


International winners will receive a $500 check for their Club to utilize as they see fit. The submitting Club will receive the funds, in the case of multiple Club projects.

The Best Youth Activity award will be presented to a Club that exemplifies the mission and vision of Optimist International through its service to youth. The project should be unique and innovative, meet a need of today’s young people, have an impact on the youth involved and have universal appeal, regardless of geography. All youth activity projects in both the Best Film and Best Writing in a CPA Entry category are eligible for this special award; fundraising projects will not be eligible. This is not a submission category.

The winning projects will be featured in The Optimist magazine and on the Optimist website. Winning Clubs that have a representative attend convention will be recognized on stage and may participate in the Bragger's Hall to showcase their project.


Our thanks go to the Programs team at Optimist International who provided much of this content on their CPA web page.

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