Points of Light
Our vision is a world in which everyone has discovered their power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Our mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. Our aspirations lie in enabling everyone, everywhere to realize their potential to make a difference and to make their community and the larger world better – healthier, greener, more prosperous and equitable, better informed and educated, less vulnerable to disasters and more civil and hospitable.
Points of Light is a fast-paced, mission-driven organization with a decidedly entrepreneurial spirit. With more than 20 years of history, a bipartisan presidential legacy and the largest volunteer footprint in the nation, Points of Light has the vision and the strategy to create a quantum leap for service and civic engagement. The country's largest network devoted to volunteerism and civic action was formed in late 2007 by the combination of two extraordinary organizations—Points of Light Foundation and HandsOn Network.
Today, Points of Light remains dedicated to inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to solve some of the world's great challenges, enabling civic engagement and community impact on an unprecedented scale. Over the next three years, we plan to significantly grow the number of people who volunteer and broaden and deepen the ways people create real and lasting change. In the process, we also aim to define a new kind of volunteerism for the 21st century – volunteering and civic engagement that calls on people to use all of their assets – their time and talents, their financial resources and their voice – to improve the world.
Points of Life has a staff of about 120 and an annual operating budget of $30 million. Last year, the organization completed its most successful fundraising campaign ever, culminating in the Points of Light Tribute Event at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. With all four living former presidents in attendance and President Barack Obama participating by video from his travels abroad, the evening was a direct tribute to President George H. W. Bush and an indirect manifestation of the role Points of Light plays in igniting and leveraging the growing enthusiasm for service.
Points of Light is led by CEO Michelle Nunn, a co-founder of HandsOn Network. For each of the past four years, Michelle has been named to Nonprofit Times' annual "Power and Influence Top 50" list. POL is governed by a board of two dozen senior executives, philanthropists and community activists, all notables in their fields and all possessed of an extraordinary commitment to service and impact.
Points of Light Strategic Plan Overview (FY12 – FY14)
Our strategic plan is focused on how we can best support people in their efforts to make the world a better place. By 2014, we aim to reach 50 million people annually to raise awareness and inspire them to make a difference, provide people with access to one million projects and other opportunities to learn new skills and engage in work to improve their communities, and mobilize 10 million people each year to use their time, talent, money and voice to create community change.
To achieve these goals, we will follow six mutually reinforcing strategic directions: strengthen our action networks to increase their impact; increase volunteer participation through our corporate and non-profit partnerships; expand access to opportunities through technology; improve the outcomes of our signature programs focused in the areas of environment, education, economy, emergency preparedness, and veterans and military families; foster innovative, high-impact approaches that will engage people more deeply; and advance policies and a culture that encourages and supports service and volunteerism.