Points of Light Institute
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2012)|
|Tax ID No.||65-0206641|
|Key people||Michelle Nunn, CEO|
|Area served||United States of America|
|Mission||Points of Light inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world.|
|Revenue||US$40.5 million (Fiscal 2010)|
4.3 million overall
The Points of Light Institute is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in the United States of America dedicated to engaging more people and resources in solving serious social problems through voluntary service.
The Points of Light Foundation was founded in 1990 and offered a variety of programs, products, and services to help support volunteer-based organizations and connect volunteers to volunteer opportunities.
We have within our reach the promise of a renewed America. We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light. And it is expressed by all who know the irresistible force of a child's hand, of a friend who stands by you and stays there, a volunteer's generous gesture, an idea that is simply right.
In 1991 the National Volunteer Center, which had begun in 1970 as the National Center for Voluntary Action, was merged into it. The merged organization also became known during the 2000s as the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network.
The Foundation and its expanded network included more than 250 local volunteer centers around the United States. These Volunteer Centers act as community hubs to connect volunteers to opportunities, work with local nonprofits and businesses to establish and improve volunteer programs, and, overall, bolster the local infrastructure for the volunteering community.
While called a foundation, Points of Light was in fact not a grant-making foundation. It engaged in a variety of work on volunteer related issues including their network of volunteer centers, programs on disaster volunteers, corporate volunteer councils and many more.
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network began talks with the Atlanta-based HandsOn Network to join forces through a merger to make one national organization with local affiliates focused on volunteering and service. They formally combined forces on August 11, 2007, to become the Points of Light Institute. By late 2011, they changed their branding to Points of Light.
The organization manages a number of notable programs including a national call-to-action volunteer portal, the HandsON Network, the President's Volunteer Service Award and the annual National Conference on Volunteering and Service.
The Extra Mile is an initiative managed by the Foundation. It was designed to honor famous volunteers with a number of plaques inserted along streets in Washington, D.C.. There are numerous people recognized, including Booker T. Washington.
National Volunteer Week is an annual event designed to thank volunteers for their service and encourage others across the United States to volunteer. 
The HandsOn Network branding[clarification needed] works in partnership with local organizations and schools to create "hands on" service projects that produce tangible benefits in communities. The network enlists a corps of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who join forces to address community needs worldwide. The HandsOn Network enables them to choose from a variety of projects that connect community needs with their time and interests. They cultivate and train volunteers to in turn lead other volunteers.
- Points of Light Institute Management Team
- Guidestar Points of Light Institute 2010 IRS 990
- Points of Light Institute History
- HowStuffWorks How the Points of Light Institute Works
- Perry, Suzanne (October 15, 2009). "After Two Tough Years, New Points of Light Charity Emerges". The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
- "1991 State of the Union Address". C-SPAN. January 29, 1991.
- Points of Light Homepage
- FEMA Citizen Corps Points of Light Institute
- Volunteer at 1-800-Volunteer.org, America's Address for Volunteering
- National Conference on Volunteering and Service About the Conference
- Points of Light The Extra Mile
-  National Volunteer Week
- HandsOn Network What We Do
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