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Points of Light

December 16, 2008
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People have always been at the center of change. People today have more power to drive change than ever before. At the same time, society is demanding much more from the world of volunteerism in the 21st century as a rapidly globalizing economy puts increasing pressure on governments, businesses, nonprofits and other institutions to do more with less.

To meet that need, volunteer organizations must be able to help people make the greatest impact possible with not only their time, but also their talent, voice and money. As the world’s leading volunteer organization with more than 20 years of history and a bipartisan legacy, Points of Light connects people to their power to create positive change and address the critical needs of our communities.

OUR VISION: One day, every person will discover their power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies.

OUR MISSION: We inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world.

We are organized into three divisions:

1. Points of Light's Action Networks allow us to reach distinct groups with the tools and resources they need to engage people as change agents. These include: HandsOn Network, the largest network of 250 local volunteer centers across the country and around the world; generationOn, the youth service movement that ignites the power of kids to make their mark on the world; AmeriCorps Alums, the national service alumni network that activates the next generation of service leaders; and Points of Light Corporate Institute, our enterprise that enables companies to engage their employees and customers in volunteer service.

2. The Civic Incubator is a locus for new forms of civic and volunteer action. This division helps identify the best ideas from across the Action Networks and the sector to replicate or scale. The Civic Incubator supports entrepreneurs to launch early stage ventures that engage people to create and drive positive change through training, seed funding and support services. Specific initiatives include the first start-up accelerator program for civic ventures; ventures in residence; program for signature initiatives and innovative models to expand the organization's global network of volunteer leaders in societies from El Salvador and Rio de Janeiro to Shanghai and Milan.

3. Points of Light's Programs division builds and scales training, education and signature programs to address critical needs and build stronger communities. Our programs are focused on the environment, education, economy, emergency preparedness, and veterans and military families.
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