Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking

Points of Light Foundation

aka Points of Light

Atlanta, GA


Points of Light - the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service - inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, we engage more than 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We are a global community of individuals and organizations who share a vision for a kinder, more cohesive society. We believe the smallest acts change lives, and together, we become a force of human kindness that transforms our world into one where kindness thrives.

Notes from the Nonprofit

The Points of Light Foundation was created in 1990 in response to President Bush’s inaugural address, which invoked the vision of a "thousand points of light" and urged people to take action through service. The guiding philosophy, as stated by President Bush: “What government alone can do is limited, but the potential of the American people knows no limits."

Points of Light receives the highest possible rating – four stars – from Charity Navigator, an independent, nonprofit organization that evaluates American charities.

Ruling Year


President and CEO

Ms. Natalye Paquin

Main Address

600 Means Street Suite 210

Atlanta, GA 30318 USA

Formerly Known As

Points of Light Foundation

Points of Light Institute


Volunteer Service, Community Service, Action Center, philanthropy, nonprofit, service leader, volunteer recognition, Civic engagement,





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The world is full of individuals with a desire to help, nonprofits identifying needs, corporations with resources — but it's not always easy to bring them all together to meet the world most pressing challenges. Points of Light and our global network help forge new connections, inspiring and accelerating people-powered change in communities around the world. We believe everyone has the power to create change. Every action, no matter how small, is significant.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

9 10 11 16 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Points of Light Network


Corporate Service Council

Recognition Programs

Service Enterprise Initiative

The Starbucks Service Fellows

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Points of Light envisions a society where people can act on their innate kindness, and use their time, talent and resources to make a positive difference. We are a community of millions of points of light joined together by this shared belief in the value of individual actions. The belief that even the smallest actions have an important impact. And that through these actions, happening constantly in communities all around the world, we create a society that is kinder, more united, and thus able to solve the problems our world is facing.

Points of Light mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We work to connect individuals with opportunities to make a difference that are personal and meaningful. Together with our global network, we partner with corporations to encourage the deeper civic engagement that our society needs. We offer expertise to build workforce volunteer programs that engage employees and help businesses bring their values to life. And we unite nonprofits with the talent and resources they need to thrive. We are committed to empowering, connecting, and engaging individuals and organizations to be a force for social good.

For those who want to use their hearts, hands, and minds to have a larger impact - in the community or in the world - knowing how and where to get involved can sometimes be difficult. We work to connect individuals, and their talents, resources and time, with organizations in need and with others who share their interests and passions. We help you find the right outlet for your energy. For corporations, providing employees with meaningful experiences to make a difference and aligning these programs with company mission and CSR goals can be challenging. Together with our global network of affiliates, we partner with corporations to design customized initiatives that engage employees, align with CSR goals, and reflect the changing needs of society today. As society expects more from business, we help partners engage their customers - through actions and voices - in the challenges facing our communities and our world. For nonprofits, finding and retaining volunteers with the right skill sets is not always easy. We support nonprofits to help you connect with the talent and resources you need, and we provide training to work more effectively with the volunteers you recruit.

At Points of Light, all volunteer mobilizing and capacity building programs are evaluated regularly so our organization understands the number of volunteers mobilized, the hours of volunteering completed, the number of people directly impacted by the volunteer service, and the impact of that volunteer service across defined issue areas (Animal Support & Welfare; Civic & Community Development; Economic Opportunity, Homelessness & Poverty; Education & Schools; Disaster Preparedness, Response & Recovery Services; Environmental Services; Health, Hunger & Well-Being; Military & Veterans Services; Equality & Services to Special Groups: Family Services, Immigrant & Refugee Services, LGBTQIA+, Senior Services). In addition, we measure the effectiveness of nonprofits to mobilize volunteers and the impact overall human capital has on their service delivery.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush founded Points of Light to make volunteer service a central part of our culture. Over the last 20-plus years, President Bush's foundation for a volunteer movement has been built on by every succeeding President … and by thousands of organizations and businesses and millions of people. More people are volunteering than ever before and they are serving in ways President Bush couldn’t have imagined when he founded Points of Light nearly 30 years ago. Employee volunteering has become ingrained in the culture of businesses, large and small. Service in high schools and on college campuses has become the norm and is on the rise. Points of Light continues to grow that number significantly and to broaden and deepen the ways individuals can create real and lasting change. In the process, we are defining a new kind of volunteerism for the 21st century, one that calls on people to utilize their full range of assets – time and talents, financial resources and their voice as citizens.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), suggestion box/email.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: we don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, it is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, it is difficult to identify actionable feedback.

External Reviews


Social Capitalist Award 2007

Fast Company

Social Capitalist Award 2008

Fast Company



Points of Light Foundation

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?