Together, we are a force that transforms the world.
At Points of Light, we know that change led by the power of people is one of the most powerful forces on Earth.
We are a nonpartisan organization that equips and connects nonprofits, businesses and individuals that feel called upon to solve society’s greatest challenges. We know that every action, no matter how small, makes a difference. That’s why we work every day to shine a light on the living examples of this ideal to inspire current and future generations to take action to change the world.
You can make a difference, no matter your sector or where you are in the world.
Thank you for reading our 2021 Annual Report. In the sections below, you will find highlights of our notable accomplishments from the past year along with links to learn more about each topic.
Civic Engagement: Our 10-Year Journey
In 2019, Points of Light created a 10-year vision. By 2030, Points of Light envisions a society where it is simple for every individual to accelerate change within their community and around the world. The end of 2021 marked the completion of our first three-year strategy, which focused on strengthening the sector. While we couldn’t have anticipated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that our model of the Civic Circle gave companies and organizations opportunities to find new ways to do their work.
We look forward with hope and optimism toward the next three-year phase of our 10-year strategic vision, which will rely on connection to empower even more people to become civically engaged and shine a light on their communities.
A Letter from our President & CEO
This annual report marks a very important milestone for Points of Light. Not only is it time to pause and reflect on all we’ve accomplished in our past fiscal year, this particular report marks the end of our first three-year strategic vision in support of our 2030 vision: a society where it is easy for every individual to take action and accelerate change within their community and around the world.
A Letter from Our Board Chair
In the past year, we have seen Points of Light shine like never before. While we have continued to navigate the ongoing pandemic, it has been the power of people who have gotten us through the ever-changing world we find ourselves in.
Points of Light’s founder, my father, President George H.W. Bush once said, “No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”
OUR MISSION IN ACTION
Points of Light’s mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. Our research tells us that our mission is more important than ever. Here is why:
- The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards Celebration honored individuals who demonstrate the transformative power of service.
- the Daily Point of Light Award and Inspiration Honor Roll recognized individuals who create change in communities across the U.S. and around the world.
- President's Volunteer Service Award celebrated the volunteers who are using their time and talents to solve some of the toughest challenges facing our nation.
- Global Volunteer Month shone a light on the power of people who tackle society's greatest challenges and build stronger, more vibrant communities through volunteerism and everyday actions.
- The Civic 50 is an annual initiative recognizing the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation as determined by a survey administered by True Impact.
- Points of Light's resources, convenings and solutions supported and connected more than 20,000 cross-sector leaders from nonprofits, companies, government, faith-based institutions and more to better engage their communities in civic action and learning.
- Points of Light supported our partners in helping identify and distribute more than $10.2M in community-focused grants to support local organizations and projects that are best informed of community needs and solutions.
- Points of Light Community for Employee Civic Engagement (CECE) launched in 2021 as Points of Light’s hub built for corporate citizenship professionals seeking the best ideas, resources and expert and peer advice.
- Points of Light Engage is the world’s largest digital hub for volunteering and community engagement opportunities.
- Points of Light Community is a free, on-demand learning hub for nonprofit organizations and professionals who want to improve how they mobilize people power to deliver their mission.
- Points of Light's Points of Light's Global Network is made up of 177 social impact organizations working with more than 49,000 community partners in 38 countries around the world.
- Over the last five years, Points of Light's Global Network has mobilized 6.5M people in 28M hours of service benefiting 37M people.
- As show in the chart below, the top issue area addressed by those hours of service was in support of "Equality and Services to Special Groups."
Celebrating Community Leaders
Points of Light Conference
The 2021 event was held virtually, attracting more than 1,700 attendees. Presenting sponsor The UPS Foundation and Host Sponsor Disney were instrumental in the success of the conference. Participants logged in from 47 states and 24 countries.Learn More
The George H. W. Bush Points of Light Awards Celebration
On Sept. 28, 2021, Points of Light held the third annual celebration of The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards, at Cipriani South Street in New York City with an audience of nearly 200 guests.Learn More
The Civic 50
The Civic 50 recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the U.S.
each year and has served as a benchmarking tool and platform for sharing best practices in the corporate citizenship sector.
Daily Point of Light Award
The Daily Point of Light Award hit a significant milestone in 2021 with the recognition of our 7,000th honoree.
L’Oréal Paris’ USA Women of Worth Award
For 17 years L’Oréal Paris has delivered the Women of Worth Award, an annual recognition program that celebrates grassroots nonprofit volunteers who have supported a breadth of causes and helped spread volunteerism across the nation.
Bringing the Civic Circle to Life
Global Volunteer Month
In 2021, our Global Volunteer Month celebration message experienced: 244.4M audience reach through public relations efforts, 345,620 page views on our website and nearly 60,000 earned media impressions.Learn More
Civic Life Today Magazine
With generous support from The Starbucks Foundation, we launched a digital magazine called “Civic Life Today” where each issue took a deeper dive into an area of the Civic Circle.Learn More
Essential Workers in Times of Disaster
Our Global Network affiliates are key leaders within their communities during difficult times. In 2021, we supported their efforts through our continued response to immediate and long-term needs.Learn More
Building Stronger Communities with the Community Resiliency Grant
At the end of 2020, a $350,000 competitive grant was launched to promote greater community resiliency with a focus on two themes: COVID-19 recovery and diversity, equity and inclusion in mobilizing communities. Grants ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 and were awarded to 20 Points of Light Global Network affiliates.Learn More
Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism
Launched in November 2020, Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism is a two-year initiative in partnership with Morehouse College with a goal to provide a forum in which people can begin difficult conversations about
Curating a Library of Civic Engagement Research
In the summer of 2021, Points of Light, with research partner Influence|SG and the generous support of AT&T, continued our study of American civic life by focusing on the Millennial population.Learn More
Investing in the Future of Our Network
Disney and Points of Light Partnership
Disney continued their history of partnership with us by investing in the Points of Light’s Fund for Civic Innovation. This support has allowed Points of Light to explore growth and capacity building in partnership with our Global Network Affiliates.Learn More
The Starbucks Foundation Champions Community Building
In the spring of 2020, Points of Light and The Starbucks Foundation were poised to launch the third cohort of The Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows Program. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the cohort was reimagined as COVID-19 Affiliate Grants and Capacity Growth Grants.Learn More
COVID-19 Affiliate Grants
Through two opportunities totaling $837,500 in community-based grants, The Starbucks Foundation invested in the community engagement strategies of Points of Light Global Network affiliates in the United States.Learn More
Capacity Growth Grants
20 host sites received $487,500 in funding that supported the delivery of the critical work of COVID-19 response efforts and racial injustice initiatives.Learn More
Digitizing Volunteerism with Points of Light Engage
Points of Light Engage, the world’s largest digital hub for volunteering and community engagement opportunities, builds upon the technology and partnerships established through the All For Good initiative.Learn More
Cultivating Corporate Partnerships
Corporate Service Council
The centerpiece of our corporate partnership work is the Points of Light Corporate Service Council, with 87 leading brands driving transformative social change in communities around the world.Learn More
Civic Circle Magazines and Videos
To further bring our Civic Circle magazines to life, Points of Light worked with CarMax on a Civic Circle video series with a goal was to reach their thousands of employees across America and inspire them to action in their communities.Learn More
Lowe’s 100 Hometowns
“The transition of this previously blighted, dark and dangerous alley area is absolutely amazing. (It's) becoming an active and vibrant space for community members of all ages. We had a fun time working on it together with members of the Lowe’s team and members of the community. The project has not only built a community space, but it has built friendships, relationships, and pride.”
Deborah Malenfant, executive director, Elizabeth City Downtown
Fidelity Investments Season of Transformation
“We are deepening our commitment to supporting racial equity across all of our programming and partnerships and finding new ways to understand and support the underlying issues that underrepresented and underserved communities are facing”,
Teresa Pelletier, vice president of community relations. Fidelity Investments
A Letter from Our Chief Financial Officer
You are the reason Points of Light is able to do the work of inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action to change the world. Your generous support is an integral part of a vibrant community of donors and partners who recognize that when we work together, we have true impact.”
Shining a Light on The Points of Light Global Network
Our Global Networkof innovative volunteer-mobilizing organizations serves more than 177 affiliates across 38 countries around the world. Together we are inspiring, equipping and mobilizing more people to use their time, talent, voice and resources to create positive change in their communities.
Giving Thanks to Our Donors
Points of Light recognizes the critical role of partnership with donors when it comes to bringing our mission to life. We’d like to thank each and every one for their support in elevating civic engagement in communities across the globe.