Points of Light Institute

On August 1, 2007, Points of Light Foundation and Hands On Network merged into a single organization with a shared vision and a shared set of goals.

This united organization is now called Points of Light Institute and embraces a new vision for transformation:

One day every person will discover their power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant democracies around the world.

Points of Light Institute has three main goals:

Citizen Action: Create an engaged citizenry where every individual has the opportunity to make a difference through meaningful civic engagement.

Civic Infrastructure: Develop a civic infrastructure equipped with the resources, tools, and knowledge to create change in communities.

Campaigns for Impact: Demonstrate the power of citizens actively engaged in changing our world and solving problems.


Points of Light Institute advances innovative civic change strategies.


To realize this new vision and to achieve these goals, Points of Light Institute supports a portfolio of branded business units that enable people a variety of ways to act upon their power to make a change.

Points of Light Institute supports these efforts through incubation, back-office support services, sector thought leadership, and public policy development.

Generated by Points of Light Institute.

HandsOn Network is the leading business unit within the Points of Light Institute portfolio and is the activating arm. HandsOn Network inspires, equips, and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. At the center of the network are our more than 250 affiliates serving 83% of the American population and 12 international communities. It is also a “network of networks” that includes our partnering nonprofits, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and companies seeking to engage in service.

MissionFish is a social enterprise of the Points of Light Institute, representing another form of how we support people’s power to change the world. It does this by enabling people to sell or purchase products through eBay to benefit the nonprofit causes they care about. MissionFish has raised more than $125 million charitable dollars for over 15,000 nonprofits worldwide.

The Institute also supports emerging new business units and entrepreneurial ventures through partnership, collaboration, and incubation that advance a variety of forms of civic engagement.