Points of Light Foundation
Presidents Volunteer Service Award Program FY 2011
Title: Points of Light Institute
Summary information: Points of Light Institute (POLI), Atlanta, GA
POLI has a 21-year history of putting people at the center of change and has been part of the PVSA program since inception. We are proud of the results we have achieved and propose expanding our PVSA partnership to align with CNCS' vision and strategic goals. We will make technological and programmatic changes to enhance the relevancy of the program, improve the user experience and extend the potential for engaging more Americans in service.
Bolstered by grassroots efforts of 250 HandsOn Affiliates, POLI empowers people to address challenges in their communities. We know inspiration through recognition is key to sustaining volunteer participation levels and is the lever for fostering a culture of service where all people have access to service opportunities and are recognized for their contributions. In 2010, POLI volunteers provided 30 million hours of service valued at more than $620 million.
Since POLI began administering the program with CNCS in 2003, two million volunteers have received awards, including more than 100,000 this year. With a core focus on volunteer recognition, POLI has developed robust capabilities and infrastructure to enable the program to grow in participation and visibility. POLI has also worked to extend the program's mission of recognizing and inspiring service through a diverse set of channels that recognize more than 200,000 volunteers each year. Through the Corporate Awards, L'Oreal Woman of Worth, Scholastic BE BIG and Daily Point of Light (DPOL), POLI leverages and multiplies PVSA's impact.
PVSA and programs like DPOL provide a compelling platform for bipartisan support and an uncommon opportunity for our nation's leaders to come together in full embrace of the power of service. Through high-profile public moments and poignant PVSA presentations, we are able to lift up powerful examples of service, impact and transformation.
Through its national footprint, POLI leverages PVSA and other recognition programs to engage people in sustaining and deepening their service. With a track record of inspiring, equipping and mobilizing volunteers, and a legacy and mission inextricably linked to CNCS, POLI is the ideal partner. POLI has also demonstrated a deep commitment to PVSA, investing more than $1 million to build and sustain the program. With a vision to expand the program's participation, visibility and impact, POLI is prepared to bring its full portfolio of assets to bear on PVSA and our partnership with CNCS.
Having built the program to scale and long-term sustainability, we believe a new cooperative agreement will provide the infusion of capital needed to overhaul the program's web and e-commerce capacities to fully optimize the incredible slate of possibilities.
Program: An updated PVSA web and e-commerce site will include critical customer service and fulfillment capabilities. Users will be able to place custom orders, select payment and shipping options, and track the status of their order. Orders will be shipped within five days. POLI will offer current award components and customize new merchandise for different age groups and audiences. The backend database will allow tracking of awards and hours, financials and inventory, and participation demographics and data such as service within CNCS' priority issue areas. The new technology will take the website from one that is solely a destination for awards to one enabling volunteers and organizations to communicate and connect to the social media of all constituencies.
Marketing: POLI and its HandsOn Network, AmeriCorps Alums and generationOn divisions engage millions of volunteers every year. POLI will leverage more than 70,000 corporate, government, media and nonprofit partners to generate increased PVSA participation. Through targeted marketing, media relations, national events and social media, POLI will provide a steady flow of communications. POLI will develop a customized PVSA Facebook page, newsletter and toolkits focusing on CNCS' issue areas. We will supplement these resources with webinars, use our Corporate Service Council to broaden outreach to employees and provide stories to members of Congress, allowing local recognition of individuals and organizations and expanding awareness of PVSA.
Number of awards: Minimum of 145,000 up to 168,000 in Year 1; growth targets of up to 500,000 over the next six years.
Grant request: $150,000