Past Conferences

2017 - Seattle

At the 2017 Conference on Volunteering and Service, more than 2,000 thought leaders, social entrepreneurs and changemakers from 31 countries around the world came together around the shared belief that being in the service of others can change the world. Attendees were energized and inspired by speakers from across the rapidly changing field of social change - activists, entertainers, civil rights leaders, academics, entrepreneurs, elected officials, and CEOs from nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. More than 70 workshops across eight diverse tracks offered unique and engaging opportunities for learning, reflection and renewal.

Seattle provided the perfect backdrop for the event, a city full of innovative leaders and everyday doers whose longstanding commitment to sustainability, public art and modern technology drives change.

Special thanks to title sponsor UPS, along with The Walt Disney Company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the PepsiCo Foundation, Starbucks, Verified Volunteers, Bank of America, The Boeing Company, Deloitte, KeyBank, Target, and to our Seattle Hometown Host Committee.

2017 Session Materials »

Read more about the 2017 Conference »

Highlights of the 2017 Conference »

Neil Bush

Chairman, Points of Light

Tracy Hoover

CEO, Points of Light

Urman Beba

Senior Vice President & Chief HR Officer, PepsiCo

Carmen Best

Deputy Chief, Seattle Police Department

Ashton Cofer

Inventor

Mike Ellison

Actor, Recording & Performance Artist

SuEllen Fried

Prison Reform Activist, Speaker, Author, Reaching Out From Within

Noah Galloway

Army Veteran, Speaker, Extreme Sports Enthusiast

Kayah George ‘Halth-Leah’

Scholar, Activist

Rachel Gerrol

Co-founder, Nexus

Elisa Hahn

Reporter, KING 5

Tamron Hall

Award-winning Journalist

Sarah Hurwitz

Former Chief Speechwriter, First Lady Michelle Obama; Former Senior Adviser, White House Counsel on Women and Girls

Tonya Ingram

Poet

Zach Ingrasci

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker, Co-Founder, Living on One

Emmanuel Jal

Artist, Activist, Actor and Author

Dr. Mae Jemison

Engineer, Physician, NASA Astronaut

Kevin Johnson

president and ceo, Starbucks

Eric Liu

CEO, Citizen University

Dr. M. Sanjayan Ph.D.

CEO, Conservation International

Cheryl Strayed

Author

Kerry Sullivan

President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation

Zoe Terry

Social Entrepreneur, Young Philanthropist

Rev. Harriett Walden

Director and Founder, Mothers for Police Accountability

Hollis Wong-Wear

Writer, Performer, Creative Producer

Ken Workman

Angelina Zevallos

Youth Volunteer, Community Advocate

2016 - Detroit

The 2016 Conference on Volunteering and Service welcomed nearly 3,000 changemakers from 37 countries including the U.S., representing the nonprofit, government, and business sectors. During an amazing three days together, participants were inspired by voices like Lonnie Ali. We learned from social entrepreneurs like 13-year old Asia Newson and witnessed the world's biggest international fireworks display. We announced this year's Civic 50, recognizing the country's most civic-minded companies. We packed 5,000 backpacks for Detroit schoolchildren. And we heard from extraordinary actors and athletes, best-selling authors, and award-winning musicians.

Detroit proved to be fertile ground for sharing ideas, challenging ourselves and each other, and celebrating together. Read the highlights from 2016 Detroit »

Participants included inspiration leaders from the nonprofit sector making Service Unites so powerful. Special thanks to title sponsors The UPS Foundation and JPMorgan Chase - along with General Motors, Disney, the PepsiCo Foundation, Target, Bank of America, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Charles Mott Foundation, Corporation for National and Community Service, and Verified Volunteers. We also owe a very special thanks to our Detroit Hometown Host Committee.

A Special Moment Honoring the Late Muhammad Ali's Commitment to Service

Neil Bush

Chairman, Points of Light

Tracy Hoover

CEO, Points of Light

David Abney

Chairman and CEO, UPS

Tonya Allen

President & CEO, Skillman Foundation

Maya Azucena

Singer-songwriter, Humanitarian

Phillip Cooley

Co-Owner, Slows Bar BQ & Ponyride

Rabbi Dorit Edut

President, Detriot Interfaith Outreach Network

Mike Duggan

Mayor, City of Detroit

Mike Ellison

Actor, Recording & Performance Artist

Hill Harper

Actor, Author & Philanthropist

Dhani Jones

Former NFL Linebacker

William F. Jones, Jr

CEO, Focus: HOPE

Donald E. Lassere

President/CEO, Muhammad Ali Center

Larry Miller

President, Jordan Brand, a Division of Nike, Inc.

Asia Newson

Co-Founder & CEO, Super Business Girl
Detroit's Youngest Entrepreneur

Alessandra Orofino

Executive Director & Co-Founder, Our Cities

Brittany Packnett

Executive Director, Teach For America St. Louis

Jackie Parker

Director, General Motors
President, General Motors Foundation

Veronika Scott

Founder & CEO, The Empowerment Plan

Yara Shahidi

Scholar, Philanthropist & Actress

Mariela Shaker

White House Champion of Change for World Refugees

Michael Smith

Special Assistant to the President, My Brother's Keeper at The White House

Wendy Spencer

CEO, The Corporation for National and Community Service

Tosha Tabron

Vice President, Relationship Manager, JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Christian Vanizette

Founder, Make Sense

2015 - Houston

The 2015 Conference on Volunteering and Service, which took place in Houston Oct. 19-21, hosted 4,000 participants from over 50 countries and was a wonderful and powerful convergence of experts, innovators and influencers from the nonprofit, business and government sectors.

The highlights were many and the diversity of expertise and perspectives created a rich environment for learning and sharing. Participants included inspirational leaders from the nonprofit sector like Naila Bolus (Jumpstart), Anna Maria Chávez (Girl Scouts), and Michelle Nunn (CARE); extraordinary corporate leaders like David Abney (UPS), Cliff Burrows (Starbucks), Michael Groff (Toyota Financial Services), Kerry Sullivan (Bank of America), Mikaila Ulmer (11-year old CEO of Bee Sweet Lemonade), and Dick Williams (Shell); and public officials like Congressman Joaquin Castro and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; chiefs of staff from three presidential administrations; and volunteer managers from hundreds of nonprofit organizations who wake up every day thinking about how to engage more volunteers and make a bigger difference in the world.

As we celebrated 25 years, we were honored to have President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush with us each day - from a powerful interfaith prayer service on Sunday to tweeting during Wednesday's closing celebration.

And it was great to spend time with a phenomenal group of artists, innovators and activists - including Grammy Award-winning poet J. Ivy, world-renowned chef José Andrés, Pulitzer-prize winning author Jon Meacham, musician and activist Kenna, Sugarland's Kristian Bush and country music artist and former Navy SEAL Pete Scobell.

Across a multitude of forums, workshops, and hallway conversations, we exchanged ideas and tools, celebrated success and challenged what's possible, imagined and innovated and inspired. We laughed, we sang, some of us rode a mechanical bull, and we set our sights on breaking a Guinness World Record for the number of children read to by an adult in a single day. In case you missed it, you can check out the full compendium of videos and session highlights on this page.

View the 2015 Conference video playlist.

Annise Parker

Mayor, City of Houston

Neil Bush

Chairman, Points of Light

Tracy Hoover

CEO, Points of Light

David Abney

Chairman and CEO, UPS

José Andrés

Chef/Owner, ThinkFoodGroup
Founder, WorldCentralKitchen

Karen Baker

Chief Service Officer, CaliforniaVolunteers

Dr. Julie Baker

President, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

Naila Bolus

President & CEO, Jumpstart

Ryan Manion Borek

President, The Travis Manion Foundation

Cliff Burrows

Group President, U.S. and Americas, Starbucks

Kristian Bush

Grammy Award-winning founder, Sugarland

Kirbyjon Caldwell

Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Mary Kate Cary

Executive Producer, 41ON41

Majora Carter

Urban Revitalization Strategist, Peabody Award-winning Broadcaster

Jean Case

CEO, The Case Foundation

Congressman Joaquin Castro

U.S. House of Representatives, Texas' 20th District

Anna Maria Chavez

CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

Martin B. Cominsky

President & CEO, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston

AnnMaura Connolly

President, Voices for National Service

Richard Edelman

President & CEO, Edelman

David Eisner

President & CEO, Repair the World

Dr. Noel Bezette-Flores

CEO, Innovate at Work

Dr. William V. Flores

President, University of Houston - Downtown

Brandon Frame

Director of Business Partnerships and Development, High School Inc.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Gilman

Office of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Mike Groff

President & CEO, Toyota Financial Services USA

Clare Hart

CEO, Sterling Talent Solutions

Imani Henry

CEO, 100 Men Reading 100

Rev. Dr. R. B. Holmes, Jr.

Pastor, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

Toni Irving

Executive Director, Get In Chicago

J. Ivy

Grammy Award-winning Poet/Author/Actor

Jeff Johnson

Award-winning Journalist, Communications Specialist, Thought Leader

Koby Langley

SVP, American Red Cross

Paul Loeb

Author, "Soul of a Citizen"

Chris Marvin

Principal, Marvin Strategies

Barry Mattson

Executive Director, The Mission Continues

Thomas F. McLarty, III

Chairman, McLarty Associates

The Honorable Patrick Murphy

Jenné Myers

CEO, Chicago Cares

De Andrea Nichols

Director, Civic Creatives

Michelle Nunn

President & CEO, CARE USA

Joel Osteen

Senior Pastor, Lakewood Church

Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives, California's 12th District

Randall Pinkston

News Correspondent

Teri Poulton

Director, Veteran Outreach, BP America

Jonah Sachs

Chief Storytelling Officer & Co-founder, Free Range Studios

Shirley Sagawa

Chief Service Officer, National Conference on Citizenship

Shalabh Sahai

Co-founder & Director, iVolunteer

Pete Scobell

Former Navy SEAL, Country Music Artist

Wendy Spencer

CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service

Kerry Sullivan

President, The Bank of America Charitable Foundation

John H. Sununu

Former Governor of New Hampshire, Chief of Staff for President George H. W. Bush

Atuki Turner

Executive Director, MIFUMI

Sangeeta Tyagi

President, YouthBuild USA

Mikaila Ulmer

Founder, BeeSweet Lemonade

Dick Williams

President, Shell WindEnergy

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson

Global Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Kenna

Musician and Activist

2013 - Washington, D.C.

Nearly 5,000 people crossed political, racial, religious, age and geographic boundaries to come together in a powerful way during the 2013 Conference on Volunteering and Service. Washington D.C. was the perfect background for attendees, political leaders, businesses, activists and service leaders to demonstrate our theme: Service Unites.

 

Recaps & Highlights (PDF)

 

We're so grateful to title sponsor Chase - along with Target, Capital One, Disney, Gannett and UPS - for supporting the largest convening of volunteer, national service and civic leaders in the world and for helping to make it a huge success.

We hope you'll agree that we had a lot of great moments - from conservative political strategist Karl Rove dancing with liberal strategist Donna Brazile on the first day of Conference, to Governor Chris Christie's inspiring tribute to the volunteers from around the country and around the world who came - and keep on coming - to help New Jersey recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Other highlights at this year's event include:

  • The launch of One America, a nationwide, yearlong campaign Points of Light is leading, with founding support from Chase, to bring together rivals in politics, entertainment and sports with the goal of inspiring millions to unite in service to their communities.
  • Education activist and Grammy Award-winner John Legend's stirring performance at Target's Sunday Supper.
  • Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett announcing that President and Mrs. Obama will host a celebration at the White House, on July 15 to honor the winner of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award.
  • Democrats and Republicans - including Sen. Johnny Isakson, Rep. John Lewis, Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Jim McGovern -- getting together on Capitol Hill to pack school supply kits for area kids.
  • The announcement that more than 500 companies committed to provide more than $2 billion in pro-bono service through Billion + Change.
  • Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant challenging nonprofit and business leaders to empower the "givers" among us.
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey's powerful call to engage and support more veterans and military families through volunteer service.
  • Chase Community Giving's announcement of six extraordinary organizations that each won $25,000, thanks to the votes of Conference attendees.
  • Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle - like Sen. Dan Coats, Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Joaquin Castro -- coming together to support America's volunteers and discuss the future of service.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer's announcement that next year 80,000 AmeriCorps members and almost 1 million AmeriCorps alums will gather in communities across the country to take the AmeriCorps oath together.
  • The volunteers who came out in force to assemble 100,000 mac-and-cheese kits for those in need in the nation's capital and to clean-up the National Mall.
  • DC Youth Poetry Slam's inspiring call to service during the closing plenary: "We are all points of light!"

2012 - Chicago

The 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, which took place in Chicago June 18-20, provided more than 5,000 citizen leaders with the opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired through more than 100 plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects and more. Convened by Points of Light, the Conference is the leading volunteer sector gathering, providing service-minded citizens with an environment to share and cultivate new ideas, discuss challenges and work together to create solutions through the power of people.

 

 

Five-thousand Conference attendees filled the opening plenary, "A New Generation of Service," returning to the city that hosted the first National Conference on Volunteering and Service in 1992. President Barack Obama highlighted the great American tradition of service shining in each and every service leader in the room and encouraged all to keep striving to create change. Former first lady Barbara Bush was joined by her grandchildren, Pierce Bush and Lauren Bush Lauren, along with other dignitaries including Dr. Jill Biden and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who stressed that it is impossible for government to reach its goals without the power of service. Actor and SixDegrees.org founder Kevin Bacon added star power to the lineup of presenters including U.S. Army veteran J.R. Martinez, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush.

Other highlights included Target's "Solving America's Education Crisis" plenary with Soledad O'Brien, Arne Duncan and Alberto Carvalho; Chase's "Seeds for Change" service program that included four community garden builds; Billion + Change's "Inspiring Change through Skills Based Service"; "Exploring Service for Military Members and Families" with ITT Exelis, youth making their mark, HandsOn Action Center storytelling, awards presentations and so much more.

2011 - New Orleans

Thousands of thought leaders, social entrepreneurs and change makers gathered in New Orleans for the 2011 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Attendees were transformed; inspired, equipped for greater impact and mobilized by new tools and resources.

 

 

We were joined by a stellar lineup of speakers, award winners and other special invited guests including civil rights activist Ruby bridges, media personalities Deborah Roberts and Soledad O'Brien, comedian John Oliver, political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, and many others. Like our attendees, they represented a wide variety of sectors, backgrounds and perspectives on service.

The 2011 National Conference on Volunteering and Service honored the individuals, organizations and programs that are proving that service solves problems. Now more than ever, people are at the heart of community change and must champion efforts in their communities to solve problems. Our conference theme "Champions of Service" recognizes that everyone can be a champion in their community by mobilizing the energy, ingenuity and compassion of citizens to lead the way for a better future.

2010 - New York City

The 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service was an overwhelming success, with more than 5,000 participants and an incredible group of presenters from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors.

 

2009 - San Francisco

The 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, June 22 - 24, 2009 in San Francisco, California, was a demonstration of civic. energy. generation.

The 2009 conference far exceeded attendance goals and inspired all, thanks to the outstanding support of sponsors. The co-convening organizations especially thank the California Host Committee and Title Sponsor Target, along with Civic Energy Sponsor Shinnyo-en Foundation and Presenting Sponsors the Entertainment Industry Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation and UPS.

The star-studded opening plenary session included a keynote address by First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as comments by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver, Matthew McConaughey, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington and an inspirational performance from Jon Bon Jovi. Clifford the Big Red Dog also made an appearance, and actress Kerry Washington representing the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Awards program spoke during pre-show festivities. Thanks to BusinessBoomer, the opening general session and other significant moments were streamed live on the Internet for the world to see and be inspired.

Other conference highlights:

  • Playground Build with the First Ladies: Before the conference even began, nearly 300 volunteers collaborated with the local community, First Lady Michelle Obama and California's First Lady Maria Shriver to re-build the playground of Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco.
  • Cheers to YOU!: Following the opening plenary, attendees headed to Fort Mason for "Cheers to YOU!," a kick-off celebration sponsored by Target that included performances by eight-time Grammy award-winning artist Chaka Khan and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
  • Responding to the New World — Making Sense of the Changing World and the Role of Corporate Service: Business Track Opening Forum featuring Dr. Mark Albion, Director of External Relations, The Lewis Initiative at Babson College; Sharon Allen, Chairman of the Board, Deloitte LLP; Roger Hancock, Community Relations Manager, AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah; Randy Pond, Executive Vice President, Operations, Processes, and Systems, Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Bobbi Silten, Chief Foundation Officer, Gap Inc.
  • Forum: Service as a Solution: Service and the Road to Economic Recovery featuring moderator Dr. Julianne Malveaux, President, Bennett College for Women, and panelists Stephen Jordan, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Business Civic Leadership Center, United States Chamber of Commerce; Kirstin Lodal, Co-Founder and CEO, LIFT; and Eileen Fitzgerald, COO, NeighborWorks.
  • Forum: Service as a Solution: Civic Engagement for Student Achievement, featuring panelists Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink; Anthony Salcito, General Manager for U.S. Enterprise Education Business, Microsoft; Eric Schwarz, President and CEO, Citizen Schools; James H. Shelton, III, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education; and Lisa Spinali, Executive Director, San Francisco School Volunteers.
  • Forum: Service as a Solution: Leadership and Action for a Green Economy, featuring panelists Ray Rivera, Director of External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior and Sally Prouty, Presidentand CEO, The Corps Network.
  • Forum: Social Innovation: Harnessing What Works to Address Critical Challenges, with opening remarks by Shannon Schuyler, U.S. Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility, PricewaterhouseCoopers and panelists Cheryl Dorsey, President Echoing Green; Sarah Di Troia, Partner, New Profit Inc.; Steve Goldsmith, Vice Chair, Corporation for National and Community Service; Ian Hardman, President, Management Leadership for Tomorrow; and Michele Jolin, Senior Advisor for Social Innovation, Domestic Policy Council, The White House.
  • Generation Now: Business Leaders for Change CEO Roundtable moderated by David Gergen, Professor of Public Service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, and CNN Senior Political Analyst. Panelists included John Donahoe, President & CEO, eBay, Inc.; David Pillsbury, President of PGA Tour Golf Course Properties, EVP Championship Management, PGA Tour Golf Course Properties; Lisa Mascolo, U.S. Country Managing Director, Accenture LTD.; Mark Schiller, President, Quaker Foods and Snacks; Ephren Taylor II, CEO, City Capital Corporation; and John Veihmeyer, CEO, KPMG LLP.
  • Exploring Service Learning in the City Immersion learning sessions offered conference attendees the opportunity to venture into San Francisco for first-hand service learning experiences in a city familiar with innovation. Participants traveled to venues including Golden Gate National Park, Glide Memorial United Methodist Church and Goodwill Industries to explore topics such as integrating people of all generations and backgrounds in volunteerism, leveraging social media and best practices in aligning with national brands.
  • Cisco Energy Exchange The Cisco Energy Exchange, an exhibit hall where attendees could visit booths for more than 60 businesses and organizations relevant to service, was a favorite spot for attendees seeking to network and broaden their awareness of the sector. The Cisco Energy Exchange hosted an Energy Stage with entertainment during conference breaks, and the Cbeyond Internet Cafe, where attendees could access the Internet while away from home.
  • Going Green Thanks to the support of The Home Depot Foundation, the Official Green Sponsor, the 2009 conference was one of the most environmentally-friendly conferences in history. Many session materials were posted online to avoid printing, attendees were encouraged to recycle and the size of the program book was reduced drastically.
  • The Next Level: Social Media The conference co-conveners leveraged social media in innovative ways for the conference this year as well. The official National Conference on Volunteering and Service blog and Twitter feed were updated consistently prior to and during the conference, and attendees were encouraged to utilize the National Conference on Volunteering and Service hashtag in their own social media communications. The co-conveners also activated a text messaging system to communicate program changes to attendees.
  • Closing Plenary Session Conference attendees were treated to a panel moderated by David Gergen, professor of Public Service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, and CNN Senior Political Analyst, during the closing plenary session. Panelists Megan Smith, Vice President New Business Development, Google; Sonal Shah, Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, The White House; Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment; and Sean Parker, the Founding President of Facebook, engaged in a lively dialogue. Additionally, environmentalist, businessman and author Paul Hawken shared his predictions about the future of the environmental and social justice movements. The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus provided entertainment, and Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering for the State of California; Harumitsu Inouye, CEO of Shinnyo-en Foundation; Kelly Cafarelli of The Home Depot Foundation; and Andrew Plepler, Foundation President, Bank of America, made remarks. Nicola Goren and Michelle Nunn provided closing commentary for the conference and shared the exciting announcement of New York City as the location for the 2010 conference.

General Sessions

Opening Session

Monday, June 22, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Sponsored by Shinnyo-en Foundation

First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the opening plenary session with a keynote address, confirming the Presidential Administration's commitment to service and announcing the United We Serve initiative. Obama explained that United We Serve is a sustained effort to expand the size and impact of volunteer efforts in America. United We Serve kicked off at the conference and runs for 81 days through a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. She also announced an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation: during the week of October 19, plots and themes on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC television programming will center on volunteering to inspire Americans to serve.

Other highlights from the opening plenary of the conference include comments by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Maria Shriver, Matthew McConaughey, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington and an inspirational performance from Jon Bon Jovi. Clifford the Big Red Dog also made an appearance, and actress Kerry Washington representing the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Awards program spoke during pre-show festivities. Thanks to BusinessBoomer, the opening general session and other significant moments were streamed live on the Internet for the world to see and be inspired.

"This is the key point I want to make today — that this new Administration doesn't view service as separate from our national priorities, or in addition to our national priorities — we see it as the key to achieving our national priorities. We believe that the only way to build that new foundation for our economy is to establish a new role for service in this country."
— First Lady Michelle Obama
Get HandsOn

HandsOn Network introduced Get HandsOn, the network's strategic response to the President's call to service and United We Serve. Through the initiative, HandsOn Network aims to recruit and mobilize a corps of 500,000 volunteer leaders and engage people of all generations in two million impact-driven projects. The goals of the campaign are to reduce the drop-out rate by leveraging the power of service in every school, reduce the carbon footprint though neighborhood-based conservation and restoration projects; and support economic security for families by facilitating access to resources and dollars.

Closing Session

Wednesday, June 24, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Sponsored by UPS

Conference attendees were treated to a panel moderated by David Gergen, professor of Public Service and Director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School, and CNN Senior Political Analyst, during the closing plenary session. Panelists Megan Smith, Vice President New Business Development, Google; Sonal Shah, Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, The White House; Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment; and Sean Parker, the Founding President of Facebook, engaged in a lively dialogue. Additionally, environmentalist, businessman and author Paul Hawken shared his predictions about the future of the environmental and social justice movements. The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus provided entertainment, and Karen Baker, Secretary of Service and Volunteering for the State of California; Harumitsu Inouye, CEO of Shinnyo-en Foundation; Kelly Cafarelli of The Home Depot Foundation; and Andrew Plepler, Foundation President, Bank of America, made remarks. Nicola Goren and Michelle Nunn provided closing commentary for the conference and shared the exciting announcement of New York City as the location for the 2010 conference.

University of Phoenix: The New Premier Partner of HandsOn University

Points of Light Institute was also excited to announce a late-breaking partnership at the conference that will enable HandsOn Network to mobilize for United We Serve at a tremendous scale. With their experiences, resources and online learning platform, University of Phoenix will partner with HandsOn Network to transform the capacity of people to take action and self-organize during United We Serve and beyond. As the premiere partner of HandsOn University, University of Phoenix will sponsor the first-ever Get HandsOn Summit in November 2009, an event that will involve volunteer leaders from across the country.

Immersion Learning Sessions

Exploring Service Learning in the City

Immersion learning sessions offered conference attendees the opportunity to venture into San Francisco for first-hand service learning experiences in a city familiar with innovation. Participants traveled to venues including Golden Gate National Park, Glide Memorial United Methodist Church and Goodwill Industries to explore topics such as integrating people of all generations and backgrounds in volunteerism, leveraging social media and best practices in aligning with national brands.

Special Events

Playground Build with the First Ladies

Before the conference even began, nearly 300 volunteers collaborated with the local community, First Lady Michelle Obama and California's First Lady Maria Shriver to re-build the playground of Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco. The project, sponsored by CaliforniaVolunteers, honored the life and legacy of Cesar E. Chavez. It was Shriver's 31st playground build in the state of California, and the finished project will be the nation's first fully intergenerational playground, providing a space for people of all ages to come together and play. In addition to play equipment, the completed outdoor area will include a community garden, a greenhouse project, an outdoor classroom and a mural of Cesar Chavez. Chavez's granddaughter also addressed the crowd to honor her grandfather's legacy.

Cheers to YOU!

Following the opening plenary, attendees headed to Fort Mason for "Cheers to YOU!," a kick-off celebration sponsored by Target. Attendees were treated to performances by eight-time Grammy award-winning artist Chaka Khan and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture, while enjoying great food and a chance to network with new friends.

Civic. Energy. Generation. Film Festival

For the first time in the history of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, attendees had the privilege of attending a film festival as part of the conference program. The Way We Get By and American Idealist: The Story of Sergeant Shriver, two award-winning, service-oriented films, were screened during the civic. energy. generation. Film Festival. As a surprise for attendees, Jerry Mundy, a volunteer featured in The Way We Get By, and producer Gita Pullapilly greeted guests following the screening.

Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall is an important, interactive arm of the conference that brings attendees together with exhibiting organizations to unite for a cause, to network for progress, to learn and to exchange knowledge of their own areas of the service sector.

The 2009 exhibit hall, "The Cisco Energy Exchange," included:

  • 65 booths of dedicated organizations and companies served as storytelling hubs where employees shared stories of how they are increasing the call to service nationally and worldwide.
  • Food and beverage stations provided refreshments for purchase, and seating areas were great networking spots for conference attendees.
  • The Idealist Career Center provided information and guidance for career and service-minded individuals within the non-profit sector through conversations with staff and tutelage via mini-workshops at their booth.
  • The Energy Stage acted as a mouthpiece for organizations to further their message through giveaways, motivational speakers and audience interaction.
  • The Cisco Cyber Cafe was open to all registered conference attendees, offering online computer access for attendees to check e-mail while away from home.
  • The Civic Energy Bookstore was the exclusive and inaugural conference-sponsored bookstore. Local independent bookseller Bookshop West Portal provided an excellent selection of sector-related reading material and knowledgeable customer service as another area for attendees to learn, connect and inspire.

 

Videos

2008 - Atlanta

The 2008 National Conference on Volunteering and Service was a major success as more than 4,500 change-makers came together in Atlanta to explore ways to expand the ranks and effectiveness of volunteers across the United States. During the three-day conference, attendees shared best practices, connected with peers, and learned the latest information on volunteer management and civic engagement. With 175 workshops, six immersion-learning sessions, several special events, a large interactive exhibit hall, and two community "hands on" service projects, there was something for everyone at conference!

The theme of the 2008 conference, "The Urgency of Now," served as an ever-present reminder of the need for bold civic action. With energy and enthusiasm, attendees learned that "now" is a time of big challenges for our nation and our world. With these challenges comes a time of profound opportunity. With growing recognition from Congress, the campaign trail, and corporate America, it is clear that service and volunteering are the keys to tackling our nation’s toughest problems. Among the many highlights of the 2008 Conference:

Plenary Speakers

The 2008 plenary sessions featured inspirational remarks from a wide range of speakers, including Congressman John Lewis, former President Jimmy Carter, Senator Sam Nunn, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, USA Freedom Corps Director Henry Lozano, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO David Eisner and Board Chair Stephen Goldsmith, Points of Light Institute CEO Michelle Nunn and Board Chair Neil Bush, Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter, corporate CEOs, and many others.

Immersion Learning Sessions

New this year, “Immersion Learning Sessions” offered attendees the opportunity to go into the local community, roll up their sleeves, and explore issues in an intensive way alongside local leaders and topic experts. Six different sessions were offered, with several taking place at historic sites around Atlanta, including the New Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Carter Center, and Spelman University. The 2008 sessions focused on current topics, including:

  • “Building Communities from the Inside Out”
  • “Engaging the Poor and People of Color in Organized Service”
  • “Leaders of Now: Rocking the World One Community at a Time”
  • “University-Community Partnerships: A Mutually Beneficial Alliance for Students and Community”
  • “Nonviolence to Service for Social Justice”
  • “Volunteering in America: Innovative Strategies for Plugging the Leaky Bucket, Reinventing Volunteer Talent, and Thriving.”

Feedback from attendees was very positive, with most feeling that these sessions greatly enhanced the Conference experience.

Special Events

In addition to the workshops and plenary sessions, Conference attendees in 2008 had a chance to kick up their heels and get a real taste of Southern hospitality. Following the opening plenary at the Georgia World Congress Center, the Celebrate Now! Festival, hosted by Target, had everyone on their feet dancing to the sounds of the Atlanta Drum Line, dueling pianos and DJ’s, and an amazing jam session with local Atlanta bands. Just down the street, the fun continued at a Welcome Reception hosted by Delta Air Lines at the Georgia Aquarium. The Business and Funders Reception at the New World of Coca-Cola, presented by KPMG and The Coca-Cola Company, also gave visitors a refreshing taste of Atlanta.

Brand Launch

After much anticipation, the new brand identity and structure of the Points of Light Institute were unveiled. The dynamic new brand builds on the equity of both the Points of Light Institute and the former Points of Light Foundation and positions the network firmly at the forefront of the movement towards civic engagement in America and around the world. The Conference provided an opportunity for more than 200 Points of Light Institute Action Centers to come together for the first time since the 2007 merger to discuss membership integration, fundraising, strategic planning, and other ideas for launching the new brand in local communities.

Senior Corps Conference/AmeriCorps Grantee Meeting

For the first time since 2002—and for the first time ever as part of the National Conference—all 1,500 Senior Corps project directors met as a whole. Highlights including the announcement of a new partnership with the Administration on Aging, a Town Hall discussion, and the unveiling of brand new marketing materials. AmeriCorps program directors and State Commission executive directors and staff also gathered at the Conference and at pre-Conference sessions to discuss issues of particular interest to AmeriCorps grantees.

Business Track

More than 400 corporate partners and key business leaders demonstrated the positive benefits of marrying social responsibility with business goals, proving that pro-bono service improves their communities and strengthens their bottom line. CEOs of major corporations—including Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ben & Jerry’s, ChoicePoint, and Manning Selvage & Lee—gathered for a CEO Roundtable to discuss the importance of inspired corporate leadership around civic engagement. Moderated by CNBC’s Trish Regan, the “CSR Now!” roundtable set the tone for one of the most robust business tracks in conference history. In addition, attendees were exposed to a variety of workshops and forums, including an in-depth conversation hosted by Jean Case, Chair of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, on “The Evolution of Corporate Engagement.”

Award Recipients

At plenary sessions and at smaller group settings throughout the Conference, a number of awards were presented to individuals, nonprofit organizations, and corporate partners who exemplified excellence in their respective areas of volunteering.

Corporate Spirit of Service Award
  • Ben & Jerry’s
Awards for Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • ChoicePoint
  • Genworth Financial
  • The Walt Disney Company
HandsOn Network Awards
  • George W. Romney Excellence Award to the Affiliate of the Year: Volunteer Connection of Northwest Ohio
  • Leadership Award: Boston Cares
  • Innovation Award: Volunteer Center of Lehigh Valley
CNCS Spirit of Service Awards (Senior Corps)
  • RSVP: Joel Becker
  • Foster Grandparent Program: Thelma King
  • Senior Companion Program: Patricia Gratton
  • Partnership: The Pinkerton Foundation
CNCS Spirit of Service Awards (AmeriCorps)
  • State/National: Antonio Almeida
  • NCCC Team: Team Blue 4 (Western Region, Class 14)
  • NCCC Member: Ashley Sloan, Greg Loushine, Jackie Smith (Southeast Region, Class 13)
  • VISTA: American Red Cross, Bay Area Chapter VISTA Team
  • AmeriCorps Alums: David Karst
  • Partnership: Pearson
CNCS Spirit of Service Awards (Learn and Serve America)
  • Student: Nicholas Metrakos
  • Grantee: Monforton School 7th Grade (Bozeman, Montana)
  • Educator: Wendy Doromal
  • Inspirational: State Farm
AmeriCorps Alums
  • Eli Segal Awardee: Rhonda Ulmer

Cohen-Nunn Dialogues

National service was the topic of a standing-room-only panel discussion led by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen and former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn. The session was part of a series of “dialogues” on important issues they are conducting across the country under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Gilman Foundation. After opening remarks by Corporation CEO David Eisner, the panelists, including Points of Light Institute CEO Michelle Nunn, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, and author Westley Moore, candidly and provocatively discussed how public policy can be used to achieve a new threshold of civic and national service. Highlights of the discussion also were presented by Senator Nunn at the Closing Plenary.

Service Projects

Conference-goers proved that they can walk the walk by participating as volunteers for two local Atlanta service projects. Over 100 attendees braved the Atlanta heat to provide much-needed assistance with painting, landscaping, and general building repairs at the Samaritan House of Atlanta, which helps the homeless, and the KIPP WAYS Academy, which offers college preparatory services to low-income youth.

Next Generation Service

Throughout Conference, the positive impact of Generation X, Y and Millennials was on display. In addition to workshops and learning sessions geared to younger audiences, the Conference hosted the first Youth Leadership Academy, which provided a framework to empower young leaders by committing to annual service and the completion of a project.

Exhibit Hall

Sporting a new high-tech look and feel, this year’s exhibit hall, called “The Exchange,” provided both a showcase for 75 exhibitors and a forum to share ideas to drive forward the national volunteer movement. Attendees were able to check their e-mail at the IBM Cyber Café, explore the new brand of Points of Light Institute and Points of Light Institute, and learn more about national service programs and resources at the Corporation for National and Community Service booth. The Exchange also boasted the first “Walk of Fame”—which showcased on video the Conference award winners within a mini theatrical hallway—as well as the Now! Network TV, an in-house network featuring interviews with attendees, volunteer stories, and more.

Sponsors

The 2008 Conference could not have taken place without the strong support of our corporate sponsors, led by Presenting Sponsors Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, Target, and UPS. Other sponsors included Accenture, AGL Resources, Altria Group, Cartoon Network & Turner Broadcasting System, Chrysler Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, Georgia Natural Gas, IBM, ING Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kaiser Permanente, KPMG, L'Oréal Paris, Macy's, State Street Corporation, and WaMu. Our corporate sponsors were also featured in several Wall Street Journal ads that ran in the Money & Investing section on April 25, May 9 and May 30.

Contact Information

General Inquiries

Conference on Volunteering and Service
Attn: Events
600 Means Street, Suite 210
Atlanta, Georgia 30318

Registration Inquiries

Volunteering Inquiries

Sponsorship

For information on corporate sponsorship, contact Kate Nichols.

Media

For media inquiries, contact Amber Gowen.

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What Others Are Saying

The emphasis on cross-sector collaboration was eye-opening, and everyone I met walked away with fresh perspectives and ideas. It broke down the silos of inward-facing sectors and showed us how much more powerful our work can be when we come together. An unbeatable experience!

— 2017 Seattle Attendee

The conference proved to be one of the most engaging and exciting professional gatherings of like-minded people I've ever attended. Although the topics, content, and presentations all appropriately centered around volunteering and service in some way, the sheer range of them was simply astounding.

— 2017 Seattle Attendee

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