Learning Tracks

The 2017 Conference offers 8 diverse tracks with more than 70 workshops, as well as:

Sessions that offer opportunities for reflection and renewal

Immersion learning to connect with the city and be inspired

Engaging service projects that give back to the host city


Leading with Values: Business as a Force for Good

As communities around the world are increasingly faced with diverse political, economic and social challenges, companies are stepping into new and uncharted roles as leaders and advocates in social action, policy and community-building. In this context, how can companies lead with their values and collaborate with communities to bring their resources, time, talent and voice to bear to be a powerful force for good? Join us in the Business Track at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, where attendees will leave inspired, mobilized and equipped to lead with their values and help position their businesses as a force for good in society. Be a part of a valuable learning community and access the research, frameworks, insights and networks you need to accelerate and grow your corporate volunteer programs.

“The Points of Light Conference reinforces for me that employee volunteering can be transformative – for the employee, for the company, and for the nonprofit partner and community. When you’re surrounded by 5,000 other motivated human change agents, Conference serves as a reminder of the power of people to do good. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get out of your day-to-day routine, meet peers, learn best practices, hear about innovations, and stretch yourself a bit – so that you can be empowered to return to your company and do more, do better.”

— Sarah Middleton, Executive Director, The PIMCO Foundation

Business Track workshops include:

  • Business Track Opening » More Info
  • Leading with Values: Companies Respond to the Global Refugee Crisis » More Info
  • From Activation to Inspiration: Engaging Employees in Transformational Volunteering » More Info
  • Creating a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion through Civic Engagement » More Info
  • The 2017 Civic 50: What’s at the Core of Community-Minded Companies? » More Info
  • Business as a Force for Good: Creating a Culture of Service » More Info
  • Measuring the Corporate Volunteer Movement » More Info
  • How Can Corporate Volunteers and Community Collaboration Support Opportunity Youth? » More Info
  • Business as a Force for Good: Innovations in Employee Volunteering from Around the World » More Info
  • From “Space” to “Place”: Building Strong Communities through Corporate Volunteering » More Info
  • From Values to Action: Harnessing Values-Based Leadership for Good » More Info


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Driving Results for Nonprofits

Discover proven solutions for increasing nonprofit effectiveness and improving an organization’s ability to collaborate, drive innovation, utilize cutting-edge technology and activate skill-based volunteers to identify and meet the needs in your community.

"Conference provides a vital opportunity for us to connect across geographic regions and sectors. As we discover and learn from one another, we become a community, working together to solve our challenges, and our work is critical to the future of our civil society."

— Brian E. Dean, President & CEO, Jersey Cares

Capacity Building Track workshops include:

  • Deepening Community Engagement Impact in Environmental Issues Through Volunteerism » More Info
  • Survey Sense/Let the Creativity In: Exploring Alternative Methods for Data Collection » More Info
  • From COAD to VOAD, from EVC to VRC, Navigating the ABC's of Volunteer Disaster Management » More Info
  • Corporate Responsibility Advancement: The Nonprofit's Answer to CSR » More Info
  • Becoming an Active Bystander During Emergency Response » More Info
  • Building and Expanding Leadership as a Strategy for Community-wide Impact » More Info
  • Making the Most of Corporate Skills-Based Volunteering: A Fireside Chat with JPMorgan Chase & Co. » More Info
  • Focusing the Points of Light: A Model for Fostering Collaboration Between National Service Programs at the Local Level » More Info
  • We Built It, Where Are They? Increasing Capacity Through Strategic Communications Planning » More Info
  • Fresh Thinking for Your Communication Engagement Strategy » More Info
  • Corporate-Nonprofit Partnerships Blown Way Out of Proportion » More Info
  • Using Data to Determine Community Need » More Info


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Making a Difference in Schools

Learn about issues and innovations to engage volunteers of all ages to assist in increasing student attendance, improving students' academic performance and graduation rates.

"There’s something about sharing an inspiring experience like Conference that helps strengthen bonds and brings team members closer to achieving common goals. When we get home we are ready to take our organization to the next level… together."

— Kristina DaSilva, Chief Operating Office, HandsOn Broward

Higher Education Track workshops include:

  • Bridging Democratic Engagement and Service Learning Roundtable » More Info
  • Promoting the Civic Purpose of Higher Education » More Info
  • Higher Education’s Role in Creating Leaders for Volunteerism and Service: Perspectives of College Presidents » More Info
  • Promoting Civic Discourse and Civic Engagement » More Info
  • Dialogue on Social Responsibility: How Corporations and Nonprofits Promote Social Responsibility and How Can Higher Ed Better Partner With Them » More Info


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Innovations in Changemaking That Are Changing the World

Hear from social entrepreneurs, corporate intrapreneurs, and thought leaders from around the world who are transforming the way individuals, nonprofits and corporations engage in community change making. Deepen insights into the strategies, innovations and emerging trends that have the potential to change the world as we grow the global service movement together.

"This is the most amazing conference I have ever participated in. There were 3,000 people from all over the world, sharing our thoughts, knowledge, best practices, and ways of solutions on how we can do things better, more efficiently, and multiply the impact of our work in the Third Sector. All of us shared one main target – how can we provide help, support, and the best solutions to people in need in our communities…The choice is yours, if attending the Points Of Light conference is ‘One Day or DAY ONE’!"

— Lena Panagiotarea, Consultant, Greece-Athens

Global Track workshops include:

  • Emerging Innovations in Civic Engagement That are Changing the World » More Info
  • Engaging People to Achieve the SDGs » More Info
  • Global Trends in Pro Bono - Regional Insights into Mobilizing Talent for Good » More Info
  • Changemaking Across Borders: What's Possible? » More Info
  • Doing Good at Scale: How to Mobilize the World » More Info
  • Business as a Force for Good: Innovations in Employee Volunteering from Around the World » More Info


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At the Crossroads of Entrepreneurship and Service

Learn from social entrepreneurs and innovators across sectors who are developing new ways to connect with and engage individuals in meaningful ways to meet social missions. Engage in new and unique approaches to solving problems.

“The Conference on Volunteering and Service is a unique opportunity for corporate volunteer engagement professionals to come together, learn from each other, share best practices, and network. The conversations are honest, eye-opening, and affirming. I’ve brought back and implemented ideas shared at the conference.”

— Sally J. Ehrenfried, Manager, Philanthropy & Volunteer Engagement, Blackbaud

Tech for Good Track workshops include:

  • Creating Local Innovation Communities » More Info
  • Social Data for Volunteer Engagement » More Info
  • Volunteer Experience Design for Better Programs » More Info
  • Tech is hard, governing is hard: How local volunteer groups are lending a hand » More Info
  • The New All for Good » More Info

Meeting the Urgent Needs

Discover successful models that empower and equip every day citizens to create healthy, vibrant, thriving communities. When local, state and national government agencies, nonprofits and community changemakers focus on strengthening educational opportunity, economic advancement, youth and family services, access to basic needs, social equity and cultural expression their collective action can lead to clear, measurable impact and sustainable long-term change. Learn best practices and techniques for engaging volunteers from across the community in consensus building and community organizing to tackle the toughest issues faced by communities.

"I attended the Points of Light conference in Atlanta in 2014 during a brief stint as a volunteer manager at a non-profit in Los Angeles serving women struggling with homelessness. It was such an educational and inspirational experience. It did exactly what conferences should do and I returned rejuvenated; armed with techniques and information to make my work stronger."

— Angie Kamel, former Volunteer Manager, Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles

Solutions for Community Resilience Track workshops include:

  • Engaging Veterans: The Second Mission » More Info
  • A Citywide Volunteer Initiative Sparks Youth Interest in Careers » More Info
  • There’s More than Enough: Minimizing Waste, Maximizing Savings » More Info
  • New Pathways to the American Dream for Youth » More Info
  • Impacting the Future for Young Men of Color » More Info
  • Against All Odds: Building Community Inside the Prison-Industrial Complex » More Info
  • Take a Stand for Solidarity and Racial Justice Through Service » More Info
  • Engaging Newcomer and Immigrant Populations in Volunteerism and Community Strengthening » More Info
  • New Strategies to Set Our Cities on a Brighter Path » More Info
  • Connect Communities, Strengthen Neighborhoods and Build Resiliency » More Info

AmeriCorps Leads the Way

Take part in the National Service conversation and learn effective techniques for strengthening National Service programs. Connect with practitioners to learn hands-on information on recruitment, retention, member participation and satisfaction.

"When I started working in the world of disaster volunteerism, it was a fairly solitary existence. There were few people in the field that I could really learn from or network with. The first Points of Light Conference that I attended changed that. The Conference convenes people from all of the country that know exactly what I am going through. Over the next few years, I would attend Conference and view them as a reunion. A chance to connect with peers and really grow the disaster volunteerism movement. Eventually, even I became a resource for this broader network and am eager to advance community engagement in our collective communities."

— Lisa Tatum, Volunteer Now

Strengthening National Service Track workshops include:

  • REP! Member Experience: Creating a Retention and Engagement Program » More Info
  • Creating a Mindful Workforce for the 21st Century: AmeriCorps Member Management » More Info
  • Getting the Right People On Board: Developing a Strong AmeriCorps Leadership Team » More Info
  • Engaging Elected Officials to Advance National Service and Volunteering » More Info
  • Criminal History Check Compliance – Workshop Sponsored by The Corporation for National and Community Service » More Info

Leveraging Volunteer Strategies for High-Impact Programs

Equip organizations with breakthrough tools and strategies for recruiting, retaining and managing high-impact volunteer programs with a special emphasis on innovation and idea exchange with peers who manage multi-issue programs.

“Attending Points of Light’s Conference has given me the opportunity to build strong, personal relationships with other leaders in our field. There are some colleagues that I see only at conference, but I know that I can pick up the phone any time and get advice and support from them. I've picked their brains, "borrowed" their ideas, and learned from their experience. None of this knowledge would have been available to me had I decided to sit in my office alone. As a nonprofit leader, I've learned that creating and strengthening my peer network has been crucial to my success, both personally and organizationally.”

— Amy Lytle, Executive Director, HandsOn Northwest North Carolina

Volunteer Engagement Track workshops include:

  • Volunteer Engagement Track Opening » More Info
  • The Power of Volunteers: Moving from Surface Impact to Societal Impact » More Info
  • The 3 C's of Happy Volunteers: Comfort, Convenience and Connection » More Info
  • Engaging the Military Community as Volunteers » More Info
  • Engaging and Retaining Women in Technology through Skills-Based Volunteering » More Info
  • Inspiring Staff Engagement and Readiness in Working with Volunteers » More Info
  • From Idea to Reality: Harnessing High School Honors and Service Society Students as Volunteers » More Info
  • 6 Trends in Volunteer Engagement and What They Mean for Future Practice » More Info
  • I Am the Volunteer You Want. How to Attract, Engage and Retain Me. » More Info
  • Managing Volunteers at Large-scale Events, Getting it Right from the Start! » More Info
  • Who Me? Are You the Volunteer Engagement Leader Your Organization Needs You to Be? » More Info
  • Moments of WOW! How Customer Service Strategies Transform Nonprofit Volunteer Engagement » More Info
  • Millennials Got You Down? » More Info
  • The Volunteer Journey: Maximizing Recruitment through Strategic Communications and Improving Volunteer On-Boarding » More Info
  • Building a Corporate Volunteer Program That Makes an Impact and Brings in Money » More Info
  • Innovative Volunteering Programs to Engage Millenials » More Info
  • Volunteer Background Screening in 2017: What the Research Says » More Info
  • The 2017 Global Volunteer Management Progress Report: Key Trends and How to Use Them » More Info
  • Infusing Social Justice into Volunteerism to Build Connectedness » More Info
  • Engaging Skilled Volunteers: Catch 'Em and Keep 'Em » More Info
  • Yours, Mine and Ours: Empowering Volunteers to Serve Within and Beyond Your Organization » More Info


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Contact Information

General Inquiries

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

Registration Inquiries

Volunteering Inquiries


For information on corporate sponsorship, contact Kate Nichols.


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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