How the Points of Light Institute Works

Civic Incubator

In an incubator, an organism has protection and warmth so that it can grow. Think of the Civic Incubator -- Points of Light Institute's (PLI) newest unit -- as a safe haven where innovative ideas and social networks can spread like a contagion. Two of the main focuses of the Civic Incubator unit include sustainability and efficiency through research. Through the Incubator, civic engagement will be promoted through service networks around the world.

One aspect that makes this business unit unique when compared to the HandsOn Network and the MissionFish is the Incubator's role as an evaluator of current PLI programs. As a unit grounded in sustainable, innovative thinking, members of the Civic Incubator have the ability to take current PLI operations and advise their leaders of techniques that will increase efficiency [source: AmeriCorps Alums].

Currently, the Incubator runs a network called AmeriCorps Alums -- which connects more than 500,000 alumni of AmeriCorps volunteer programs across the nation. Another growing initiative of the Incubator is the Faith Institute. Not all initiatives run by PLI have such direct ties to religion -- making this initiative unique to the Incubator. The main function of the Faith Institute will be forming partnerships between people and organizations of diverse faiths [sources: AmeriCorps Alums, Points of Light].

Got a volunteering itch you need to scratch? See the next page for information on how you can volunteer through the Points of Light Institute.