Points of Light: Simplifying The Notion of Volunteerism


In 2012 Points of Light accepted the sole convening responsibility of an annual national Conference, offering the opportunity to examine how the Conference could be reintroduced to further attract sponsors, grow attendance and become THE best-practices and recognition event within the category

In addition, Points of Light seeks a branded awards / recognition property, beyond its Daily Point of Light award, which may grown into an annual event honoring exceptional performers in the volunteer / service-to-community category in the United States and beyond, as well known as other leading honors events within other categories, such as The Oscars, Emmys or Grammy Awards.


For years Atlanta-based Points of Light, and the Corporation for National & Community Service, the latter a U.S. federal agency, co-convened the annual National Conference on Volunteering and Service

The mid-year Conference attracts volunteer and community service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors "to learn, connect and be inspired."

The task is one of growing awareness of the Conference so that it becomes a difficult-to-forget event; one that becomes THE annual flagpole congregating opportunity within the philanthropic volunteerism community.

Search engine results of "volunteerism conference" and "volunteer service conference" yields thousands of similarly labeled state, national and global events.

We looked to identity the conversational white space no competitor owns, an entry-point story that in itself attracts attention while mapping back to the ideals of the convening organization, Points of Light.

Our team landed upon a basic human instinct - which no competitor within the philanthropic volunteerism category had yet claimed - as a tool through which to reframe the public conversation of voluteerism and service to one's community: Every person is born with a series of innate needs and behaviors to aid in survival, including the urge to help others as a means of socialization.


Our work pointed to a new entry-point story of the Conference - beyond the generic, functional labels used in defining notions of volunteerism - including a new name and entry-point story telegraphing personalized benefit to prospective Conference attendees and sponsors:

FUSE  |  light yours  

This verbal design was handed to our visual design team to demonstrate the multiple meaning found in light yours, or the alternative ignite yours, by developing concepts showing how the phrase visually communicates both light yours - benefitting the individual - and light ours - benefitting one's community. 

In addition, to create a new branded awards / recognition property for Points of Light, it must also map back to the ideals of the Points of Light organization.

Our team recognized that even though people are born with the innate need to help others, that need must at times be awakened and reawakened in the individual through an aspirational call, one providing self-reward.

The smallest and largest of volunteer efforts leave a mark upon neighbors, communities and sometimes even the world.

To recognize the best of these efforts, this new Awards brand property is framed as a call to action with this entry-point story:

MARK  |  make yours

Executed well, the MARK Awards will offer encouragement to and examples of how individuals everywhere may Make Their Mark On The World, all the while contributing to the reputation equity of the Points of Light organization.

With both FUSE and MARK as brand assets, Points of Light possesses the opportunity to Own The Market Conversation and become the "Red Cross" of their category.


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