Hands on Network

Last updated
HandsOn Network
Private, Non-Profit
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia
Website www.handsonnetwork.org

The HandsOn Network is a non-profit organization focusing on community service based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. It seeks to bring people together to strengthen communities through meaningful volunteer action, and including some half million volunteers in communities inside and outside the United States. HandsOn Network creates and manages nearly 50,000 projects a year, from building wheelchair ramps in San Francisco to teaching reading in Atlanta, to rebuilding homes and lives in Gulf Coast communities following Hurricane Katrina. Originally an independent organization, today it is part of the nonprofit organization Points of Light.

Community service is a non-paying job performed by one person or a group of people for the benefit of the community or its institutions. Community service is distinct from volunteering, since it is not always performed on a voluntary basis. Personal benefits may be realized, but it may be performed for a variety of reasons including citizenship requirements, a substitution of criminal justice sanctions, requirements of a school or class, and requisites for receipt of certain benefits.

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.



The organization was founded 1992 under the name City Cares. They sought an alternate way of doing volunteering, in contrast to established organizations such as the Points of Light Foundation and its associated Voluntary Action Centers. [1] In particular, they sought to focus on attracting younger, more business-focused volunteers by offering a single day of service on a per-month basis. [1] The national entity would then be an umbrella organization and which would provide shared resources to local entities. [2]

A Voluntary Action Center (VAC) is an American local non-profit organization that seeks to help people meet their needs through the efforts of volunteers.

Example local affiliates included New York Cares, which in point of fact was launched in 1987 and provided the basis for the later national model. [2]

In 2004, City Cares renamed itself to the HandsOn Network. [1]

Over time, HandsOn Network became made up of 58 national and international volunteer organizations that act as entrepreneurial civic action centers. HandsOn Network worked in partnership with local organizations and schools to create HandsOn service projects that produce tangible benefits in communities. The Network enlisted a corps of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who join forces to address community needs worldwide.

HandsOn Network collaborated with hundreds of major companies and organizations to promote volunteerism across the United States. They include the CMT television station [3] and SAP investments, [4] as well as several with nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups. [5] Additional corporate sponsors of HandsOn Network included Home Depot, Outback Steakhouse, Cisco Systems, Ameriquest, The Coca-Cola Company, Corporation for National and Community Service, W.K. Kellog Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Case Foundation, Singing for Change, and others.

Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is an Australian-themed American casual dining restaurant chain, serving American cuisine, based in Tampa, Florida. The chain has over 1,000 locations in 23 countries throughout North and South America, Asia, and Australia. It was founded in March 1988 with its first location in Tampa by Bob Basham, Chris T. Sullivan, Trudy Cooper, and Tim Gannon. It was owned and operated in the United States by OSI Restaurant Partners until it was acquired by Bloomin' Brands, and by other franchise and venture agreements internationally.

Cisco Systems American multinational technology company

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products. Through its numerous acquired subsidiaries, such as OpenDNS, WebEx, Jabber and Jasper, Cisco specializes into specific tech markets, such as Internet of Things (IoT), domain security and energy management.

The Coca-Cola Company American multinational beverage corporation

The Coca-Cola Company is an American corporation, and manufacturer, retailer, and marketer of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. The Coca-Cola formula and brand were fully bought with US$2,300 in 1889 by Asa Griggs Candler, who incorporated The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1892.

In August 2007, HandsOn Network merged with the Points of Light Foundation to form the Points of Light Institute, the nation's largest network of organizations skilled at mobilizing volunteers to meet important needs in local communities. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Pro bono publico is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment. Unlike traditional volunteerism, it is service that uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

The voluntary sector or community sector is the duty of social activity undertaken by organizations that are nonprofit organizations and non-governmental. This sector is also called the third sector, in contrast to the public sector and the private sector. Civic sector or social sector are other terms for the sector, emphasizing its relationship to civil society. Given the diversity of organizations that comprise the sector, Peter Frumkin prefers "non-profit and voluntary sector".

Points of Light is an international nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in the United States dedicated to engaging more people and resources in solving serious social problems through voluntary service.

Founded in 1997 by AOL co-founder Steve Case and his wife Jean Case, the Case Foundation invests in individuals, nonprofits, and social enterprises aiming to connect people, increase giving, and catalyze civic action.

Citizen Corps is a program under the Department of Homeland Security that provides training for the population of the United States to assist in the recovery after a disaster or terrorist attack. Each local Citizen Corps Council partners with organizations, volunteers and businesses to organize responders, volunteers and professional first responders for an efficient response so efforts aren't wasted by being duplicated. By training in Incident Command, volunteers know who to report to and how the incident is organized. This prevents sites from being inundated by untrained and unprepared people milling about and getting in the way. Citizen Corps also works in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service in promoting national service opportunities for promoting homeland security needs.

Global Youth Service Day

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), originally launched and known as National Youth Service Day in the United States, is a coordinated annual event which gathers young people around the world in conducting community service, service learning, and youth voice activities that benefit their communities, their countries, and the world. Activities are organized in more than 100 countries each April to help mark the celebrations, and engage millions, making it the largest annual celebration of young volunteers.

International Volunteer Day day of international observance since 1985, offers opportunity to bring focus to volunteers and volunteer organisations

The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, more commonly referred to as International Volunteer Day (IVD), is an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.

United Way Worldwide organization

United Way Worldwide is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, topping the list of “America's Favorite Charities” as determined by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Chronicle’s Oct. 2018 report ranks the 100 charities that Americans are most willing to support. The United Way network is made up of nearly 1,800 autonomous 501c3 organizations, governed and funded locally. The network spans more than 40 countries and territories. In each community, United Way brings people and organizations together to tackle challenges, with a focus on improving education, financial stability and health. In 2018, United Way served 61 million people around the globe, fueled by 2.9 million volunteers and 8.3 million donors. United Way’s Global Results Framework offers a data-driven snapshot of its community impact – including a snapshot of results in financial stability, education and health.

The phrase "a thousand points of light" was campaign by U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and later formed the name of a private, non-profit organization launched by Bush to support volunteerism.

The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) was established in 1984, and is located in Salisbury, Maryland. Its mission is to "To strengthen our community by connecting people who care with causes that matter to improve quality of life in our region" and its vision is for "...a community where all can live, learn, work, create and prosper". It serves the three lower counties of the Eastern Shore of Maryland: Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester.

National Center for Voluntary Action

The National Center for Voluntary Action was an independent, private, non-profit organization that existed in the 1970s, and then extended on in merged forms, that sought to encourage volunteerism on the part of American citizens and organizations, assist in program development for voluntary efforts, and sought to make voluntary action an important force in American society.

Michelle Nunn American nonprofit executive

Mary Michelle Nunn is an American philanthropic executive and politician. Since 2015 she has been president and CEO of CARE USA, the American national member of CARE International, the humanitarian aid and international development agency. She was CEO of Points of Light, an American nonprofit organization, from 2007 to 2013, and is a member of its board of directors as of 2015. She had been an executive for the volunteer service organization since 1990, previously running the predecessor and member organizations Hands On Atlanta, City Cares, and HandsOn Network. Nunn was the Democratic Party nominee in the race for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat in 2014. She is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn.

Join Hands Day is the first Saturday in May. It is a national volunteer day and annual event sponsored by the American Fraternal Alliance.

The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance or 9/11 Day is a federally-recognized day of unity and charitable service, annually observed throughout the United States and in other countries around the world on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It has grown to become the largest annual day of charitable service in the United States.

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) was founded and incorporated in 1971 by David Horton Smith, with the help of Burt R. Baldwin, Richard D. Reddy, and Eugene D. White, Jr. as the Association for Voluntary Action Scholars (AVAS).

Chicago Cares is a nonprofit organization that connects prospective volunteers with volunteer opportunities throughout Chicago. It was founded in 1991 by Leslie Bluhm and Mary Prchal and has mobilized more than 600,000 volunteers from all over Chicago. Chicago Cares is the largest volunteer organization service in the Midwest region. The organization hosts annual programs including the Serve-a-thon, a telethon, and a speed dating volunteer event. Their current mission statement is “Chicago Cares mobilizes volunteers to build a stronger, more unified Chicago.”

Susan J. Ellis was a trainer, presenter, researcher and consultant regarding volunteerism. She founded the largest publisher of volunteer-related books, Energize, Inc., which has published more than 25 books and provided consultancy and training services for organizations worldwide that involve volunteers, including the Everyone Ready Online Volunteer Management Training Program. She wrote or co-wrote 14 books, wrote more than 100 articles for various publications and is cited in more than 150 articles and books re: volunteerism. She was frequently called on by national media outlets for commentary regarding volunteerism and was quoted in stories in The New York Times,Fortune Magazine, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and many others. She is considered a pioneer regarding the promotion of the management of volunteers as a profession. She was based in Philadelphia.


  1. 1 2 3 Ellis, Susan J. "Historical Context of the Merger Between POL and HON". Energize, Inc. Retrieved March 18, 2012. Included linked-to chart from the third edition of the Ellis–Noyes book.
  2. 1 2 "Volunteer Centers: A History of America". Points of Light Foundation. March 31, 2005.
  3. (2006) CMT One Country and University of Phoenix Partner to Recognize the Power of Volunteerism. 4/25/06. Retrieved 4/27/07.
  4. (2007) Atlanta-Area Companies Drive Efficiency, Performance and Growth with SAP. 4/20/07. Retrieved 4/27/07.
  5. Sills, M. (2007) Charity aim of spring breaks: Students to spend vacation volunteering. Retrieved 4/29/07.
  6. Points of Light Foundation website. Retrieved 11/11/07.