This Woman Believes in the Power of Volunteering [Q&A]

Meet Andrea Thomas, the senior manager of Global Services at Points of Light.

Jul 15, 2015


Andrea Thomas at her desk in Points of Light's Atlanta office

Andrea Thomas at her desk in Points of Light's Atlanta office

Points of Light has a simple, powerful mission - to boost the amount of volunteers around the world, and optimize their impact. To that end, the organization runs an impressive 250,000 service projects in 30 different countries every year, tallying some 30 million hours of service all up. As the senior manager of Global Services, Andrea Thomas sits at the center of the action, coordinating efforts around the world to mobilize good doing efforts. In this 10 Good Questions interview, Thomas talks to Goodnet about inspiring action, selflessness, and how people can get involved.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. Our vision is a world in which more people share their time, talent and resources to change lives.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

We put people in the center of change. At Points of Light, we work to dramatically increase the number of volunteers in the world and the impact of the work they do by mobilizing millions of people to take action, increasing the impact of volunteers, leveraging their power to solve specific problems, and creating a culture that supports and encourages more volunteers. Through our global network, we are able to connect volunteers to flexible opportunities, work with local nonprofits and businesses to establish and improve volunteer programs, and, overall, bolster the local infrastructure for the volunteering community.

3. Offices or open work space?

Open Work Space

4. What three words describe your organization?

Innovation, Change, Action. 

5. What inspires you?

Knowing that it just takes one volunteer to change a life.

Points of Light volunteers help out at a Jumpstart event

Points of Light volunteers help out at a Jumpstart event (Facebook)

6. What is the best part about your job?

Working with people that are constantly putting others ahead of themselves.

7. Does your team eat lunch together?

Not as often as we should! We have some team members working remotely from abroad.

8. Facebook or Twitter?

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

Points of Light manages a number of notable programs including the HandsOn Network, which leads approximately 250 volunteer action centers around the world; generationOn, which helps schools, children and families volunteer in their communities; Community Blueprint, which works with nonprofits to meet the needs of veterans and military families; Billion + Change, which organizes companies to pledge billions of dollars in skills-based volunteer services to nonprofits; and the Civic Accelerator, which invests in civic enterprise start-ups.

10.  How can people get involved?

Volunteers can sign up for projects and registering their skills at Also, Points of Light operates globally through a growing network of civic entrepreneurs and innovative volunteer organizations that are pioneering new ways to grow the number of volunteers and the impact of the work they do. Civic entrepreneurs or innovative volunteer organizations who share our vision and mission can write us at