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Social Capitalists: Hands On Network

43 entrepreneurs who are changing the world
2007 Social Capitalist Winner

Hands On Network

Atlanta, GA
Year Founded: 1989CK
CEO: Michelle Nunn

Hands On Network is a growing network of more than a half million volunteers and 64 affiliate organizations changing communities in and outside the United States. Together, we help people make the change they want to see in their communities. We create and manage nearly 50,000 projects a year--from building wheelchair ramps in San Francisco to teaching reading in Atlanta to rebuilding homes and lives in the Gulf Coast communities.


Hands On Network brings people together to strengthen communities through meaningful volunteer action.


The Hands On approach delivers proven results in small and large communities across the nation and increasingly around the world. We offer a place for individuals to begin their journey to make a difference and become effective volunteers, making it simple for them to choose from a variety of projects that connect community needs with their time and interests. We cultivate and train volunteers to lead other volunteers, creating enormous capacity and unleashing powerful civic change. We work in partnership with local organizations and schools to create Hands On service projects that are fun, well managed and produce tangible benefits in communities. We enlist a corps of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who join forces to address community needs worldwide. We mobilize individuals to work together, creating camaraderie and momentum for continued action. We provide the foundation and tools for individuals to transform their direct service activity into sustained civic action. For example, we provide a path whereby a person could couple work in tutoring children with attending PTA meetings or running for the school board.


Hands On Network is creating a civic change movement to increase the level of volunteerism across the U.S. by 10 percent, supporting the mobilization of 6.4 million volunteers and 100,000 Volunteer Leaders by 2008. Our two-year Hands On Campaign will engage volunteers in projects designed to have immediate, tangible impact on children and education, health and wellness, and the environment.

Our goals are:

  • Transform underserved schools and recreation centers to enliven and enhance the physical space and learning models, to nurture and teach the children they serve.
  • Provide advocacy and accessibility in partnership with citizens with physical disabilities including war veterans and citizens displaced by hurricanes and other natural disasters, promoting increased independence.
  • Build or renovate parks, green spaces and natural areas, including areas impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters, to provide locations for communities to gather and share a common experience.

Hands On Network Corporate Service Council

With a goal of harnessing the power of companies coming together, the Hands On Network Corporate Service Council Compact of 100 is focused around creating tangible change in communities via hands-on service. It is spearheaded by Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO of The Home Depot and Michelle Nunn, co-founder and CEO of Hands On Network. For more information, please call 404-979-2900.

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