Why do more and more individuals get engaged pro bono for non-profits?
So many people are looking to find purpose outside of their daily work. Pro bono provides business professionals with opportunities to make an impact in their communities by bringing their professional skills and expertise to nonprofits and social change organizations.
Pro bono is a great way to meet new friends, expand your business network, and build your résumé or portfolio. There are many examples of skilled volunteers who have gotten new jobs, hired someone or joined a nonprofit board as a result of their pro bono work.
In Latin phrase, pro bono means “for the public good”. Unlike traditional volunteer work, pro bono service is a way for professionals to donate their expertise to a charity or NGO. So, for example, if you are a social media expert or know how to use financial spreadsheets or are an event planner, someone at an NGO would love for you to volunteer your services! Pro bono service gives NGOs a connection to talent and resources that they would otherwise not be able to access, so they can more effectively and efficiently address their missions to solve critical societal problems in fields such as health, environment or education.
But why are people looking for pupose outside their jobs in the first place? As much as people get satisfaction from their work, we hear more and more often that professionals want to find a way to get meaning outside of their day-to-day jobs. Oftentimes, this comes from giving back to their communities and making a difference. The experience is eye-opening and even life-changing for some. At Taproot, we have many cases of a professional doing pro bono service for an organization and winding up on its Board of Director or in some cases, even as part of their staff!
90% of Taproot pro bono consultants have reported that they were able to make a meaningful contribution during their service engagement
What moves companies and corporations to develop pro-bono activities? Why are they doing pro-bono? What do they expect in terms of returns (e.g. staff satisfaction, etc.)
Taproot has worked with over 60 of the Fortune 500 and other companies to design and implement customized high-impact pro bono programs for their employees. We work with companies to design pro bono programs that align with a company’s culture, brand, and strategic business objectives. It’s not one-size-fits all. Some companies are ready for programs long term, team based projects, others have employees who can only commit one day or one hour.
There are many reasons that companies want to develop pro bono programs. These range from:
- Help their community partners increase their impact by building their capacity. (community impact)
- Supporting HR objectives including recruitment, retention, teambuilding and leadership development. (HR)
- Helping to expand their network, build their brand and PR profile and demonstrate the value of their company’s core competencies. (reputation)
- Help foster a climate of innovation. As employees apply their skills in new and challenging environments, this creative approach can result in new or improved products and services. (innovation)
Many companies are looking to expand their philanthropy beyond just supporting the community with funding. They are looking to develop a three-pronged “strategic philanthropy” approach, leveraging funding, hands-on activities and pro bono service to support their community partners through all of their corporate assets.