WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AND PRO BONO VOLUNTEERING?
Pro bono service is volunteer work that uses an employee’s specific professional skills.
You may have helped with a beach clean-up, prepped meals at a soup kitchen, or sorted donations from a clothing drive in the past. These are all examples of hands-on volunteering engagements – they require basic physical labor and a donation of time from the volunteer. Pro bono service, a type of skills-based volunteering, relies solely on the professional skills of a volunteer. These projects may include having a web developer build a nonprofit a new website or a graphic designer creating a new brochure for a community group. These projects are of great value to the nonprofit as they often do not have access to professional services like these.
(image from http://www.taprootfoundation.org/docs/Corporate_Community_Engagement_Spectrum.jpg)
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF PRO BONO SERVICE VS. TRADITIONAL VOLUNTEERING?
Pro bono service engages far few employees in volunteer service as compared to traditional volunteering, but the impact of each hour is much higher. On average, the financial value of one hour of hands-on volunteering is about $20. An hour of pro bono support is valued at $120 per hour. Serving on a nonprofits’ board of directors is the most impactful kind of volunteering, but only a very small number of employees will likely be placed on boards.
WHAT ARE THE BUSINESS BENEFITS OF PRO BONO SERVICE?
TAPROOT FOUNDATION BACKGROUND
Most community organizations tackling social problems don’t have access to the marketing, design, technology, management, or strategic planning resources they need to succeed. Without this talent, few are able to have their intended impact on critical issues such as the environment, health, and education.
The Taproot Foundation is the architect of the pro bono service movement—a movement to engage the millions of business professionals in pro bono service providing the marketing, technology, strategic planning, and other critical consulting nonprofits need to thrive. Founded in 2001 by Aaron Hurst, the Taproot Foundation and its signature Service Grant Program have generated over one million hours of pro bono services to over fifteen hundred nonprofits in the United States. In the process, Taproot has recruited over forty thousand business professionals to serve.
TAPROOT’S ADVISORY SERVICES PRACTICE
Taproot’s Advisory Services practice advises and supports companies in designing and developing customized, high-impact pro bono programs. We’ve worked with over 30 domestic and international companies including American Express, Chevron, Gap Inc., HP, and Pfizer. We create and strengthen innovative programs aligned with our clients’ culture, brand and strategic business objectives. We tailor our services to provide the right level of hands-on support and guidance, beginning with an articulation of your pro bono strategy. We offer support in many areas:
► Building a pro bono program from scratch
► Enhancing existing skills-based or pro bono programs
► Developing employee manuals and other employee engagement tools
► Educating and training employees on pro bono service best practices
(Learn more about Advisory Services at http://www.taprootfoundation.org/leadprobono/advisory_services/)