Annual Survey Reveals Increased Opportunity for Cross-Corporate Collaboration in Global Pro Bono

Annual Survey Reveals Increased Opportunity for Cross-Corporate Collaboration in Global Pro Bono

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Download @PYXERAGlobal's 5th annual benchmarking survey to learn more about the growth of global pro bono >
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 3:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

Download PYXERA Global’s 5th annual benchmarking survey here to learn more about the growth of global pro bono.

Washington, D.C., October 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ – PYXERA Global’s 5th annual benchmarking survey of the state of the practice of Global Pro Bono uncovered a range of positive insights regarding corporations and the employees who engage in cross-border, skills-based pro bono programs.  

While a majority of corporate global pro bono programs are less than a decade old, companies are rapidly expanding their global pro bono efforts and looking to partner with other organizations through a variety of opportunities. Companies who responded to the 2009 benchmarking survey deployed a total of 574 participants that year, which has increased to an estimated 2100 participants in 2014.

More than half (54%) of companies had either formed joint teams (29%) or intentionally collaborated with another company to provide parallel or sequential services to a local organization (25%). Further, close to a quarter (21%) had not collaborated in the past but were considering the model and interested in doing so in the future. One company responded: “We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate.”

Today, a number of companies around the world leverage their corporation’s talent to foster social impact, economic growth, and leadership development in 80 countries through global pro bono programs, including the 26 that responded to PYXERA Global’s annual benchmarking survey: Accenture, BD, Celanese, CitiCorp, Credit Suisse, The Dow Chemical Company, Eli Lily and Company, EY, FedEx Corporation, Google, GSK, IBM, Intel, John Deere, JPMorgan Chase, “La Caixa” Foundation, Mars, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., PepsiCo, Pfizer Inc., PIMCO Foundation, PwC, and SAP AG. 

The survey revealed three key trends about the practice of global pro bono. (1) Interest in cross-corporate collaboration. (2) Exploration of effective quantitative measurement. (3) Emphasis on effective stories of impact.

PYXERA Global is especially confident that the rising interest among businesses to work together on global pro bono projects will open the door for more people to engage in more sustainable, impactful programs.  For example, IBM, who fields the single largest global pro bono program while enabling opportunities for cross-corporate, cross-sector collaborations, deployed teams to Ethiopia during the same time that The Dow Chemical Company sent its teams to a similar region.  This resulted in a highly synergistic collaboration by the two companies in support of International Medical Corps. 

Overall, global pro bono programs are unique corporate investments that yield multiple returns. Many program managers often speak of the “triple benefit” of global pro bono, which includes impact on participants, local communities, and the company. Social impact remains the highest priority of these programs. A majority (54%) identify the social impact on local communities as the most important benefit of global pro bono programs, while a plurality (41%) emphasize employee skill development.  Still, too few companies are engaged in global pro bono for the practice to have developed a measureable collective social impact. Further, corporations lacked a shared standard by which to measure their programs.

Global pro bono programs also have the capacity to create a deeper, lasting connection between the company and employee, companies reported. Some companies correlate the participant experience with the development of new leadership skills and find higher employee retention rates.

“Participants are 59% more likely to stay with the company, and 85% feel they are doing something differently as a result of their experience,” one company reported.  In addition, 69% of survey respondents cited leadership development as the most important skill acquired, followed by cultural adaptability and team building.

Almost all (96%) program managers recognized “increased knowledge of the operations and business environment in emerging markets” as important, illuminating how global pro bono programs can help companies accelerate their entrance and gains in emerging markets.

More than half (64%) work with an external implementing partner that typically has full responsibility for in-country logistics (housing, transportation, etc.) and local client satisfaction and impact evaluations.

One company reported their implementing partner ensured the business integration of their programs and positive participant engagement. 

“They have been able to connect our strategic business priorities with the right host clients and projects and ensure the participants have the opportunity to have a life-changing experience,” the company stated.

Overall, PYXERA Global views these survey results as a tremendously positive outlook for future global pro bono programs and the potential impact across companies, employees, and the communities in which the programs are located. We are excited to embrace this growing interest in cross-corporate, cross-sector collaboration.

Download PYXERA Global’s 5th annual benchmarking survey here to learn more about the growth of global pro bono.


About PYXERA Global

PYXERA Global (@PYXERAGlobal) leverages the unique strengths of corporations, governments, social sector organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to enhance the abilities of people and communities to solve complex problems and attain mutually beneficial goals. With a quarter century of experience in more than 90 countries, the PYXERA Global team is passionate and dedicated to navigating challenges and pinpointing purposeful global engagement opportunities for its clients and partners. Initiatives include a wide range of services from local content development to global pro bono programs and integrated community development efforts that transform lives and livelihoods.




Katie Levey, Director of Media Relations; 917.593.1989