The Future of Global Pro Bono

Oct 29, 2020 4:40 PM ET

The Future of Global Pro Bono

The world of corporate volunteering has many different flavors, with traditional volunteering & skills-based volunteering being the most well-known. A specialized kind of skills-based volunteering is the field of Global Pro Bono (GPB), which brings talented employees from the private sector to volunteer their skills & professional expertise to address key business challenges for social sector organizations.

Since I was exposed to the world of GPB over 7 years ago through the SAP Social Sabbatical program, I have observed the concept of triple impact, a key differentiator for GPB programs, come to life. Triple impact refers to the idea that a GPB engagement will result in a positive impact for society, the participating employee, and their company. Most of the marquee programs in this field have been developed to be transformational opportunities, set up to be in-person, global, immersive experiences aimed at providing experiential development opportunities for both employees & social sector leaders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced and exacerbated many challenges for our society, and the practice of GPB has not been able to avoid its own difficulties. With travel restrictions and current health conditions around the globe inhibiting person-to-person interactions, many programs are shifting to a virtual format, which has resulted in questions about whether we will indeed return to the highly successful in-person models.

Two weeks ago, I had the honor of delivering the closing keynote at the Asia-Pacific (APAC) Regional Pro Bono Summit, where I was able to share five key areas that will shape the future of pro bono as we navigate the pandemic and its related socio-economic impact.