The Future of Pro Bono

Celebrating Pro Bono Week 2019
Oct 21, 2019 3:00 PM ET
Campaign: Pro Bono Week 2019

Happy Pro Bono Week! Today, Common Impact is kicking off a week-long celebration of all things skills-based volunteering. We’ll be sharing on-the-ground reports from some of the country’s largest pro bono programs taking place throughout the week from Fidelity Investments’ Impact Week to Charles Schwab’s Pro Bono Challenge. We’ll also be releasing Pro Bono Perspectives podcast conversations with the business and social sector leaders who are bringing skills-based volunteering and social impact to the next level. Join us as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond to glimpse at the future of pro bono!

Skills-based volunteering is the fastest-growing CSR program with more than 62% of companies tapping into the talents and expertise of their people to alleviate the social challenges we see in our communities. What does this mean? The opportunity has never been greater for skilled volunteering to be a true force for change – and Common Impact is busy translating the groundswell of intention and excitement into real action.

Here's what we see coming next:

  • Citywide Initiatives: Companies and nonprofits are looking past their own capabilities and mandates and are seeking cross-sector partnerships to tackle regional issues. Whether it’s homelessness in San Francisco, food deserts in Baltimore or natural disasters in Texas, we’re seeing public, nonprofit and private sector actors unite behind a common mission. Our favorite? Skills for Cities, an annual day-long skilled volunteering initiative that brings together dozens of companies and nonprofits to create custom solutions for their cities.
  • Issue Area Focus: Similarly, companies and nonprofits are thinking more systemically about using expertise – not just dollars – to take on large societal issues, such as natural and man-made disaster resiliency. Companies and nonprofits are no longer satisfied with the immediate outputs of a skilled volunteering program, but are ambitiously connecting their pro bono activities to true measure of impact on a social issue. Check out our deep dive into disaster resiliency in our recent report Disaster Response: From Relief to Resiliency to see an example of where skilled volunteering is taking an increasingly strategic role.
  • Scaling for Nonprofits: There are many more taps on nonprofit doors these days with companies and their people offering skilled volunteer opportunities. Those “opportunities” are only truly beneficial if they come at the right moment and fill real needs. As this valuable resource expands in popularity across the globe, it’s ever more critical that nonprofits and social change organizations know how to leverage it – know when they’re ready for it, know what they need and know how to say “no” if it’s not the right fit. Common Impact recently launched Capacity Commons to give organizations around the globe a step-by-step approach to answering these questions.

Thank you to all of Common Impact’s partners and friends for helping us bring our mission to life every day. We hope you’re as excited to celebrate Pro Bono Week as we are – and that you’ll share your own stories, wins and challenges as we build the pro bono movement!

To stay up to date on pro bono news and trends from Common Impact, follow us on social media and look out for our Pro Bono Week hashtags!

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