Taproot Foundation’s State of Pro Bono Service Survey Finds 95% of Nonprofit Professionals Report that Pro Bono Service Improved Their Organization's Effectiveness

Nonprofits report that pro bono service—donated professional services for social good—improved their organization's effectiveness in cost or resource savings, efficiency, and quality of operations or services.
Oct 24, 2016 11:45 AM ET
Campaign: Pro Bono Week

NEW YORK, October 24, 2016 /3BL Media/ – In celebration of Pro Bono Week, Taproot Foundation is releasing key findings from the 2016 State of Pro Bono Service Survey. Results show that 95% of surveyed nonprofit professionals report that pro bono service improved their organization's effectiveness. In addition, almost 90% of respondents say they will use pro bono service in the coming year. Services most sought after were in marketing, design, technology, and strategy.

“So many nonprofits fill critical resource gaps by engaging business professionals in the community to volunteer their skills in pro bono service. Unlike legal pro bono, the impact of business pro bono is not always as easy to measure. This survey is a first step toward annually identifying pro bono's value to the nonprofit community as well as areas for improvement of our services,” said Liz Hamburg, President & CEO of Taproot Foundation.

Most social change organizations don’t have access to all the resources they need to move their missions forward. Skilled volunteers who donate their time and talent pro bono help build capacity for these organizations by lending their expertise in marketing, finance, strategy, IT, and HR. To that end, this survey measured effectiveness in one or more of the following four areas: improving quality of operations or services, becoming more efficient, reaching more beneficiaries, and saving on monetary cost or resources. Of those four aspects, respondents most frequently cited that pro bono service resulted in improvements in cost or resource savings and quality of operations.

The State of Pro Bono Service Survey was conducted by Taproot Foundation to evaluate the use and efficacy of pro bono services provided by the business community to nonprofits. Survey results will be used to continue to measure and improve the effectiveness, use, availability, and trustworthiness of pro bono service among nonprofits and other social change organizations (See Taproot Foundation’s Theory of Change). This survey is part of an ongoing effort to evaluate the impact of pro bono service towards furthering Taproot’s vision that mission-driven organizations have access to high impact pro bono where and when they need it.

About the State of Pro Bono Service Survey
Survey respondents were contacted with the support of Common Impact, LinkedIn, VolunteerMatch, Catchafire, Points of Light HandsOn Network, GivingTuesday, The Foundation Center, Be Social Change, Center for Nonprofit Management (LA), NYC Service, DataKind, YNPN, and NPower. Responses were collected from over 1,000 nonprofit professionals across the country representing organizations tackling a wide range of issue areas including education, youth development, health, social services, veterans' services, human rights, and community development with budget sizes ranging from less than $50K to greater than $20M.

About Taproot Foundation
Taproot Foundation, a national nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with passionate, skilled volunteers who share their expertise pro bono. Taproot is creating a world where organizations dedicated to social change have full access—through pro bono service—to the marketing, strategy, HR, and IT resources they need to be most effective. Since 2001, Taproot’s skilled volunteers have served 4,600 social change organizations providing 1.5 million hours of work worth over $160 million in value. Taproot is located in New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. and is leading a network of global pro bono providers in over 30 countries around the world. www.taprootfoundation.org

About Pro Bono Week
Pro Bono Week is a global celebration of the pro bono ethic across all professions that use their talents to make a difference. Inspired by the American Bar Association's National Celebration of Pro Bono, pro bono enthusiasts around the globe focus their attention on the pro bono movement each year during the third week of October. This year, Pro Bono Week is October 23-29 and is generously sponsored by Prudential.  

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Read Taproot Foundation’s Theory of Change