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The Pro Bono Challenge
This article is reprinted with permission from the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. It is featured in the Spring 2008 issue of The Corporate Philanthropist.
Every day, nonprofit groups around the country are on the front lines of our communities, helping meet local needs, often with volunteer and corporate philanthropic assistance.
Yet, while these organizations are doing important and innovative work, they often cannot take their ideas to scale -- in part because they lack the professional skills to operate as efficiently as possible or to plan successfully for their growth.
To help rectify this situation, more than 130 corporate, government, and nonprofit leaders recently participated in kicking off the Pro Bono Challenge, a three-year campaign to generate $1 billion of pro bono services from the corporate community.
This commitment differs from ones you might have made in the past through corporate volunteer campaigns. This new corporate goal is to help nonprofits achieve scale and sustainability -- and as a result to extend their reach and impact.
Through this initiative to redefine pro bono service, we're targeting the deployment of skilled professionals in marketing, finance, technology, business development, and recruiting. This "laser-focused" form of professional service, led by the corporate sector, can take us farther, and faster, as we try to bring hope and prosperity to communities across the country and around the world.
If you're wondering how embracing this new initiative can benefit your company, the answer is clear: it can provide a competitive advantage across the spectrum. On one end, today's "best and brightest" in the workforce want more from their chosen place of employment than a paycheck and benefits. They want to affiliate with companies that play an active, visible role in addressing our society's needs.
On the other end, young consumers want to know that the companies behind the brands they choose are caring, responsible corporate citizens using their assets to make a positive difference in the world.
I firmly believe that by adhering to this new concept of expanding pro bono service we can forever change the relationships between our companies and our communities in profound ways. By working together to strengthen the institutions supporting our citizens' needs, we will strengthen our nation, too.