Take your skills pro. Pro Bono, that is.

  • Written by Jenni Brennison

Maybe your company already has a top-notch corporate social responsibility initiative with ample opportunities for volunteering. Or maybe you’re preparing to get the CSR ball rolling. Either way, at some point you may have asked, “How can my volunteer efforts have the most sustainable impact for nonprofits?” The answer is simple.  Skills-based volunteerism lets you give away the work you do best – your own.

Pro Bono work is no longer limited to the legal profession.

Seventy-seven percent of nonprofit leaders say pro bono professional services would vastly improve their organization’s operations. Nonprofits, like any other business, have a high demand for IT assistance, HR management, legal services, strategic planning, and marketing. The average for-profit company  invests 25 percent of its budget in overhead expenses, which includes hiring experienced professionals to fill these needed skill-sets. Nonprofits, however, may have little or no budget available to fund these critical services. Fortunately, as part of your company’s CSR policy, you have the power to do something about it.

Pro Bono Service is the new CSR

There are several resources to help you launch your pro bono intiative:

Taproot Foundation – Corporations and Individuals

Taproot’s Advisory Services have helped more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies implement pro bono initiatives as viable functions of their business model. Taproot also offers a variety of skills-based pro bono consulting opportunities for individuals living in New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Chicago, or Los Angeles.

Catchafire – Individuals

Catchafire curates a frequently updated list of nonprofit projects looking for a home. From accounting to event planning to strategic communications, you’re sure to find a place to lend your expertise.

 A Billion + Change: Take the pledge.

This amazing national campaign to mobilize $2 billion dollars of pro bono skills-based service by 2013 may have reached it’s goal, but you can still sign the pledge. Their website is also a great way to learn more about the impact your pro bono service can have not only for nonprofits, but also for your company.

Oh, and don’t forget about us. CreateAthon!

We’re always looking to welcome new markets into the CreateAthon fold. You don’t even have to be an ad or marketing agency to get involved. We’ve shared our model with corporations, professional organizations, and universities like Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of South Carolina. We’d love to have you on board too, drop us a line.