200 companies pledge nearly $1.8 billion in pro bono services to nonprofits
A swiftly growing national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from corporate America to build nonprofit capacity has taken root at a Fort Worth-based marketing agency.
J.O, a full service advertising, design, marketing and public relations agency founded by Jennifer Hendersonan, has joined A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services. J.O. was one of only nine companies from Texas to pledge pro bono services through the initiative and join other members for a business forum at the White House.
In less than a year, 200 companies have pledged an estimated $1.8 billion worth of skills-based services to nonprofits to A Billion + Change, keeping the campaign on track to inspire 500 companies to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program in their workplace by 2013.
At a White House forum entitled “A Billion + Change in Action: Connecting to the Future of Corporate Service”, J.O. joined other leaders in industry, civic engagement and policy convened to discuss opportunities for businesses to scale efforts and partnerships to meet the social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century through skills-based service.
Members also explored ways to align corporate skills-based service programs with national initiatives to boost innovation, competitiveness and models of effective collaboration.
“A Billion + Change’s mission adds a valuable layer to furthering the success of our nonprofit clients,” said Jennifer Henderson, president of J.O. “It’s also exciting to be a founding member of a national initiative of for-profits strengthening nonprofits through professional skill-based community service.”
The White House forum challenged each pledge to look ahead at what they are poised to do. “Our challenge now is to expand A Billion + Change while partnering effectively with nonprofit professionals so we can change communities for the better,” said Senator Mark Warner, Honorary Chairman of A Billion + Change. “It’s through collaboration and collective impact that A Billion Plus really does add up to meaningful change.”
A Billion + Change pledge companies are committed to harness the skills and talents of their best and brightest to build nonprofit capacity, create empowering opportunities for veterans, strengthen our workforce, improve STEM education, and to promote global development.
Corporate skills-based volunteer programs have also proven to be effective talent management tools, and can help businesses boost their own competitiveness while giving back to their communities.
According to True Impact, skills-based volunteers are 142 percent more likely to report job-related skills-gains than traditional volunteers, and 82 percent more likely to report that volunteerism generated new recruits for their company versus traditional volunteers.
The initiative is has the support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding support from State Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley.
Nonprofits are finding the value of skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent greater than the value of traditional volunteering.