FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 08, 2008
Corporation for National and Community Service
CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Corporate Pro-Bono Volunteering Campaign Tops $400 Million
A Billion + Change Campaign Bolstered by New Pledges, New Research, and New Branding Seven Months after Pro-Bono Summit
Washington, DC – Less than seven months after challenging corporate America to deliver $1 billion in pro bono volunteering support for nonprofits, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO David Eisner hailed $280 million in new pledges that pushed the campaign tally past $406 million, announced new research spotlighting the untapped potential for pro-bono volunteers, and unveiled a new campaign brand, A Billion + Change.
President Bush highlighted the initiative this afternoon in a White House speech before an audience of more than 1,000 volunteering, national service, and corporate social responsibility leaders. In the speech, the President restated his post-9/11 call to service for every American to give two years of their lives in volunteer service and highlighted USA Freedom Corps and other Administration service initiatives.
“USA Freedom Corps fosters a culture of service by encouraging the private sector to step forward,” the President said. “We got what we call the pro bono challenge, which encourages corporate professionals to donate their services to charities and nonprofits. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it, to encourage corporate America to not only serve their shareholders, but serve the communities in which they exist.” Highlighting IBM for their recent commitment of $250 million in pro bono service, the President challenged other companies to follow their lead. “I encourage corporate America to figure out ways that they can serve to make America a better place.”
Speaking at a Corporation event after the President’s speech, Eisner was joined by Jean Case, Chair of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, which founded the initiative and hosted the Pro-Bono Summit this February in New York where Eisner issued the $1 billion challenge, and by Stan Soloway, the Corporation’s Board of Directors liaison to the campaign.
Eisner, Case and Soloway congratulated IBM, Pfizer, Intel, KPMG, ING, and National Geographic for their recent pledges (details below) supporting the A Billion + Change campaign, and call on other corporate leaders to join the 23 companies and organizations that have already made pro bono commitments. More information on the campaign and the pro bono movement is at www.ABillionandChange.org.
“Employee volunteering is always great; but, it becomes a powerhouse asset when employees use their expertise in marketing, technology, logistics, human resources and other areas of corporate strength to help nonprofits grow and tackle our toughest social problems,” said Eisner. “When these companies enable their professionals to provide pro bono service, they unleash the kind of public-private power that America needs, and we should all salute these companies for leading the way.”
The Corporation today also released new research showing that although most volunteers don’t use their professional skills on behalf of nonprofits, those who do are more satisfied volunteers. The issue brief, Capitalizing on Volunteers’ Skills: Volunteering by Occupation in America, is based on three years of volunteering data from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It helps the corporate and nonprofit sectors better understand the opportunities of skills-based volunteering by looking at the prevalence of volunteering among people in various occupations, showing how often they use their occupational skills when they volunteer, and how doing so impacts retention. Among the findings:
- Most volunteers do not perform service activities that relate to their professional or occupational skills.
- The legal profession is a leading example of a field where its professionals use their skills when performing their volunteer activities.
- Many volunteers engage in fundraising, which though very important, may detract from opportunities to use their skills in other much-needed activities.
- Volunteers who use their skills when they serve appear more likely to continue serving year to year.
The brief also looks at volunteer rates by occupation, finding that people in management and professional occupations tend to have higher volunteer rates than people in other occupations and the national average rate of 27.2 percent; with education, training and library professionals having the highest volunteer rate (50.3%) followed by community and social service workers (49.6%), and the legal profession (47.1%). The brief is available at the Corporation’s www.VolunteeringinAmerica.gov website.
“Today’s volunteers – especially Baby Boomers and the Millennial generation -- want to use their skills and see the impact of their efforts,” said Dr. Robert Grimm, the Corporation’s Director of Research and Policy. “This research shows the wisdom of the pro bono approach – when volunteers are challenged to use their professional skills, they are more likely to keep volunteering year after year.”
Grimm encouraged nonprofits to build relationships with local businesses as a way to tap into a pool of skilled professionals and to be ready with volunteer assignments that match the skills these volunteers bring to the table. He also noted the importance of professional associations in promoting the idea of pro bono service, citing the leadership of the American Bar Association in making pro bono service a common expectation in the legal field.
Other data released by the Corporation today will give nonprofits looking to tap the talents of Baby Boomers and Millennials a better picture of how their states and cities fare in engaging those demographic groups in volunteering. New state and city rankings of volunteering by age group - including teens, Millennials, and Baby Boomers – is available at www.VolunteeringinAmerica.gov.
The new A Billion + Change brand is the latest phase in a campaign launched in February at the Summit on Corporate Volunteerism in New York. Companies that participate in A Billion + Change gain access to technical assistance, can be matched with potential nonprofit partners, and receive recognition as a leader in this service frontier. Twenty-three companies and nonprofits have joined the effort, already pledging to provide more than $406 million in professional services over the next three years. The new commitments announced today:
- IBM will contribute at least $250 million of pro bono service and skills-based volunteering through its Corporate Service Corps and On Demand Community initiatives over the next three years.
- Pfizer will contribute at least $18 million, or approximately 120,000 hours of pro bono service worldwide over the next three years through its Global Health Fellows program offering health care and health system support services to those most in need.
- Intel will contribute at least $7.5 million, or approximately 50,000 hours of pro bono service worldwide in the next year, focusing in IT infrastructure and technology support.
- KPMG will leverage the skills of the 113,000 people in their member firms to make a give $4 million dollars in pro bono services.
- ING will contribute $1 million in pro bono service, with a primary focus on financial literacy for people from low-income backgrounds.
- National Geographic will make an initial contribution of $200,000 in pro bono services over the next three years in areas such as writing and editorial expertise, creative and marketing services, and production.
These new commitments build on the $126 million in other pledges made since the Summit on Corporate Volunteerism. Key partners working with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on the A Billion + Change initiative include USA Freedom Corps, Target, UPS, Deloitte, Citi, the Taproot Foundation, the Points of Light Institute, the Case Foundation, and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.
The issue brief Capitalizing on Volunteers’ Skills: Volunteering by Occupation in America is based on data from the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Volunteer Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS). The annual surveys are administered through the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The brief is available on the Corporation’s www.VolunteeringinAmerica.gov website.
The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year the Corporation engages more than four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.