Socialize With Us

The Impact of Pro Bono

Monday, October 26, 2015

It’s National Pro Bono Week and the Bay Area’s local pro bono expert, the Taproot Foundation, is kicking off the celebration with new information. According to a new study, Giving in Numbers: 2015 Report, developed by Taproot in partnership with CECP, pro bono service is growing faster than any other type of volunteer program. Pro bono was established in legal professions and has expanded into health care, human resources, technology, communications energy and more.

The financial value of pro bono services has increased to an average of $150 per hour, up in value by 25% from 2009. Compared to traditional volunteer services, pro bono is estimated in value at $23.07 per hour. Pro pro bono efforts are expanding more quickly, bringing in experienced employees and creating greater impact. Here is a snapshot of their announcement.

“Pro bono professional services have a huge impact on nonprofits’ bottom lines,” says Liz Hamburg, President and CEO, Taproot Foundation. “It’s one thing for a nonprofit Executive Director to report to her board that she received outstanding marketing or IT support pro bono but the benefit to the organization is amplified and becomes tangible when she can add that the value of the service was $10,000, $30,000 or upwards of $75,000. The same is true for companies or professionals interested in tracking and reporting their pro bono service.”

This $150 per hour value of pro bono service compares to $23.07 for more traditional volunteering which is the estimated value of volunteer time, as per the 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, indexed by Independent Sector. Both forms of volunteering are critical to providing nonprofits with resources.

Giving in Numbers: 2015 Edition shows that pro bono is on the rise,” stated Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP. “The percentage of companies offering it increased from 40% in 2012 to more than half (51%) last year, making it the fastest-growing employee-volunteering program, typically comprising 15% of a company’s overall non-cash giving. When employees use their core job skills in pro bono service to a non-profit partner, they are investing in that organization, adding needed capacity and enhancing their own skill base.”

To learn more about national and bay area pro bono efforts check out the foundation's website here and its online marketplace for pro bono services Taproot+