On June 27, the Case Foundation was pleased to join our fellow leadership committee members at the White House along with other corporate, government, and nonprofit leaders who are creating social change through skills-based volunteerism. We were part of a celebration and a challenge issued by A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from the business community to nonprofits.
More than half of the 200 companies that have pledged to create or expand skills-based volunteering programs joined us to talk about how far corporations have come in the past 10 years or so in enabling their employees to donate their skills, and not just their time, to nonprofits. We talked about not only the benefits to companies’ nonprofit partners, but also to their employees and to their bottom line.
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and the Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, opened the forum and said that companies participating in A Billion + Change were a model for others driving positive social change around the world. Her comments were echoed later in the day by Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and by Billion + Change Honorary Chairman Senator Mark Warner, who said that at a time when nonprofits are facing decreased revenues and more work, pro bono from corporations is increasingly vital.
The sentiments from leaders in the public sector were matched by those in the private sector. Our CEO Jean Case led a panel with leaders from Deloitte, the Ritz-Carlton, Capital One, COTTON7, and Golin Harris to talk about the business benefits of supporting employee pro bono. Across the board, each of the panelists said that his employees and his company received at least as much value from nonprofit partners as was provided. Pro bono was characterized as a win-win-win proposition for companies, employees, and nonprofits.
We have come a long way since Jean Case helped to start A Billion + Change in 2008 when she was a member of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. So far, we are proud to announce that more than 200 companies have pledged over $1.8 billion and nearly 12 million hours worth of time and talent to nonprofits.
But, we still have a way to go to reach our goal. We are seeking a total of 500 companies willing to pledge their best business skills and talents to build the capacity of nonprofits at home and around the world. Together, we will inspire the largest commitment of corporate pro bono service in history so that one day, skills-based volunteering will be the ‘new normal’ in every workplace.
To join us in the pro bono movement, visit www.abillionpluschange.org and make a pledge.