$1.7 billion in pro bono services pledged to date
Washington, D.C. (May 15, 2012) — A Billion + Change, a growing national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from corporate America, announced today that 100 companies have pledged to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program in their workplace. In just six months, these companies have pledged a combined total of $1.7 billion and at least 11.5 million hours of time and talent to nonprofits, taking the campaign a fifth of the way toward its goal of recruiting 500 companies by 2013.
“This commitment to skills-based service, totaling $1.7 billion, comes at a critical time of significant need in America’s communities, and of increasing demands on nonprofits. While funds for social programs at the federal, state and local levels have dwindled, pro bono and skills-based volunteer programs offer nonprofits an opportunity to achieve more with scarce resources,” said Senator Mark Warner, Honorary Chairman of A Billion + Change.
“Over the past few years, companies of all sizes have begun to reap the benefits of pro bono service: strengthening their communities by expanding nonprofit capacity and boosting the skill set and morale of their own employees,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and a founding member of the Leadership Committee of A Billion + Change. “Companies that pledge to join the A Billion + Change movement have the added benefit of tapping into a national network of exclusive resources and connections that will help them maximize the benefits of their pro bono work.”
“A company can have a profound impact on its communities by donating knowledge and skills to help nonprofits become stronger, more sustainable organizations. We are proud to encourage other companies to take the A Billion + Change pledge and help make skills-based volunteering the ‘new normal’ in their workplace,” said Evan Hochberg, national leader of Deloitte’s community involvement initiative. Deloitte is a founding member of A Billion + Change’s Leadership Committee and has committed to perform $110 million in pro bono work for leading nonprofits.
Pledge companies work to support many aspects of community needs, from workforce development, health care and the needs of veterans and military families, to creating empowering opportunities for women and girls. For nonprofits and communities, 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. [i]
For example, Allstate Foundation’s Domestic Violence Program features agency owners, personal financial representatives and Allstate employees lending their professional financial planning skills to help survivors break the cycle of violence to achieve their financial goals to get safe, stay safe and thrive. United Health Group’s (UHG) pledge, meanwhile, features the innovative use of technology to support a micro-volunteering platform to engage the company’s 99,000 employees in service. Launched during National Volunteer Week, UHG’s micro-volunteering platform gives all employees, especially hourly workers, an opportunity to serve their communities regardless of where they are in the company.
IBM, responding to the national skills-gap crisis, has spearheaded a unique and bold new model in STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) education in New York City. It has partnered with the city to create P-TECH, a new school based on a grades 9-14 education model that trains young people in STEM fields to prepare them for jobs in grown areas. IBM is expanding this model to Chicago this year, and is dedicating IBM volunteers to mentor students to deliver comprehensive career and technical education.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, meanwhile, is helping to address the school drop-out crisis by engaging and inspiring at-risk middle school students through its “Succeed Through Service” program. The curriculum includes chefs teaching students about healthy eating habits; concierge employees coaching students on the importance of social skills; restaurant employees demonstrating how to correctly use cutlery; and trainers teaching effective collaboration and group presentation skills. The Ritz-Carlton volunteers around the world are expanding efforts to help steer more students on a path to success.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said, “A Billion + Change pledge companies represent a sea change in the way companies view employee volunteering that invests in nonprofits by aligning business interests with community needs. Their leadership is vital, and the benefit to the employees, the companies and those who are helped accrue to everyone.”
“It’s been extremely gratifying to see our country’s major employers stepping up to leverage the extraordinary talents of their employees to address community challenges through pro bono service,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light. “Service is an investment with a return to the community, the corporation and the individuals who give their time and talent to a cause they believe in.”
A list of pledge companies, and information about how to take the pledge, is available at: www.abillionpluschange.org.
About A Billion + Change:
A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services by 2013. It was launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2008 and continues as an initiative of the federal agency. Reinvigorated in 2011 with expanded leadership under the honorary chairmanship of Senator Mark Warner, it is now housed and managed by Points of Light. The initiative is powered by the support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding support from State Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley.