National Campaign Calls on Companies to Strengthen Capacity of Nonprofits to Meet Community Needs and Companies Respond with $ 1 Billion in Pledges
Today, nonprofit, corporate and government leaders will gather to mark a major milestone for A Billion + Change—a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars in skills-based and pro bono volunteer services to help build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to effectively meet community needs.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), honorary chairman of A Billion + Change, will host an event on Capitol Hill to celebrate the more than 50 companies that have pledged more than $1 billion in service to nonprofits, and to encourage companies large and small across America to join the campaign by starting or expanding their own skills-based volunteer programs.
“From helping nonprofits with job training programs or with improving access to health or education services, to providing support for IT infrastructure and board development, skills-based volunteering is still about workers giving time to their community. When they use their workplace talents and skills, they enhance the ability of community organizations to be more effective catalysts for change nationwide,” said Senator Warner.
“America’s businesses—small and large—possess an abundant wealth of strategic skills and talent that nonprofits need now more than ever before,” said Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation. “We’re proud to help lead A Billion + Change as it expands its support for all companies that hope to start or expand pro bono programs, and we challenge ourselves and the business community to reach toward the next billion in pledges.”
“Since 2008, 50 companies have stepped up with pro bono pledges for A Billion + Change; the commitment is truly impressive,” said Evan Hochberg, who leads Deloitte’s national community involvement program. “Clearly, this early success and enthusiasm shows a growing interest from corporate America for this socially impactful type of volunteering, and Deloitte is excited to be part of such an important movement.”
The campaign’s pledge companies—the majority of which signed on to A Billion + Change during a “50 Companies in 50 Days” pledge campaign launched in September 2011—range in size from small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, like GothamCULTURE, to large organizations such as Deloitte HP, IBM, GE and State Farm. Together, these companies have pledged to provide 9.5 million hours of employee time and talent to nonprofits by the end of 2013. A list of all 50 pledge companies, and information on how to join the campaign is available at www.abillionpluschange.org/.
These companies are creating value and making a meaningful impact in their communities by lending their most valuable assets—their talent—to filling critical gaps in community needs in areas such as financial and legal services, education and environmental initiatives and programs for veterans and senior citizens.
“We have been overwhelmed by the initial enthusiasm for A Billion + Change. Volunteers nationwide served 8.1 billion hours in 2010, yet only around 16 percent of all companies make it a regular practice to offer their employees skills-based volunteer opportunities. Skills-based volunteerism helps companies build the human capital of their workforce and invest in their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of the Points of Light Institute, which manages and houses A Billion + Change.
Companies that pledge to create or expand a skills-based volunteer program by 2013 recognize that skills-based volunteerism is an emerging best practice model for corporate citizenship. In addition to providing much-needed skills and expertise to nonprofits, research shows that pro bono and skills-based volunteerism helps businesses enhance their recruitment and retention rates, and that it improves employee morale, loyalty and productivity. Nearly two-thirds of Generation Y employees say they would prefer to work for an organization that provides opportunities to volunteer their skills.
“Also supporting A Billion + Change and providing valuable infrastructure are nonprofits, like Give an Hour, the Grameen Foundation, Taproot and Common Impact, which are helping businesses, professionals and other nonprofit organizations more effectively deploy and utilize pro bono and skills-based service to meet vital community needs,” said Robert Velasco II, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which launched A Billion + Change in 2008. “Intermediaries like these will help us more effectively engage those who want to serve with quality programs that meet real needs.”