78 companies to inspire largest commitment of pro bono service in history
NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 27, 2012) — A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services, will announce today that 78 companies have pledged a total of $1.6 billion in skills-based volunteer service to nonprofit organizations across the nation. U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, honorary chairman of A Billion + Change, will announce this at an event, sponsored by Morgan Stanley, in New York City on International Corporate Philanthropy Day. This commitment to national service by the business community comes at a critical time of significant need in America's communities and of increasing demands on nonprofits, and is an important milestone in the campaign's goal of inspiring the largest commitment of corporate pro bono service in history.
The event will convene leaders from the policy, business and nonprofit communities to spotlight best-practice international corporate volunteer programs in the areas of urgent humanitarian relief, global health and education, and other pressing social, environmental and economic issues. Morgan Stanley, a founding sponsor of the campaign, conducts an annual program called the Strategy Challenge, in which teams of employees provide pro bono strategic advice to nonprofits on issues critical to their business models and growth.
"Through A Billion + Change, we affirm our commitment to skills-based volunteer engagement, and the importance of these programs to both our employees and our local communities," said Joan Steinberg, Head of Community Affairs at Morgan Stanley. Audrey Choi, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley, said, "Through our formal pro bono program, we have helped nonprofits over the past three years develop the long-term sustainable business models they need for enduring success. Our pledge to A Billion + Change is a way for us to share our pro bono model with a community of like-minded companies."
From a pro bono project conducted by Deloitte to help a nonprofit in New York City improve its organizational strategy by enhancing measurement techniques, to Pfizer volunteers improving access to healthcare services globally, pledge companies lend their most valuable asset — their talent — to serve the needs of communities at home and around the world. Pledge companies' skills-based volunteer programs tackle everything from education, youth services and healthcare to economic growth, workforce development and programs addressing military families and veterans. The event also celebrates the campaign's progress toward inspiring 500 companies to make a difference in society by creating or expanding their own skills-based volunteer programs.
“A Billion + Change recognizes that in lean times, the private sector has a lot to offer – not just with their checkbooks, but with the prized commodity of their talent, technology, efficiencies, and their focus on performance and results,” said Senator Warner. “As chairman of the Leadership Committee, it has been gratifying to see our major employers stepping-up to leverage the extraordinary talents of their employees to address community challenges through pro bono service.”
Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and a founding member of the Leadership Committee of A Billion + Change said, "Over the past few years, we've seen a real shift in the number of companies – both large and small – that are realizing the many benefits of pro bono service, both in helping expand nonprofit capacity and in boosting the skill set and morale of their own workforce.We're pleased to join Morgan Stanley and the Leadership Committee in celebrating an important milestone today – but we're not done, and we're looking forward to welcoming more businesses into the pro bono movement.”
Through skills-based volunteer programs, pledge companies are helping nonprofits accomplish more with scarce resources, in turn helping them be more successful in their missions. For nonprofits and communities, skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be 400 percent greater than the value of traditional volunteering.
Pledge companies range in size from small businesses, like GothamCulture and Ilumina Solutions, to large companies such as Deloitte, General Mills, State Farm, Hewlett-Packard, UnitedHealth Group and Morgan Stanley. To date, these companies have committed to give more than 11 million hours of time and talent to nonprofits by 2013. A list of pledge companies, and information about the campaign, is available at: http://www.abillionpluschange.org/.