Companies Pledge $113 Million to Billion + Change Initiative at Service Conference in NYC
New York City – As a national gathering of volunteer leaders got underway here today, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington announced more than $110 million in new corporate pro bono commitments to help nonprofits achieve greater scale, sustainability, and impact in meeting community needs.
The new pro bono pledges put the agency's Billion + Change campaign above the half billion mark and reflect the growing recognition from both the nonprofit and corporate sectors of the strategic benefit of the pro bono model, which engages skilled employees in using their professional expertise to help nonprofits grow and expand their impact.
Companies or organizations making new Billion + Change commitments include Walmart, Microsoft, Capitol One, Ernst & Young LLP, and UPS. The pro bono services their employees will provide range from offering legal assistance to domestic violence survivors to teaching financial literacy to logistical support in the wake of natural disasters.
“Pro bono is a smart strategy that taps the ingenuity and passion of America's workers to help solve critical social problems,” said Corvington, who announced the commitments to a group of corporate leaders this morning. “To make progress on the dropout crisis other critical issues, we need to bring the rigor and culture of accomplishment of the private sector together with the compassion and mission-focus of the nonprofit sector. Pro bono service is solutions-oriented collaboration at its best, and I applaud these companies for their leadership and encourage others to follow their example.”
“I am pleased to join with the Corporation for National and Community Service to call on the American business community to help solve our country's most critical problems through pro bono service,” said Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), who highlighted the pro bono model on MSNBC's Morning Joe program and in the conference opening plenary. “This Billion + Change initiative is a powerful way businesses can engage their best assets, American workers, in community change. When companies support pro bono, they not only make their communities stronger, they also can help their bottom line, by increasing morale and attracting the most talented workers.”
The Corporation launched the Billion + Change initiative in 2008 to significantly increase skills-based volunteering in America and around the world. The agency is using the national conference to renew its push for Billion + Change commitments, not just to reach the billion dollar goal, but to focus pro bono service on achieving measurable impact on tough social problems.
“One billion is big goal, but given the momentum for service I think we can achieve it,” said Corvington. “But the important part of this is not the billion, but the change. Ultimately, this initiative is about results– making real changes in people's lives. As we expand pro bono, we need to ensure it is targeted on key issues and focused on impacts.”
Listed below are the ten new commitments announced today, which total more than $113 million in value. Click here for more information about the commitments and the Billion + Change initiative.
- Acumen Solutions will provide $1.3 million of skills-based volunteering through its Pro Bono Corps and Board Leadership Training programs to help high-impact nonprofits better achieve their mission.
- Allstate Insurance Company will provide $45,000 worth of pro bono legal assistance to help domestic violence survivors build financial independence.
- Capitol One will provide $2.4 million of professional services to help nonprofit organizations develop core business functions such as Brand Marketing, HR, IT, Finance, and Legal.
- DLA Piper is contributing $46 million in pro bono legal services over the next year on issues such as public benefits, housing and family law, and providing representation to nonprofits supporting low-income communities.
- Ernst & Young LLP employees will contribute 115,000 hours of service valued at $17.25 million through their Corporate Responsibility Fellows program, Cyberchase, College MAP, Earthwatch, and other volunteer programs.
- Financial Services Roundtable and its member companies will contribute $1.6 million worth of pro bono service or skills-based volunteering during the next year focused on financial literacy.
- Merck & Co., Inc. is contributing $3 million in pro bono volunteer service over three years including legal assistance and youth mentoring.
- Microsoft has a three-year commitment to provide 185,000 hours of employee pro bono service valued at $27.7 million, including providing legal representation to children who go through immigration proceedings after becoming separated from their families.
- UPS will contribute a minimum of 100,000 pro bono hours valued at $15 million in the next year in efforts such as teaching safe driving techniques to teens; ensuring that supplies get delivered after natural disasters; and warehousing, supply chain management, technology, and other services.
- Walmart employees will donate more than 10,000 hours valued at $1.5 million in hunger, marketing and legal assistance services.