Written by Rob Acker
Technology is vital to the sustainability of the social sector. In the United States, nonprofits are the third largest employer, accounting for over $2 trillion of the economy. The success of the nonprofit sector is critical to maintaining economic stability, while helping communities thrive. Unfortunately, the lack of technical staff, financial constraints and difficulty with customization limits growth, as they cannot reach the possibilities that technology can deliver.
Social distancing has only amplified these challenges with staff disruptions, decreased revenue and diminished volunteer support. In fact, a report from Volunteer Match found that 93% of nonprofits saw volunteer cancellations. With depleted financial and human capital, it’s more difficult than ever to implement the technology that is vital to the stabilization and evolution of the social sector.
Pro bono volunteerism — the term for the volunteering of professional skills — offers a solution. By providing professional services, especially those that enable a necessary digital transformation, individuals and teams can build community capacity to navigate these challenging times. Many of these services can be offered remotely and can give volunteers an opportunity to give back to their community in high-impact ways.
Corporations in this pandemic environment are uniquely positioned to push pro bono volunteerism further. By implementing programs that offer technology and skilled support, corporations can build strong ties with the community and further social impact goals. Pro bono programs have also been shown to increase employee engagement, while creating an opportunity for employees to build skills in communication, problem-solving, leadership and more. It truly benefits everyone involved.
In order to create impactful pro bono programs, there are a few best practices to keep in mind.
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