Pro Bono Service

Originally a term applied to established professions such as medicine, the law, accounting, etc., pro bono publico work meant, literally, "for the public good" -- and it was considered a duty of members of a profession to offer some part of their services at reduced fee or free to those in need. Today, the term "pro bono" is applied to any sort of volunteer service in which someone donates skills for which he or she would otherwise be paid. So if a Web designer creates a Web site for an organization at no charge, that's pro bono service.  Pro bono is only used in the context of the work done by the volunteer. So if this same Web designer volunteers for something unrelated to how she or he earns a living (such as coaching youth soccer), it should not be called pro bono work.

Breaking through the Glass Ceiling for Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
Clarifying Expectations on Both Sides, Eileen Hammond, 64-66, Directory of Social Change, 2008
The Confusing Talk about "Service", Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
The Drive towards "Highly-skilled" and "Pro Bono" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Get the Most Support: Blending Money, Things, and People, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
Giving Back: Pro Bono Accounting Services, William E. Shafer, L. Jane Park and Alice A. Ketchand, Journal of Accountancy, 1999
Help Business People to Be Good Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize, Inc. Volunteer Management Update, July 1, 2015
You can get a free tip from Susan every month by signing up for Update!
The Missing Link: Where are Volunteers at the National Level?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2002
Reimagining Service: Is Corporate HR Management What We See?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
Sending Volunteer Talent Down the Drain, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2016
Staff Resistance and Highly-Skilled Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
The Treasure Trove of Knowledge Philanthropists, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2013
Unskilled vs. Differently Skilled: Maximize Volunteer Differences, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2000
American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono Public Services

To meet the ever-growing needs of the U.S.' most vulnerable citizens by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services, and "by showcasing the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve."  Includes a volunteer opportunities function for lawyers seeking to do pro bono work. Links to State Pro Bono Programs.

Associations Now (blog)

About all things related to association management, from ASAE (American Society for Association Executives). Was previously called "Acronym" and that archive is still accessible at http://blogs.asaecenter.org/Acronym/.

Career Volunteer

Career Volunteer is "here to make it easier for you to search and recruit trustees, skilled volunteers, potential mentors, and Board Members for your charity, NGO or social enterprise...By skilled volunteers we mean people who can provide pro bono assistance in specialist areas - marketing, finance, fundraising, strategy or people with technical abilities in other professions." Career Volunteer gives you access to fully funded expertise and Board-level skills from outside the sector, provided on a pro bono basis -- candidates are drawn from large corporates participating and funding the programme.  Also have an interesting blog, "Volunteers do it for free" at http://blog.careervolunteer.co.uk/

 

Charity Days UK

Fascinating program in the UK offering a group of professional trainers who have volunteered to give their time free of charge to registered charities to help them "make a bigger difference by making their training budget go further."

Corporate Institute Blog

Posts about corporate social responsibility and tools for engaging companies in volunteering, from Points of Light..

Creatives Without Borders

Creatives Without Borders (CWB) is a French-registered nonprofit organization that operates internationally as "a collective that connects designers, thinkers and doers with nonprofit associations in need of creative expertise. Our mission is to change the world by empowering nonprofits through creative projects."  Nonprofits can post a project that someone with creative talents can fill as a volunteer.

Financial Planning Association

Information on Pro Bono opportunities in the Financial Planning field.

GoodCompany

Connects skilled professionals with Australian charitable organizations in need of pro bono assistance.

Mallen Baker's Respectful Business Blog

" Analysis of what’s happening in the world of responsible business, and what it means." 

Pro Bono Australia News (blog)

News items focused on volunteering by business people and professionals in Australia as pro bono service.

Pro Bono Economics

Pro Bono Economics matches volunteer economists with charities in the UK wishing to address questions around measurement, results and impact. They publish their project reports online for everyone.

Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers -- giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations.

Pro Bono Junkie's Blog

A blog for those interested in integrating the pro bono ethic into their careers — giving their time and talent to strengthen nonprofit organizations. Part of the Taproot Foundation site.

Project Management Volunteers (PM-V)

To "mobilize the project management community in order to generate high value, skilled volunteer project management services for the Not for Profit community and charitable organizations."

Realizing Your Worth (blog)

Thoughts on corporate social responsibility and corporate volunteering by Chris Jarvis in Canada, through his consulting firm, Realized Worth. Has some cogent and valuable resources in the blog's archives.

Taproot Foundation

Taproot is focused on encouraging pro bono donations of professional services. Here are articles and research reports about business and professional community engagement.

Vantage Point Blog

This community blog from Vancouver, BC focuses on voluntary sector issues, leadership, organizations, and people engagement.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Established in 1969, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City is the pioneer in arts-related legal aid and educational programs about the legal and business issues that affect artist and arts organizations.  They provide a national VLA Directory by state to assist the arts community in areas outside of the New York region and recommend contacting your local and state arts council and bar association if seeking information and access to services.

Print and e-Books in Our Store

cover image

This book offers leaders a new road map for transforming their organizations with talent, not money, by meaningfully engaging and integrating volunteers as knowledge philanthropists.

Book cover

Sprinkled with true stories of innovative volunteer engagement, best-practice tips, and perspectives from agency leaders and volunteers, this book will change how you think about engaging highly-skilled volunteers.

Archived Infocast from the AICPA Young CPA Network - Original run date, Jan. 23, 2013 - 90 minutes

Three young CPAs share their experiences in volunteerism that has led to personal development of skills transferable to many aspects of their lives, including the workplace. 

 

 

Professional/Trade Associations

Geraldine Hyland
Submitted by Geraldine Hyland, The Canadian Payroll Association , Canada

I coordinate volunteers in a professional trade association setting which provides leadership in advocacy and education. In effect, these are busy people who give of their valuable time and use their skills to better serve their profession. I am the 'glue' so to speak which binds the Volunteer Management Committee together. I do not supervise as much as support and counsel these volunteers. Is there anybody out there who has the same type of role in a professional or trade association?? If so I'd love to share ideas!!  geraldine@payroll.ca

Last Updated: December 7, 2016