A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize skills-based and pro bono volunteer services, has announced pledges worth an estimated $1.6 billion from seventy-eight companies to nonprofit organizations nationwide.
Announced in conjunction with International Corporate Philanthropy Day on Monday, the pledges come at a time of growing demand for nonprofit services. Commitments include a pro bono project by New York City-based Deloitte to help a local nonprofit improve its organizational strategy by enhancing measurement techniques; an effort by volunteers at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to help improve access to healthcare services globally; and an ongoing commitment by companies making pledges to enable their employees to volunteer across a broad range of fields.
According to Morgan Stanley, which hosted the Billion + Change event in New York City, research has shown that skills-based volunteer programs in areas such as general operations, technology, and professional services can generate as much as 400 percent more value than traditional volunteering. To date, companies that have made pledges to the campaign have committed more than eleven million hours of time and talent to nonprofits by 2013.
"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," said Case Foundation CEO Jean Case, a founding member of the leadership committee of A Billion + Change. "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."