A Billion & Change Passing It Forward

November 3, 2011, 3:10 pm
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Today, nonprofit, corporate and government leaders gathered on Capitol Hill to showcase A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars in pro bono volunteer services to help build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to effectively meet community needs.


Points of Light is thrilled to house this re-invigorated A Billion + Change initiative, and we are proud of the campaign over the last 50 days to generate 50 new or renewed pro bono commitments. With help from nonprofits like Taproot and Common Impact, which have been pioneers in the field, we are seeing a new threshold of interest and excitement about pro bono and skills-based volunteerism. 


Companies from all industries and of all sizes have pledged 9.5 million hours of employee time and talent to nonprofits by the end of 2013. These pledges total more than $1 billion in service. 


Pledges have come from corporations like Deloitte and HP, IBM and State Farm. Many thanks go to Senator Mark Warner, Deloitte Global CEO Barry Salzberg, Case Foundation CEO Jean Case, and Robert Velasco, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, for their ongoing leadership. 


We see the effects of pro bono service in creative and exciting ways. Companies like Target have partnered with our HandsOn Network affiliates to deploy their skills in store design to create school libraries that deliver engaging, exciting learning environments to students. Kaiser Permanente has

sent its professionals to support the health and wellness of post-Katrina Gulf coast residents.  


And small companies like Nebraska Global, a Lincoln-based venture capital fund, have stepped up in a big way. In the last year, the company has grown from four employees to 56, and has contributed close to $250,000 dollars in pro bono service - custom-designing software for a mentoring program and providing an IT makeover for a local Child Advocacy Center, complete with consulting and training.


Our founding pledge companies are creating value and making a meaningful impact in their communities by lending their most valuable assets - their talent - to filling critical gaps in areas such as financial and legal services, education and environmental initiatives and programs for veterans and senior citizens.


These companies recognize that pro bono service is an emerging best practice model for corporate citizenship. In addition to providing much-needed skills and expertise to nonprofits, research shows that pro bono and skills-based volunteerism helps businesses enhance their recruitment and retention rates, and improves employee morale, loyalty and productivity. Nearly two-thirds of Generation Y employees say they would prefer to work for an organization that provides opportunities to volunteer their skills.


As we look ahead, we want to build on our current momentum by:


  • Building out a pro bono marketplace with tools, gatherings and webinars
  • Recruit 250 additional companies to make pledges
  • Begin to capture the next billion dollars of pledges


That's how we'll unleash billions in service and talent to support the work of community organizations around the country and around the world.


Imagine if we could, over the next several years, create a pro bono marketplace to match the $15.5 billion in annual corporate philanthropic contributions, thereby doubling the impact of businesses' support for the nonprofit sector. 


If you know of a company, big or small, that would be interested in making a pledge, please direct them to A Billion + Change online to make their pledge to help nonprofits in their communities identify and solve problems and create change. 


A Billion + Change was launched in 2008 and continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Reinvigorated in 2011 with expanded leadership under the honorary chairmanship of Senator Mark Warner, it is now housed and managed by Points of Light. The initiative is powered with the support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding support from State Farm and McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. 


Yours in service, 





Michelle Nunn

CEO, Points of Light



Berglas, A. (2011). A Billion & Change Passing It Forward. Retrieved from http://www.aunitedworld.net/auw/view/blog/171263


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