Los Angeles Businesses Lead Change Through Pro Bono Service

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars in skills-based volunteer and pro bono services from corporate America by 2013, will recognize several companies for their pro bono leadership at an event titled "Envisioning the Future of Corporate Service: A Discussion on Corporate Pro Bono and Skills-Based Volunteerism." The event will take place Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 at the California Endowment, and will honor visionary companies including Bank of America, Deloitte, Experian, Mattel and PIMCO.

These companies are among the nearly 250 organizations across the country that have pledged $1.8 billion since November 2011 to create or expand pro bono programs as part of A Billion + Change. They have donated a range of services, from mobilizing employee ambassadors to teach thousands of consumers about credit and financial literacy, to creating brand identities for non-profits and coaching them on strategy.

"By investing in skills-based volunteering, the business community can make a big impact on social issues critical to our country's economic recovery and overall well-being," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light, which houses and manages A Billion + Change. "Skills-based volunteering is central to our ability to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world."

Leaders in policy, academia, industry and civic engagement will gather at the event, which was organized with support from Deloitte and the Taproot Foundation, to showcase how businesses are shaping the future of corporate service to tackle the major challenges of the 21st century. For example, Experian will discuss its efforts to run "train the trainer" programs at organizations such as the JumpStart Coalition and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and to work with military families and church groups to support public education of credit and financial literacy. Matthew Manos, founder of Verynice, a global design consultancy based in Los Angeles that donates more than 50 percent of its business to non-profits, will share his unique insights about pro bono service as a business model.

According to Michelle Kerrick, managing partner for Deloitte's Los Angeles practice, "Businesses have a powerful role to play in supporting our communities. This is one of the reasons we are a founding member of A Billion + Change." She continued, "In Los Angeles and around the country, Deloitte invests in skills-based service because non-profits deal with many of the same issues that for-profit companies do, and by contributing our skills and intellectual capital we can help improve their ability to drive social change." As an example, Kerrick cites Deloitte's pro bono work with Special Olympics of Southern California – which helped result in the winning bid for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

For non-profits, the value of skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be five times greater than the value of traditional volunteering, according to True Impact, which helps organizations measure the social and business impact of their operations. Skills-based volunteering programs are also valuable talent management tools that help businesses attract and retain talent. As millennials gravitate towards companies with strong corporate responsibility programs, skills-based volunteers are 47 percent more likely to report higher satisfaction from their service than traditional volunteers.

About A Billion + Change
A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services by 2013. It was launched by the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2008 and continues as an initiative of the federal agency. 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 by the support of Deloitte, HP, the Case Foundation and IBM with additional founding support from State Farm, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Morgan Stanley. Learn more at: www.abillionpluschange.org.

Taproot Foundation
The Taproot Foundation is a nonprofit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society. It engages the nation's business professionals in pro bono services both through its award-winning programs and by partnering with companies to develop their own pro bono programs. Launched in 2001, the Taproot has served more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations through its Service Grant program and recruited more than 10,000 business professionals as pro bono consultants, making it the nation's largest nonprofit consulting firm. Taproot has pioneered a new field in community investment and continually breaks new ground for the emerging global pro bono marketplace.

SOURCE A Billion + Change