Two-thirds of nonprofits say they need pro bono help, but many report challenges in recruiting volunteers who can lend their business skills, according to a new survey.
The survey of 1,348 charity officials found the greatest demand for pro bono marketing and branding (cited by 78 percent), technology (70 percent), and strategic-planning and management expertise (more than 51 percent).
But despite the needs, nearly half of those surveyed said they didn’t know how to attract volunteers with business skills.
When nonprofits do succeed in attracting pro-bono volunteers, the groups often have trouble taking full advantage of the experience, according to the survey. About 46 percent of respondents, for example, said the projects completed by skilled volunteers began to unravel when the volunteers moved on.
Aaron Hurst, founder of the Taproot Foundation, which promotes pro bono services, said corporations need to take more time to understand a charity’s needs before enlisting employees to help.
“For a project to be successful, it must be scoped with a strong understanding of the organization’s needs and context,” he said in a statement. He added, “It is incredibly encouraging to see the rapid growth of pro bono service in corporate America, but the nonprofit need is truly sobering.”
The Pro Bono Readiness Survey was conducted by LBG Associates, with support from Capital One Financial Corporation, Common Impact, Points of Light, and Taproot Foundation.