When will companies act more like businesses?

value of pro bono resized 600How many times have you heard it said that nonprofits should act more like businesses?  Aaron Hurst, president of the Taproot Foundation -- with characteristic insight -- responds:

When I ask them what they mean by that statement, they usually talk about a lack of analytically-driven decision making that leverages real data.

The vast majority of companies still support employee volunteering programs that consist primarily of painting fences and cleaning parks, despite the fact that data clearly shows it has less community impact and provides less employee satisfaction, skills development and networking value compared to pro bono service.

On behalf of the nonprofit sector, I would like to ask companies to act more like businesses. If you truly care about making a sustainable difference in the community, do less hands-on volunteering and focus on where you can make your talent matter.

As long as there are nonprofits with constrained budgets, there will be a need for traditional (hands-on) volunteerism.  But meanwhile, Aaron calls attention to how just a little bit of analysis can yield much greater opportunities to generate social and business impacts from within your volunteerism portfolio (and meanwhile brings to life some of our research finding with Points of Light).  Click here to view some of the benefits of pro bono service.

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