It’s that time of year again when many of us reflect on the past year of our lives, look ahead at the potential of the coming year, and resolve to better ourselves in any number of ways.
While New Year’s resolutions are made with great intentions, in practice, many of them end up being somewhat insignificant or self-centered. Though positive changes, will it really make a difference if you lose 5 pounds or brush up on your French this year? When February rolls around, will your resolution be something you care about enough to stick with it?
All this talk about new year’s resolutions got me thinking–imagine the impact if all business professionals made a resolution that really mattered–
“I will make a positive impact in my community by doing pro bono work.”
Reflecting on the past year, I’ve been realizing the impact pro bono service can have on the nonprofit sector and have been inspired by all of the amazing individuals and corporations currently engaging in pro bono service. As we’ve said many times, pro bono work is not just for lawyers. There are hundreds of thousands of nonprofits that could desperately use the skills business professionals like human resources managers, graphic designers, management analysts, and marketers have to offer.
According to the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Calendar of the Department of Labor Statistics, in 2008 there were 904,900 people working as human resources, training, and labor relations managers, 286,100 working as graphic designers or graphic artists, 746,900 people working as management analysts, and 623,800 people working as advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales managers.
That represents over 2.5 million people with professional skills that are currently put to use in the for-profit arena which could also be used to strengthen nonprofit organizations improving our communities. And those numbers don’t even include people working in IT, copywriting, journalism, architecture and many other professions whose skills would also benefit the nonprofit sector.
Imagine the impact on our communities if all of those individuals spent a few hours in 2010 contributing their services to a local nonprofit and did so in a structured, well-managed engagement, which ensured its success. Recognizing that you have talents that can be shared to really make a difference is a first step. Pro bono work can be the gift that keeps giving. Many participants say the work they do for nonprofits in their communities renews their pride in their profession and gives them an opportunity to do work for causes they care passionately about. This is a resolution worthy of kicking off the New Year–and new decade.
An amazing video production team got as excited as we are about this vision and contributed their services pro bono to help us make the video posted in our brand new youtube channel.
We hope you’ll kick off the new year by watching our video and considering the exciting potential in our vision for a society where the business and social sectors truly partner to address today’s toughest challenges. This year, we hope you’ll help us spread the word about the positive impact pro bono service can have. We hope you’ll share this video and vision with business professionals you most respect, engage in the national dialogue about meaningful service in our communities, and consider ways your employer could partner more substantially with the community organizations they most care about. We hope that this year you’ll share your passion and talents with the nonprofit sector!
All of us at the Taproot Foundation would like to thank all of the people who have inspired and energized us in 2009 and wish you a happy and healthy 2010!