At the Pro Bono Summit last week, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) announced that it is investing in the measurement of pro bono work. CECP does one of the largest annual surveys of corporate philanthropy with the intent to benchmark success and identify trends in the field. Their 170 company members complete the survey each year.
In the past, this survey enabled professional services firms to include pro bono work in their total giving number (defining it as a cash equivalent). It was, however, lumped in with other in kind donations and therefore was not tracked accurately.
This year, CECP is creating a distinct line item for pro bono for professional services firms AND is enabling other companies to add pro bono work to their total giving number. This is a significant validation of the value of pro bono to the community but also represents an understanding of the investment required for companies to offer quality pro bono programs.
In the next few years, we will for the first time start to reward in house pro bono programs and understand trends in the field.