Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company, had a realization when his company’s employees did a day of volunteer service painting a local community center in South Boston. They had used $10,000 in company time to do a $500 paint job – and not all that well. He described it as waste – and at the expense of the community.
He is not alone.
While hands-on volunteering can provide some great Kodak moments, pro bono can provide a strategic value to your business that goes well beyond. Moreover, there are far clearer metrics with which to quantify this value as well as the community impact of pro bono services, making it easier to communicate these benefits to peers and stakeholders.
Three common areas of business benefit include:
Human resources: Doing pro bono increases employees’ motivation, provides an alternative, innovative professional development opportunity and enhances recruitment.Reputation: Pro bono service yields improved public relations, a sustained license to operate and strengthens relationships and network.Innovation: Companies that do pro bono enjoy a fostered climate of innovation, new and improved products and new markets or enhanced market penetration.