One of the great things about being in one field for so long is that from time to time you have the chance to witness the arc of progress. An idea being adopted, an assumption being confirmed (or debunked), a trend becoming a norm—these are all key milestones to celebrate when you’re trying to build a movement.
At this year’s Conference on Volunteering and Service – over lunch, in the hallways, at sessions – a recurring theme kept coming up across conversations: pro bono service is the new norm. A “norm,” that 4 years ago had to fight for a place on the agenda; that 3 years ago was only considered suitable for “advanced” audiences; that even 2 years ago was still in the minority of proposed Business Track topics. Reflecting back on how far we’ve come as a field (and, relatively speaking, how quickly) in driving the recognition of the importance of leveraging professional expertise and not just elbow grease to help nonprofits serve the community is a milestone worth noting.
Interested in a snapshot of the state of the pro bono movement? http://probonosummit.org/summary/Global-Pro-Bono-Summit-2013-Summary.pdf (best viewed in Chrome)
For more reflections from partners on the Conference on Volunteering and Service: http://www.riggspartners.com/r-blog/1social-consciousness/service-unites-a-new-perspective