In the lead up to Pro Bono Week 2019, Taproot Foundation announces that the average hourly value of pro bono service in 2019 has increased to $195, up 30% over the 2015 valuation. The $195 valuation defines the average per hour value of time donated by business professionals to nonprofit organizations through pro bono services, including expertise in areas like marketing, strategic planning, HR, technology, and finance.
An essential resource for the sector
“Pro bono support is an essential resource for nonprofit organizations, and yet for so long it was defined only by the absence of a fee,” says Taproot Foundation President and CEO Lindsay Firestone Gruber. “Before the launch of these defining standards in 2009, most nonprofit organizations receiving pro bono support weren’t able to account for the monetary value of the services they received, making it hard to allocate the needed staff time or advocate for support. Now, after completing thousands of pro bono projects in the decade since, we have an even stronger understanding of the nature of the work and value delivered.”
The $195 per hour value of pro bono service compares to the hourly value of traditional volunteering, which is $25.43, as indexed by Independent Sector in April of 2019. Both forms of volunteering are critical to providing nonprofits with resources.
Better reporting on pro bono service
The Pro Bono Valuation is an effective tool for companies as well. According to CECP’s Giving in Numbers 2018, pro bono service was one of the fastest-growing domestic volunteer programs offered in the corporate sector, with 56% of companies offering pro bono programming to their employees. And there are an increasing number of companies that are reporting on the monetary value of pro bono service, up four points to 27% in 2017. With this updated valuation, companies—including those outside of professional services fields where hourly rates are more readily available—can better track and report their pro bono service.
More about the Pro Bono Valuation study
Taproot Foundation, in collaboration with CECP, established the first average hourly value of pro bono service in 2009 at $120, with an update to $150 in 2015. The data used for the 2019 valuation model were sourced from the 2019 Salary Guides on average starting salaries (excluding benefits, bonuses, or other incentives) for accounting and finance, administrative, technology, legal, and creative professionals produced annually by Robert Half and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The dollar values reflect average, national hourly rates of pay, adjusted for consulting and the average level of experience of skilled volunteers.