Voluntary service to people in need is a deep tradition of the legal profession. Here in Massachusetts, it is clear that equal access to justice has come to depend on the pro bono services of attorneys.
Pro bono service has experienced an explosion of growth that is sweeping across Corporate America. As the fastest growing employee engagement program, pro bono service is now represented across every industry for the first time in the study of pro bono service.
A few years ago, I observed my first ScopeAthon event. On a dreary fall day, in a cramped room deep within the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company, I sat down with dozens of overwhelmed nonprofits and eager corporate employees.
Too many for-profit social enterprises make one huge mistake in their first year... something that potentially costs them hundreds of thousands of dollars. They don't take the time to secure pro bono support.
We hope that our nation's capital sees this success as an inspiration for what is possible in helping people in the region but also see it as a model for better collaboration and partnership in addressing our national priorities.
Would-be psychotherapist Carolyn Berkowitz helps drive the CSR field from the helm of Capital One Foundation. I met with her recently and had the chance to discuss her own career path and how the business value of pro bono service has made it a core strategy.
Expanding capacity through donated professional services not only helps organizations thrive, but strengthens partnership with the private sector, translating into long-term relationships and even greater incentive for financial investment in the future.