Home | The Challenge of Balancing the Needs and Demands of Pro-Bono Volunteerism

The Challenge of Balancing the Needs and Demands of Pro-Bono Volunteerism


Recently, I had a fantastic conversation with Dr. Linda Gornitsky Ph.D., of LBG Associates. She and I are passionate advocates for pro bono volunteering and its place in corporate social responsibility policies. Logical since that’s our sphere of work.

“I compare the interaction between corporations and nonprofits in the world of skills-based volunteering to the Law of Supply and Demand when I speak to Revere clients. Corporations have the supply, and the nonprofits have the need,” I said, feeling proud of my perspective.

Linda smiled and responded, “You know, Brian, I did a comprehensive research study on supply and demand for pro bono a few years ago.”

I answered, “Um, no. I didn’t know that.” We both laughed and agreed that it was a great comparison.

We applauded the encouraging news that the number of multinational companies taking part in employee engagement programs has increased each of the last seven years. Then the discussion shifted to what are the factors limiting nonprofits’ implementation of pro bono programs.

Understanding this question is why the study, Balancing Pro Bono Supply and Demand: Challenges and Solutions From the Nonprofit Perspective, published on the LBG Associates website back in 2015 (LBG-Associates.com), is still relevant today.

In my day-to-day interactions with clients, I see the constant effort to reach equilibrium between placing eager, skilled volunteers and the needs of the nonprofits. And just as in the economic definition of the Law of Supply and Demand, various factors influence how smoothly the process works.

How well are pro bono projects filling the needs of nonprofits?

The LBG study surveyed 1,436 global nonprofits, of which 81% or 1,164 reported using professional and technical skilled volunteers, and asked them to rate their expectations and experiences. In addition, the survey asked them to rate their experiences from extremely challenging to not all challenging.

Questions referred to the four phases of a typical pro bono project: scope and preparation, outreach and securement of services, volunteer management, and implementing the deliverable. All organizations reported somewhat challenging to very challenging difficulties in all four areas.

These problems lead to a perception among some nonprofits that engaging skills-based volunteers is not worth the trouble. In truth, 84% of the organizations said they were at least partially satisfied with the overall experience, while 90% would engage in another pro bono project.

What would make these projects even more successful?

Our experiences at Revere match those reported in the LBG study. The sticking points for many nonprofits include:

● Defining the scope of the project.

● Identifying appropriate skilled volunteers.

● Finding time and personnel to oversee the project.

● Project management to ensure success.

● Securing funds needed for implementation.

Facilitating these needs and meeting challenges is what Revere Software does. We work with several qualified partners so that together we have the resources to make projects a success.

Revere connects people—it’s our purpose. Combining technology, compassion, and experience, we match corporations desiring to create social impact with nonprofits worldwide.

Our software empowers NGOs to reach out and schedule 1:1 meetings with employee experts and develop a foundation for future team projects. Matching the right volunteers and valuable support services assures that both the supply and the demand sides are prepared for success.

The Revere platform addresses the needs of nonprofits and the requirements of corporate partners to make it easy to collaborate and make life-changing differences. Let us show you how we can help.