Pro Bono Week 2015: an overview of the events all around the world!
With 50 events hosted in 19 countries by 27 organizations, Pro Bono Week 2015 was a true success! Co-organized by the Taproot Foundation and Pro Bono Lab since 2013, this Pro Bono awareness week aims to thank the people who share their skills for the common good and to celebrate their achievements. Here is a selection of some of the initiatives which were launched all around the world.
In Hungary, the National Volunteer Centre (ÖKA) organized a “KreatOn”, a creative pro bono marathon for a whole day, partnering with the Association of Communication Agencies in Hungary. For 10 hours, 5 Hungarian non-profit organizations benefitted from pro bono communications, design and web-based support delivered by 40 employees of 7 advertising and communication agencies. http://www.onkentes.hu/
In Norway, Prospera conducts pro bono missions. The organization celebrated Pro Bono Week by hosting a banquet for its consultants and a scopathon to identify the needs of several non-profit organizations. For CEO Anne Aaby, “Pro Bono Week was an excellent opportunity for Prospera to create physical events that attracted new resources and energy, and created an arena for our stakeholders to better understand the impact we are making. Both our Pro Bono Banquet and Scopathon were highly successful”. http://prosperastiftelsen.no/
In Slovakia, the Pontis Foundation, which promotes the engagement of individuals, communities, and companies, including pro bono, launched a pilot legal clinic for homeless people during Pro Bono Week. Martin Provaznik, from bnt attorneys-at-law, explains why he chose to share his skills within this clinic: “I think that being an attorney includes responsibility to step up against the law and rights violations. People without any assets and home don´t have any personal, financial, neither social resources to access legal services and often justice. That is why when such people want to solve their situation, often being in a complete social exclusion, I offer a helping hand”. The Pontis Foundation also published a study on pro bono engaging potential among corporate employees: 13 Slovakian companies participated in it. http://www.nadaciapontis.sk/
In Russia, Teplitsa (« greenhouse » in Russian) puts non-profit organizations in touch with IT specialists, and designs activities to train the latter on social challenges. For Pro Bono Week, Teplitsa launched the Paseka project (“bee garden” in Russian) at Impact Hub Moscow, in order to support creative agencies as well as web and design studios in their pro bono efforts. For Anastasia Gulyavina, co-founder of Impact Hub Moscow, “the interest for pro bono in Russia is growing both from corporate and NGO sides; but in terms of well-managed programs, we are still in the beginning of the road. Initiatives like Pro Bono Week accumulate the experience of organizations all over the world, promote the topic and help to level up activities running on the local level”. https://te-st.ru/
In Spain, the Work for Social platform was launched during Pro Bono Week. This platform aims to share good practices regarding pro bono and CSR for companies. It also puts companies in touch with non-profit organizations with specific needs. Managing Director Andrea Sánchez and Director of Technology Pablo Gavilán hosted a presentation of the platform at Impact Hub Madrid: they explained how the platform works, but also what Pro Bono Week is and what other intermediaries were doing everywhere in the world during the week. http://workforsocial.com/
In China, Huizeren hosted the 2nd Asia Pro Bono Rally in Beijing, from November 7th to 9th. Pro bono intermediaries came from Singapore, South Korea, India, Thailand, Japan and Saudi Arabia to share their experience of pro bono. For 3 days, participants could attend conferences and workshops. http://english.huizeren.org.cn/home/
In Canada, Spark puts volunteers willing to share their skills in touch with non-profit organizations in Winnipeg. For Pro Bono Week, Spark invited local community development and community economic development organizations to a lunch with Spark: the staff presented the work of their organization and explained how some of the challenges the non-profit organizations are facing could be addressed through pro bono help. The participating organizations were notably able to meet with Spark staff one-on-one to discuss and conduct a rapid assessment of their capacity gaps. For Program Manager Geoff Ripat, “the event was a great success: enjoyable, engaging, and a really efficient way of helping organizations get ready for pro bono matches that will make a big difference in their communities and our city”. http://sparkwpg.ca/
In the United States, the Charles Schwab Foundation provides financial support to charities selected by Schwab employees. The Schwab Pro Bono Challenge took place during Pro Bono Week in 6 American cities (San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Orlando and Phoenix): more than 300 Schwab employees offered one-day consulting sessions to 50 non-profit organizations. Carrie Schwab, Chair of the Foundation, welcomes the success of these pro bono days: “We knew we could make a significant, lasting impact if we offered nonprofits access to professional expertise of Schwab employees right in their home town”. Barrie Hathaway, Executive Director of the Stride Center, one of the participating non-profit organizations, approves: “It was invaluable to tell our story and have the team reflect it back to us”. As to Schwab employees, they got fully engaged in the challenge: for Susan Forman, “The freedom to be creative was such a gift. It was very gratifying to see the impact of our work.” http://www.aboutschwab.com/community
Fat Rabbit Creative, an American creative and web-design agency, chose to organize a contest for a website design giveaway during Pro Bono Week: non-profit organizations were welcome to submit an application. The Hope + Future Foundation, which provides health and wellness for youth, won the contest! http://www.fatrabbitcreative.com
In Japan, Service Grant set up pro bono marathons within the 1DAY Challenge, which tool place on October 24th and 25th in Tokyo and on October 31st in Osaka. 26 non-profit organizations had the opportunity to be supported by 115 volunteers who worked in teams. Both organizations and volunteers were satisfied with their experience. Additionally, The Pro Bono Forum took place in Osaka, focusing on "change". Some organizations and volunteers were welcome to share their pro bono experience. http://servicegrant.or.jp/
In France, Pro Bono Lab launched a communication campaign in La Défense, Paris business district, in partnership with Defacto, the public institution responsible for managing the district, and Heaven, a creative agency: pedestrians were able to see posters highlighting the benefits of pro bono work with a lot of humor. This campaign was followed by inter-company pro bono marathons in La Défense: 9 non-profit organizations were offered one-day consulting sessions by the employees of 8 top-range French companies. Ilan Scialom, who co-chairs Coexister, one of the participating non-profit organizations, explains how these marathons were different: “The strengths of this marathon were the diversity of approaches among the volunteers, and how willing they were to share their various skills for the benefits of our project. This external perspective enabled us to consider approaches we had not thought of and to save a lot of time”. http://probonolab.org/
Thank you for participating in Pro Bono Week 2015 and see you next year for Pro Bono 2016!