Pro-bono help seen as underused

As the recession drags on, forcing nonprofits across the U.S. to do more with less, too few charities and corporations are putting skilled volunteers to work, a new study says.

Almost four in 10 nonprofit executives say they will spend $50,000 to $250,000 on outside consultants this year, says the 2009 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey.

However, almost one in four charities has no plans to use skilled volunteers from the corporate sector this year.

“Nonprofits and corporations alike are encouraged to think of pro-bono and skills-based volunteerism as a valuable form of currency,” Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte, says in a statement. “It is an opportunity to more fully maximize corporate assets, especially when demand for nonprofit services are on the rise and corporate giving is on the decline.”

About three in four corporate funders and nonprofits believe employee skills are valuable, and virtually all charities say they need more pro-bono support, the report says.

But more than a third of nonprofits don’t have the infrastructure in place to manage volunteers, and almost half either have no volunteer manager, or have someone with less than three years experience.

At the same time, more than a quarter of corporations have no one in place to coordinate pro-bono efforts, and almost two in 10 have no employee-volunteer program at all.

Further complicating the process, almost no nonprofits know which companies to contact about pro-bono opportunities, or whom to approach within a corporation.

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