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Giving Thoughts THE CONFERENCE BOARD INITIATIVE ON CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY The State of Global Pro Bono

Giving Thoughts

THE CONFERENCE BOARD INITIATIVE ON CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY

The State of Global Pro Bono

by Amanda MacArthur, Vice President, Global Pro Bono and Engagement, PYXERA Global

Employee engagement is an oft-cited challenge for large corporations, 1 already overtaxed by an increasingly competitive landscape, volatile market forces, and shareholder demands. The growing practice of global pro bono, in which companies send employees on cross-border skills-based volunteer programs, is an effective approach to inspiring a more motivated and engaged workforce. The generous sharing of talent also contributes to social impact and economic growth, while developing global leadership skills and perspective for employees. This report presents survey findings collected by PYXERA Global about global pro bono programs, their design and mission, cross-sector partnerships, and triple-benefit impact.

Pro Bono Is Growing

Providing pro bono support to organizations addressing community challenges is growing in popularity as a means for corporations to build their future leadership and create shared value in emerging geographies. PYXERA Global knows of just under forty companies that participate in global pro bono programs. Twenty-six of these multinational corporations responded to PYXERA Global’s Benchmarking Survey. These companies show a consistent increase in the number of programs being offered. Though over half of the companies

1 See, for example, Charles Mitchell, Rebecca L. Ray, and Bart van Ark, CEO Challenge 2014 ® , The Conference Board, 2014.

No. GT-V1N8

DECEMBER 2014

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launched their programs after 2010 (when PYXERA Global first began benchmarking this information), by 2013, 6,000 professionals from these companies had travelled abroad on a pro bono assignment. By the end of 2014, over 9,000 employees will have participated in such programs.

This Giving Thoughts is based on Amanda MacArthur and Alicia Bonner Ness, Corporate

This Giving Thoughts is based on Amanda MacArthur and Alicia Bonner Ness, Corporate
of the Practice , PYXERA Global, 2014, available at http://pyxeraglobal.org/ corporate-global-pro-bono-state-practice

Why Companies Invest in Pro Bono

The three most commonly identified objectives for implementing global pro bono programs among companies in PYXERA Global’s study are generating sustainable social impact in local communities, increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty, and improving employees’ leadership skills (Chart 1).

Although more than half (54 percent) of respondents rated “sustainable social impact in local communities” as their program’s most important objective, companies also use pro bono programs to engage employees. A number of companies offer the assignments to their top talent— employees who are at risk of being recruited away from the company—because of the unique development opportunity. The programs often require employees to deliver a high- quality product in a resource-constrained emerging-market environment, working with multicultural, multiexpertise teams under a tight deadline. Such experience is difficult to find elsewhere and has a profound impact on the participants and the development of their skills.

Chart 1

Global pro bono program objectives

of their skills. Chart 1 Global pro bono program objectives 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least

5=very important

Chart 1 Global pro bono program objectives 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 54% 14

4

1 Global pro bono program objectives 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 54% 14  

3

1 Global pro bono program objectives 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 54% 14  

2

1 Global pro bono program objectives 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 54% 14  

1=least important

54%

14

 

21

4

 

7

To generate sustainable social impact in local communities

 

43%

 

32

14

 

7

4

To increase employee satisfaction and loyalty to the company

 

43%

 

25

 

18

 

7

 

7

To improve the employees’ leadership skills

 

18%

32

 

25

 

21

 

4

To build/improve presence and reputation

 

7%

 

36

 

21

14

 

18

To better understand how to conduct business in the emerging markets we select

18%

21

11

25

25

To improve our ability to innovate in the markets we select

12%

19

27

23

19

To build/improve stakeholder relations

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

IBM Corporate Service Corps

An Alternative Approach to Leadership Development

Launched in 2008, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC) sends teams of high-achieving IBM employees to provide pro bono consulting and expertise for governments, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and non-profit institutions in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Projects last for up to four weeks, and the experience cultivates global leadership competencies and introduces the company and its future leaders to new, less-developed markets.

IBM works with four NGO partners, including PYXERA Global, to execute the CSC. PYXERA Global consults with IBM to understand which countries are important to the business and to help identify host organizations with the capacity to receive IBM pro bono support.

Competitive applications

At the same time, IBM administers a competitive application process to assemble employee teams from geographies around the world. Each team member participates in an intensive three-month virtual training that addresses topics such as scenario planning, the consultative approach, value realization, cultural immersion, project briefings, and security.

Developing an effective initiation process for participants, as well as achieving strong executive support and vision, has helped IBM’s CSC to become the world’s largest global pro bono program with deep impact. By the end of 2014, 3,000 IBM participants from 58 countries will have participated in more than 1,000 CSC projects in 37 countries, generating more than $100 million in value for host organizations over a six-year period. The CSC has worked on services consumed by over 33 million people worldwide and built the capacity of more than 14,000 people. It has also helped community and public organizations raise over $14.4 million of funding to implement important projects in Turkey alone.

The program has reinforced IBM’s future leadership potential by creating a strong talent pipeline. In a survey of 900 CSC alumni, 90 percent reported that the program had increased their leadership skills and 82 percent said it increased their desire to continue their career at IBM. In a survey of 500 managers of alumni, 89 percent said the participant’s under- standing of the developing world increased and 64 percent reported that the employee is now contributing to the company in more valuable ways.

Typical Pro Bono Program Structures

Team assignments versus individual fellowships

Typical pro bono assignments are team-based. Many corporations strive to make their teams global, ensuring that no one team is dominated by people from a particular country. Often, teams reflect the geographic spread of the company’s employee base.

A clear majority of companies (67 percent) send employees

on team-based pro bono assignments, and 44 percent send participant teams of at least ten employees from across the organization. Only 11 percent of companies send individuals to work within a host organization. Enhancing employees’ abilities to work in multicultural team with

colleagues who have different expertise is a clear benefit

of team-based programs—and one that is increasingly

important to companies.

Though most pro bono programs are structured in teams, the duration of assignments varies. Forty percent of companies place employees in the field for between three and four weeks, close to one-third place participants on assignment for less than two weeks, and the remaining third of companies place participants on assignments lasting from four weeks to five months.

Chart 2

Is your program team-based, individual, or both?

Both 22 Team-based* Individual 67% 11 * Two or more people in the same location
Both
22
Team-based*
Individual
67%
11
* Two or more people in the same location

Source: PYXERA Global, 2014

Geographic focus

Corporations use their pro bono programs to mobilize their employees for social impact in countries around the world. The 26 companies surveyed sent teams to a total of 80 countries worldwide, focusing on emerging and frontier markets.

Africa (29 percent) and Asia (25 percent) combined represent over half of the geographies targeted by companies with their pro bono programs. However, Latin America (23 percent) and Europe (16 percent) are also important destinations.

Chart 3

Pro bono global reach

Australia [1%] North America Middle East 3 4 Central America 10 Africa 29% South America
Australia [1%]
North America
Middle East
3
4
Central
America
10 Africa
29%
South
America
13
Europe
Asia
16
25

Percentages do not add up to 100 due to rounding. Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Support from local implementing partners

“Implementing partners” are nonprofit or for-profit organizations that have expertise about less familiar local market climates, cultures, and operational realities. Often a nonprofit (like PYXERA Global or Emerging World) will partner with a company and take full responsibility for in-country logistics for employees (housing, transportation, etc.) and identification of the local client organizations for which employees will work. Such organizations also often deal with local client satisfaction and impact evaluation, so they are vitally important to the success of pro bono programs.

With such a strong focus on the emerging or frontier markets for pro bono projects, it’s little surprise that the majority of companies (64 percent) work with an implementing partner.

Many companies deeply value these relationships, and one company in particular reported that its implementing partner was crucial to integrating the program into the company strategy.

Chart 4

Do you partner with organizations to implement and manage your program?

Yes, we partner with a nonprofit organization(s) Yes, we use both nonprofit and for-profit partners
Yes, we partner
with a nonprofit
organization(s)
Yes, we use
both nonprofit
and for-profit
partners
Yes, we partner
with a for-profit
organization(s)
64%
18
4
14
No

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Dow Chemical Company

Pioneering a New Virtual Consulting Model

In 2013, The Dow Chemical Company launched its Leadership in Action (LIA) pilot program in Accra, Ghana, where 36 employees spent five days in an intensive collaboration. This followed several months of virtual consulting work. LIA is a unique partnership between Dow Sustainability Corps, the company’s skills-based employee engagement program, and its human resources’ talent development arm.

The program is an extension of the company’s virtual consulting model, developed through Dow Sustainability Corps, which allows employees to remain engaged in their daily professional lives, while still participating in a pro bono assignment. Dow has found that the virtual consulting model still engenders global leadership qualities, as it demands a deeper level of listening for context and cultural nuance during remote communications. For LIA, the Dow teams spend several months consulting virtually (part-time) before arriving in-country to meet their host clients and present their findings. The virtual consulting resumes for approximately five months upon return home to ensure a successful project completion. For other Dow Sustainability Corps programs, work is entirely virtual.

“One of the learnings that came out of this is what can constitute new business opportunities in emerging markets,” said Ross McLean, president of Dow Africa. “These projects enabled our emerging leaders to appreciate and better manage some of the unexpected challenges of doing business in Africa— such as the underdeveloped infrastructure, the interruption of communications, and the criticality of relationships (instead of time)— and to realize that it’s worth it.”

LIA has moved beyond the pilot phase, and in 2014 Dow sent a cadre of 41 employees to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This group was separated into subteams to work closely with nonprofits, government, and universities on demand-driven projects. Assignments included:

Helping to create and launch a learning academy for the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce to help entrepreneurs and business owners strengthen their ideas and practices; and

Identifying sustainable practices to convert waste into fertilizer for Population Services International.

In total, the teams provided pro bono service for eight host clients in areas spanning agriculture, education, business planning, hygiene, and sanitation.

Program Participants and Their Development

Almost all program participants attend an orientation course or session and a majority attend a skills training course or session prior to arriving. The format of predeparture training depends heavily on program constraints—including available employee time and program funding. Programs are typically module based; each week the team or individual is required to learn about a specific topic relevant to their deployment.

Chart 5

Predeparture training topics

Program policies and procedures

96%

Logistics

96

Cross-cultural attitudes or behavior

93

Safety and security

89

Country-specific information

Alignment with corporate strategy or business plans

Media and communications

86

82

79

Skills development

Employees develop a wide range of skills through global pro bono programs, but the majority of companies surveyed ranked leadership development as the most important (69 percent), with cultural adaptability next (42 percent). Fewer respondents rated teambuilding, the development of professional skills, and entrepreneurship as very important.

In addition to improving the skills of participants, pro bono programs increase employee satisfaction. A majority of respondents reported that the opportunity for employees to use professional skills (in a new and different way) and improve their cross-cultural competencies were the most important drivers of program satisfaction. Respondents also noted that employees benefited from a broader network within the global company and increased visibility and potential for promotion.

Chart 6

The most important skills gained by participants, rated by companies

important skills gained by participants, rated by companies 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important Source

5=very important

gained by participants, rated by companies 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important Source : PYXERA

4

by participants, rated by companies 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important Source : PYXERA Global,

3

by participants, rated by companies 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important Source : PYXERA Global,

2

by participants, rated by companies 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important Source : PYXERA Global,

1=least important

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

69%

15

 

12

4

Leadership development

 

42%

42

 

8

 

8

Cultural adaptability

 

38%

31

19

 

8

4

Professional skills

 

31%

 

42

15

 

4

4

Teambuilding

 

12%

19

 

38

19

 

12

Entrepreneurship

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Impact: The Triple Benefit

Program managers often speak of the “triple benefit” of global pro bono, which includes impact on participants, local communities, and the company. A majority of companies (54 percent) identify the social impact on local communities as the most important benefit of global pro bono programs, while 41 percent emphasize employee skill development.

Chart 7

Pro bono program impact

7=most important 6 5
7=most important
6
5
Chart 7 Pro bono program impact 7=most important 6 5 4 1=least important 3 2 54%

4

1=least important 3 2
1=least important
3
2

54%

19

8

12

 

8

Generating sustainable social impact in local communities

 

41%

11

 

19

 

15

4

 

11

Developing employee skills (leadership development, teambuilding, entrepreneurship, etc.)

26%

26

19

15

7

7

Improving the capacity/capabilities of local clients

 

15%

 

30

 

44

 

11

Increasing employee satisfaction

4%

12

15

15

31

8

15

Meeting human resource management targets (recruitment, staff retention, etc.)

4%

11

19

7

19

30

11

Identifying new business opportunities (understanding new markets, learning about customer behavior, etc.)

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Improving the effectiveness of the local clients who host participants is a major element of pro bono programs’ social impact. Such organizational improvements include training and building the capacity of local staff, improved access to resources they would not otherwise have, and an increased ability to offer their services to their local constituents. A large percentage of respondents reported that these measures of local client impact were either very important or most important.

Chart 8

The importance of different measures of local client impact

The importance of different measures of local client impact 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important

5=very important

different measures of local client impact 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 42%   38

4

different measures of local client impact 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 42%   38

3

measures of local client impact 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 42%   38  

2

measures of local client impact 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 42%   38  

1=least important

42%

 

38

 

12

4

Training and capacity building for the staff

 

46%

35

4

8

4

Access to resources that they could not otherwise get

 

46%

27

 

19

4

Ability to provide improved services or products to their local constituents

 
 

42

15

4

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Meeting dual strategic objectives

Beyond the benefits to the local community and participants, global pro bono programs deliver returns to the company at a strategic level. Respondents emphasized the way in which the programs helped them meet both corporate social responsibility (CSR) and human resources (HR) goals within the company.

Chart 9

Most important CSR objectives met through pro bono programs

5=very importantMost important CSR objectives met through pro bono programs 4 3 2 1=least important 73% 12

objectives met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 73% 12 12

4

objectives met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 73% 12 12

3

met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 73% 12 12 4

2

1=least importantmet through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 73% 12 12 4 Substantial improvements

73%

12

12

4

Substantial improvements in the welfare of the local communities

65%

23

4

4

4

Ability to actively engage employees in the company’s CSR strategy

42%

35

12

4

8

Enhancement of the company’s image

 

Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

42

15

4

Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Chart 10

Most important HR objectives met through pro bono programs

5=very importantMost important HR objectives met through pro bono programs 4 3 2 1=least important 63% 29

HR objectives met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 63% 29

4

objectives met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 63% 29 8

3

met through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 1=least important 63% 29 8 Improve

2

1=least importantmet through pro bono programs 5=very important 4 3 2 63% 29 8 Improve leadership competencies

63%

29

8

Improve leadership competencies

 

38%

 

54

4

4

Evidence that the company cares about the employees and are willing to invest in them

 

42%

 

50

4

4

Increased employee motivation & commitment

 

25%

 

29

   

33

8

4

Improved staff retention

 

38

19

12

8%

 

38

 

33

13

8

Impact on staff recruitment

Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding. Source : PYXERA Global, 2014

Seventy-three percent of companies considered improvements

to local communities the most important CSR objective met

through pro bono programs. The program’s ability to engage employees in the company’s CSR strategy was also highly valued, with 65 percent of companies considering it the most important objective, while 77 percent valued an enhanced corporate image as either very important or most important.

Although companies typically manage pro bono programs through their CSR function, most respondents also identified clear benefits for HR departments and talent

development. Over 90 percent of companies identified increased employee motivation and commitment as very

important or the most important HR objectives to have been met through the programs. Eighty-seven percent of companies recognized the program’s impact on improved staff retention as at least a somewhat important HR objective that was met through these assignments.

Conclusion

Global pro bono programs are unique corporate investments

that yield multiple returns—among them leadership develop- ment, employee loyalty, and sustainable social impact.

A growing number of companies are embracing these

programs, and a number of opportunities will emerge

to improve cooperation and ultimately extend the social

impact they can have.

At present, too few companies are engaged in global pro bono for the practice to have developed a measurable collective social impact, though many companies feel

that they have strong evidence of their program’s positive effectiveness through qualitative testimonials. An important element to support the growth of the model will be to

improve the sophistication of impact measurement across the “triple benefit” spectrum of participants, communities, and the company.

About the Author Amanda MacArthur is vice president of global pro bono and engagement at

About the Author

Amanda MacArthur is vice president of global pro bono and engagement at PYXERA Global. MacArthur leads the organization’s global pro bono and MBAs Without Borders programs, as well as The Center for Citizen Diplomacy. In this capacity, MacArthur designs and implements corporate social responsibility programs for the public and private sector focused on skills-based volunteerism in emerging markets, leadership development, and sustainable economic impact. Most recently, she played a key role in designing IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, while overseeing Global Pro Bono programs for PepsiCo, Pfizer, FedEx, and several others.

About Giving Thoughts

Giving Thoughts is a public forum in which The Conference Board engages experts from the disciplines of corporate philanthropy, impact investment, and social innovation in an open dialogue about issues of concern to member companies. Subscribe for free to the Giving Thoughts report and blog at www.conference-board.org/ givingthoughts.

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Conference Board. The Conference Board makes no representation as to the accuracy and completeness of the content. This report is not intended to provide legal advice, and no legal or business decision should be based solely on its content.

About the Series Director

Matteo Tonello is managing director of corporate leadership at The Conference Board in New York. In his role, Tonello advises members of The Conference Board on issues of corporate governance, share- holder activism, corporate sustainability, and philanthropy. He regularly participates as a speaker and moderator in educational programs on governance best practices and conducts analyses and research in collaboration with leading corporations, institutional investors, and professional firms. He is the author of several publications, including Corporate Governance Handbook: Legal Standards and Board Practices, Sustainability in the Boardroom, Institutional Investment, and the annual US Directors’ Compensation and Board Practices report. Tonello served as the co-chair of The Conference Board Expert Committee on Shareholder Activism and the Technical Advisory Board to The Conference Board Task Force on Executive Compensation. He is a member of the Network

Participating companies

Accenture, BD, Celanese, CitiCorp, Credit Suisse, The Dow Chemical Company, Eli Lilly and Company, EY, FedEx Corporation, Google, GSK, IBM, Intel, John Deere, JPMorgan Chase, “La Caixa” Foundation, Mars, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Inc., PepsiCo, Pfizer Inc., PIMCO Foundation, PwC, SAP AG, Sidley Austin, LLP, and Symantec.

for Sustainable Financial Markets and the Advisory Council to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Prior to joining The Conference Board, he practiced corporate law at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Tonello is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Bologna.

About the Executive Editor

Alex Parkinson is a research associate in the corporate leadership division of The Conference Board, specializing in corporate philanthropy and sustainability. Before joining The Conference Board, Parkinson worked as a senior consultant in London and New York for corporate social responsibility (CSR) consultancy Context. He has advised some of the world’s leading multinationals on CSR communications and strategy development. His clients included Bloomberg, Brown-Forman, BSkyB, Burt’s Bees, Cisco, HP, International Paper, PepsiCo, Roche, Standard Chartered, Syngenta, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Vodafone. Parkinson spent two years as a reporter and sub-editor for UK-based financial media companies VRL KnowledgeBank and Vitesse Media. He holds a BSc in economics and international development from the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: to provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a nonadvocacy, not- for-profit entity, holding 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the USA.

For more information on this report, please contact:

Alex Parkinson, research associate, corporate leadership at 212 339 0382 or alex.parkinson@conferenceboard.org

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