Roach Howard Smith & Barton Joins A Billion + Change as Dallas Emerges as a Leader in National Pro Bono Movement
On Jan. 23 RHSB joined A Billion + Change, Entrepreneurs for North Texas, MEplusYOU and Commit! for a pro bono summit spotlighting the innovative ways that companies in Dallas are stepping up to meet critical community challenges through skills-based volunteer service. Dallas companies are leaders in supporting A Billion + Change national campaign and to date have pledged $166 million worth of their time and talent to help nonprofits make a bigger impact in society.
Leaders in industry and civic engagement spoke and shared their unique insights and perspectives on the power of pro bono, including Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, Bradley Yates, Director of Public Affairs for AT&T, Jason W. Downing, Managing Partner, North Texas at Deloitte, Sandy Dochen, IBM’s Manager of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Monica Shortino, Capital One’s Senior Manager of Community Relations for Texas and Krista Nightengale, Managing Editor of D Magazine and Director of D Academy.
Local nonprofits are also part of this discussion, including the Aidmatrix Foundation, Executives in Action, the Volunteer Center of North Texas, Commit! and Educational First Steps. They discussed their perspectives on the impact pro bono projects can have on their organizations. According to True Impact, which helps organizations measure the social, and business impact of their operations, the value of skilled support in areas such as general operations, technology and professional services can be 500 percent greater than the value of traditional volunteering.
Senior Vice President Douglas R. Jones leader of the Technology, Life Sciences and Media practice group at RHSB spoke at the event. He was on a panel discussing Skills-Based Volunteering: Perspectives from Small Businesses.
Roach Howard Smith & Barton has developed a corporate culture of giving back to the community we serve. Entrepreneurs for North Texas makes it easy for businesses to be good corporate citizens by organizing events that sponsor companies like RHSB join by providing employees that donate time, services or needed items. RHSB is especially proud of our involvement in Freedom Day every September 11 to honor lives lost by changing lives today. RHSB volunteers participated in other EFNT sponsored events in 2012 for North Texas Food Bank, Captain Hope’s Kids and Senior Source. RHSB also participates in several events throughout the year to benefit the American Heart Association.
Karen Farris, Chairman of the Board at RHSB is President of the Board of Directors for Attitudes & Attire a nonprofit agency dedicated to promoting personal growth for women seeking self-sufficiency. Their program expands the traditional job training curriculum to include positive self-image, appropriate workplace behavior and appearance. They also provide image consulting to help clients select professional clothing and accessories for the workplace from the Attitudes & Attire Boutique.
Other examples of the power of pro bono abound:
- Through two “Weekends of Love” a year, MEplusYOU invites multiple nonprofits to participate in a pro bono marathon to help meet their strategic planning, creative execution and tech implementation needs. Since 2009, MEplusYOU has supported more than 25 nonprofit clients and has provided $2 million in pro bono services.
- AT&T has launched Aspire Mentoring Academy and a 1-million hour pledge to mentor at-risk youth and address the high school dropout crisis. The company offers job mentoring, skills mentoring and e-mentoring opportunities, providing a wide range of volunteer options for the different skill-sets and time availability of AT&T’s workforce.
- Chad Houser, a former chef who spoke at the pro bono summit, started Café Momentum, an innovative social enterprise that transforms the lives of Dallas community’s most at-risk youth. Through life and social skills, culinary training and employment opportunities, Café Momentum helps them achieve their full potential.
Since November 2011, more than 260 companies across the country have pledged $1.9 billion to nonprofits as part of A Billion + Change, a swiftly growing national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars in SBV and pro bono services from corporate America. The excitement and support for A Billion + Change represents a sea change in the way companies view employee volunteering that invests in nonprofits by aligning business interests with community needs.
Any business that wants to give back by volunteering their skills and talents can take the pledge for free at www.abillionpluschange.org. Together, we will inspire the largest pro bono commitment in history.