Arts & Culture Business Development Music & Events Spotlight Fara Illich October 16, 2014

newbonoPro Bono Week PHX encourages local professionals, entrepreneurs and skilled workers to get out of the office and into the community.
The event kicks off Oct. 20-25 at the DTPHX Engagement Lab – a storefront activation at Arizona Center – and is the first national Pro Bono Week event organized by a co-working organization –  CO+HOOTS Foundation.
According to Kristin Romaine, executive director of CO+HOOTS Foundation and Pro Bono Week organizer, donating time and services to nonprofit organizations not only benefits the communities these nonprofits serve, but makes a huge impact on the volunteers as well.
“Innovation doesn’t just happen in an office,” Romaine said. “A lot of times it’s when you’re doing something out in the community that’s related to making the world a better place.”
According to Taproot Foundation, a leader in the pro bono movement, nonprofits play an integral role in the innovation ecosystem and by bringing the “thinkers” and the “do-ers” into a collaborative space, the community as a whole reaps the benefits.
Over the course of Pro Bono Week PHX, local organizations will be paired with professionals in marketing, technology, design, finance and other key areas. With the help of skilled volunteers, these organizations can increase their impact on critical issues like the environment, health and education.
dtphxlabSo why work for free? According to Romaine, it’s not about getting something for nothing, but finding collaborative partners and consultants to work with on an ongoing basis. If the nonprofits approach the work from that standpoint, they’re positioned to receive the most benefit.
The statistics back it up. According to a True Impact study on pro bono service, skilled volunteers are 142 percent more likely to report job-related gains than traditional volunteers and from a nonprofit perspective, pro bono services can be as much as 500 percent more impactful than unskilled volunteer services.
“It really boosts employee morale and professional growth,” Romaine said. “This is a no-brainer, everyone should be doing this.”
In short, donating a skill that would otherwise be paid for is a generous gift. To find out more about Pro Bono Week PHX and how you can get involved, visit the website or contact the CO+HOOTS Foundation.
*Photo of the DTPHX Engagement Lab at Arizona Center. For more information on the lab and its uses, email R.J. Price at