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Pro Bono Volunteering Pt 1 | Who benefits from it and why it’s so important

In the context of our #vostelacademy we would like to give you an insight into pro bono activities in three blog posts. It will be about why pro bono activities are so important and how a pro bono day works. We will also look at what needs to be considered from the perspective of an NPO and company employee and which factors lead to success. But let’s start at the beginning!

Status quo in the non-profit sector

Due to the current crisis and the increasing shift to the digital world, the pressure for non-profit organizations to be agile and to digitize their services is increasing.

The Digital-Report 2020 – the biggest study about digitisation in the non-profit sector conducted by Haus des Stiftens. It shows: non profit organisations in Germany face several challenges concerning digitalisation.

52% need more information in data and IT-security. 37% feel that they need to gain more knowledge about social media usage. 32% want to learn about types of virtual collaboration.


Only by keeping up in terms of digitising, marketing and organisational development, a non-profit can work more effectively. Thus: reach more people, carry out their mission and with that, maximise their social impact.

NPOs are therefore faced with many specific challenges. In example developing a website, introducing a digitisation strategy or evaluating collaboration tools. To tackle them, the support and consultation of experts and professional knowledge is important.

Source: Digital Report 2020

However, expert consultation results in high costs. It is known that non-profit organisations have to apply for funding and are often reliant on monetary donations and sponsors. These financial limitations cause that for example the development of a new website cannot be realised immediately (or even at all) and has to be postponed as a “To-Do-for-later”.

Why are pro bono activities so important?

By having a “Pro Bono” volunteer who is motivated to use their own professional skills in a new context, the To-Do can quickly be labelled “in progress”. “Pro Bono” means making one’s own professional skills available to others for a charitable cause and without payment. For example, a professional developer helps an NPO to set up a homepage.

But, not only the NPOs can gain new knowledge through Pro Bono activities. Also the professionals have the chance to test their skills in a new context, further develop them and simultaneously use them for a good cause. 

Before we dive deeper and showcase how Pro Bono activities work in practice, let it be noted that they have the power of combined benefits for all participants:

  • NPOs get expert consultations,
  • professionals experience using their skills in a new way
  • and added value is created for everyone! 

You would like to support non-profit organisations in the IT or design sector?

Then have a look at and discover many projects for your pro bono activity!

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