At the Pan-Livery Conference held in October 2021 at Mercers Hall, attendees heard several presentations on “Shared Philanthropic Endeavour”. There was widespread interest from attendees in learning more about the provision of pro bono support to charities and other not-for-profit organisations.
A small group drawn from seven Livery Companies subsequently shared information on their current pro bono work and aspirations to further develop their pro bono programmes. The group also decided to plan a series of meetings and workshops to share experiences and good practice, to identify common challenges, and to facilitate inter-company working. The first in-person meeting was held in March 2022 with invitations extended to all Livery Companies and has been followed by quarterly meetings since then.
Below are the current arrangements under which the Group is operating.
Our purpose is to leverage the Livery’s philanthropic skills and energies to achieve greater social impact, by encouraging Livery Companies to work together to share experiences, knowledge and resources.
All Livery Companies (along with Companies without Livery and Guilds) are invited to send one or more representatives to PLPB meetings. At our meetings to date, we have had attendees from over 40 Livery Companies, with some Companies sending two or more members. Most attendees are already involved in philanthropic activity within their Company; for example, playing a role in volunteer or pro bono activity, or as a trustee with their charitable fund. However, we are happy for those new to this area to join us and learn about what others are doing.
Companies who have had representatives at one or more meetings are shown below.
|Builders Merchants||Framework Knitters||Pattenmakers|
|Clothworkers||Girdlers||Scientific Instrument Makers|
|Cutlers||HR Professionals||Water Conservators|
|Engineers||Management Consultants||World Traders|
If you are interested in joining the PLPB group and would like to attend meetings, then please contact Bob Harris.
It is intended to cover all situations where our time is donated free of charge to help achieve a social or public benefit. This can range from informal support by a volunteer to an individual through to an assignment utilising professional expertise to support a charitable organisation, school or public body.
A more detailed list of examples of the nature and scope of volunteering and pro bono support is a vailable.
The 2022 survey of philanthropic giving reported estimates of the time donated by the livery movement in several categories:
|As School Governors and Charity Trustees||45,000|
|As Trustees of Livery Charitable Funds||35,000|
|General volunteer support to front-line charities||37,000|
|Professional pro bono support to charities||26,000|
The survey also estimated the value of the pro bono support (based on the valuation principles set out by the Charity Commission) as £6.8m in the previous year.
There is little doubt that the above figures are significant underestimates as many Livery Companies find it challenging to identify and record the full extent of their volunteer and pro bono support.
There is a small Steering Group as set out below that meets regularly to plan future meetings and drive the PLPB group forward.
|Steve Cant||Management Consultants||Past Master and Chair of Charitable Fundfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|David Clifford||HR Professionals||Secretary of Pro Bono Committeeemail@example.com|
|Bob Harris||Management Consultants||Pan Livery Steering Groupfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Steve Smith||Information Technologists||Court Assistant & Chair Careers Panelemail@example.com|
|Rob Wirszycz||Information Technologists||Masterfirstname.lastname@example.org|
The PLPB aims to meet quarterly. Each meeting has a theme that is decided in consultation with members but may well be drawn from the following:
- Networking – with a clear focus and tangible takeaways,
- Practical Help – e.g training courses on mentoring,
- Working together – examples of where Companies have collaborated, and
- Livery Pro Bono Hub – Capturing and valuing pro bono time and aggregating.