Public Welfare Consulting
The word “Pro Bono” derives from Latin, meaning “for the public welfare”. Public welfare consulting service is generally considered as society-directed free, non-profitable consulting service in business management or in fields such as law and accounting. Though public welfare consulting service is rarely known in China, it has gone through developments for years in North America and begun to take shape. It tends to become more specialized with a variety of organizations like school associations, NGOs/ NPOs and consulting companies taking part in.
“Non-governmental organization” (NGO), also known as civil organization, refers to organizations other than government institutions and companies. It is generally labored as formal, non-governmental, non-profitable, self-administrative, voluntary and beneficial to the society. If we define governmental organization as the first sector (public sector), companies as the second sector (private sector), non-governmental organizations or non-profits are actually the “third sector” which is often talked about in recent years. Similarly, there is also NPO (Non-profit organization), which is almost the same with “NGO”.
According to the “Civil Affairs Development Statistical Report” issued by Ministry of Civil Affairs, by the end of 2007, there were 387,000 social organizations in China, an increase of 9.3% over the previous year. They employed 4,569,000 people from all walks of life, up by 7.4%. They had 61.2% more fixed assets, which were valued at 68.2 billion yuan. Their total revenue stood at 134.36 billion yuan, up by 111.3%. They spent 99.9% more than 2006, at 90.02 billion yuan. The added value of these organizations was 30.76 billion yuan, increasing by 173.9% over last year and accounting for 0.32% of the tertiary industry.
These organizations span virtually all sectors in social life, including science and technology, education, culture, health, labor, civil affairs, sports, environmental protection, legal services, social intermediary services, business services, and rural specialized economy, etc. They are a bridge among the Party, the government and the people, connecting them together. They have made their contribution to the development of a harmonious society by playing an indispensible role in China’s political, economic, cultural and social advancement.
Volunteer service refers to non-professional aid, social service and action from whom that are altruistic and willing to donate personal time, skills, resources and wisdom to public good of altruism. Volunteer service can be done in the following three ways:
1. Hands on Volunteer：
Hands-on volunteers offer one-off service that can be done by anyone. This kind of voluntee service is usually short-term and random, such as picking up trash, planting trees, visiting helpless children and the elderly and donating books.
2. Skilled Volunteer：
Skilled Volunteers provide service that helps others or public organizations with proficient skills, for instance, translation, IT application, equipment maintenance, medical treatment and so on.
3. Pro Bono Volunteer：
Pro Bono Volunteers, with certain specialized knowledge and experience, help public organizations to launch special development project, and provide them with consulting, training and coach service. For example, they come up with integrated solution to marketing for public organizations, provide software development service for community service management and design implementation plan of salary and evaluation system for public organizations.