Our companies select their own pro bono partners, often reflecting the priorities or interests of their employees. These pro bono projects range from long-term partnerships to small-scale and one-off campaigns.
In some cases, WPP the parent company, plays a role in coordinating multi-company and global pro bono projects. A recent example is our Common Ground project tackling gender equality, which is profiled in our Sustainability Report.
Companies in all our disciplines undertake pro bono work, including advertising, research and insight, public relations and media buying. This book focuses on work by our advertising and design companies, with examples of pro bono research and public relations campaigns included in our Sustainability Report.
For more information on our social investment see the Sustainability Report, available online at wpp.com/sustainability
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Our agencies support the UNSDGs through their work with NGOs active in areas such as health, education, equality and the environment. In this book we have indicated where our pro bono campaigns align with the UNSDGs.
Performance in 2016
Our pro bono work was worth £12.5 in 2016 (2015: £13.5 million). We also made cash donations to charities of £7 million, resulting in a social investment worth £19.5 (2015: £19.4 million). This is equivalent to 1.03% of reported profit before tax.
WPP media agencies negotiated free media space worth £22.8 million on behalf of pro bono clients (2015: £20.8 million), making a total social contribution of £42.3 million (2015: £40.3 million).
The value of our social investment (pro bono work and charitable donations) increased by 0.5% on the previous year.
Pro bono work can be worth more than an equivalent cash donation because it enables charities to raise awareness, increase donations, recruit members, impact behaviour and achieve campaign goals. We have conducted research to quantify this wider impact. This shows that our pro bono work in 2016, created wider social benefits worth £228 million to society. This includes for example, the impact of charities being able to improve health and well-being in communities.