On 4 April 2023, Pro Bono Australia stopped publishing News and Good Business editions.
For 22 years we had the joy and privilege of informing a loyal audience of millions. We gave voice to the emergence of new movements now thriving: collective impact, impact investing, social enterprise, philanthropy, volunteering, corporate social responsibility, shared value, impact measurement… and we tracked the many changes over the last two decades in the for-purpose world.
The decision to close was a difficult one. It comes at a time when the financial challenges of providing a free news service are being experienced by media companies around the globe. As a B Corp and social enterprise it has never been about making a profit, but we need to be sustainable. We did everything we could to make this happen, including launching our paid subscriber model. However, despite our best efforts, news was no longer viable.
Whilst the news service has ceased, our other work has not. Pro Bono Australia will continue to focus on its Careers Board, Salary Survey and Careers News which have all shown high growth and engagement. It is our intent that these viable products will provide the seeds for what comes next and we hope you will continue to support us by supporting them.
In addition to our Careers Board, Salary Survey and Careers News, we are leaving our news archive of 18,000 articles up and running for posterity, and will open up our past Webinars for free access to all.
Going forward, Pro Bono Australia will continue to provide our:
- NFP Salary Survey
- Careers/Jobs Board and weekly careers news
- Volunteering Board
- Webinars and recordings of past webinars
- Our News archive of 18,000+ articles
- Bespoke content for the occasional advertiser
And we are saying farewell to:
- Pro Bono News and Good Business News
- Briefings with the Editor
- Mentor the treasurer
- Paid Subscription Model
- Grant Page
- Source Guide
- Impact 25 Awards
It has been a privilege to have played a pivotal role in fostering a more cohesive and informed sector, and to have served a wonderfully dynamic cohort of changemakers and purpose-driven individuals who have been the readers of our daily news for two decades. On a personal level, 22 years ago a light switched on for me and I felt an urgency to act to create a platform to inform the social sector, to create a vehicle that gave voice to, and held the space for what is emergent. I am extremely proud that we have been able to do that.
Some of our proudest achievements include:
- Surveys over time quoted on the floors of parliament, that influenced policy and government actions.
- Publishing 18,000 news articles documenting everything that happened, every day, every week, all the way from 2001.
- Hosting hundreds of webinars, exploring topics throughout the for-purpose world, with too many phenomenal speakers to count. We had 2,877 attendees in 2022 alone!
- Hosting the Impact 25 Awards: over six years, 150 awardees, unearthing 2,182 grassroots activists, with 350,000 social media engagements each year – So much impact!
- Our podcasts: “How can I help?”, “Leading Generous Teams” and our series of 28 “Not for Podcast” episodes which covered broad issues such as homelessness, the NDIS, social enterprise, gambling…
- The many, many partnerships and collaborations we have forged every year that have existed in a spirit of collective action.
- The beautiful ambition and hard work of our staff over time.
We celebrated this legacy in our final News edition on 4 April which you can read here.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us. You can read some of the many, many love letters we have received since announcing the closure of news. If you would like to get in touch, the best way to reach us is at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you – and please be gentle and patient with us as we navigate this difficult time when many of us are departing the organisation. We have written some FAQs below.
Finally, I am signing off with love and thanks to the unmatchable, entirely loveable Pro Bono Australia staff, to all of our news contributors over time, and of course, to you, our dedicated readers.
Founder, Karen Mahlab AM
Hear what sector leaders had to say about Pro Bono News closing…
Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
Sue Woodward AM
CEO, Community Council for Australia
CEO, Centre for Social Impact
CEO, Philanthropy Australia
Read these love letters from our readers…
“Thank you for the 22 years that you have invested to support the NGO sector. Your time, energy and finances have been enormous. Your decision leaves a big hole which I can only hope will be filled by others who understand the critical role that you played.”
“Your emails have provided scope and voice to many stories which I and others would not have otherwise known… The closure of your service continues the limitations of free media unfortunately these days and I will certainly feel the loss. Thank you for all the years of hard work and fantastic material.”
“Pro Bono has provided a comprehensive and invaluable service over all these years. It is a disgrace that it is not adequately funded to provide its services to the NFP sector but also to the avid readers drawn from the government and business sectors. Best wishes to all of you.”
“Pro Bono News has been such a great informative resource, I actually file every edition I’ve received since beginning in the NFP sector into an email folder. I’ve referenced this news countless times with colleagues and external stakeholders. It will be sadly missed.”
“I think I can speak for all of us who have gained wisdom and sourced vital information that’s supported our work, our heartfelt thanks to you all. Warmest wishes from a grateful but deeply saddened reader.”
“Your news service has been valued by our organisation greatly as it helped us keep up to date with the broader operating and strategic environment for NFPs.”
“I wanted to say a big thank you for this service that you’ve provided to the sector over many years. While I’ve been aware of your work to some extent over the past 17 years of being in the environment space, I only really discovered your news service and the benefits of this in the last year or two since starting a new NGO. The service you provided has enabled me to see our organisation as part of a much broader sector, to observe shared challenges and opportunities, and to learn from others in the NFP space who I would otherwise never connect with… I recognise this will have been a very challenging decision and time for you, but I hope you are incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved, and I am certainly very grateful to have found you and learnt so much from your stories and curation… Thank you again for all you’ve provided to us learners and leaders in the sectors. I really do appreciate it.”
“So very sorry to hear this news – I’ve relied on the Pro Bono News to report things I’d otherwise never hear about, both good and bad. I wish you all well, but do feel it’s a very big loss to the sector.”
“I was very sad to read about the decision to close the PB News service. I’ve been reading the emails for years and they have always helped me to feel connected to the broader community sector, particularly as a sole operator in a regional area. Thank you for this wonderful service.”
“I was really sad to read that Pro Bono will be saying goodbye to the news service. I’m a former journalist myself and know it’s such a tough time for the industry. We’ll definitely miss these updates – it’s been unparalleled in terms of the quality and relevance of news and information.”