The success of GuideStar has led to the creation of GuideStar UK, a new British charity developed in collaboration with and modeled on its U.S. namesake.
In December 2001, New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer introduced a four-part initiative aimed at reforming charitable fundraising, particularly telemarketing campaigns. He called for the reforms after he released his annual "Pennies for Charities" report, in which he found that charities had received only 31.9 percent of the $184.7 million raised for them through telemarketing campaigns in New York in 2001.
Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association's "Model Rules of Professional Conduct" addresses pro bono services and states in part:
"A lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyer should provide a substantial majority of the 50 hours of legal services without fee or expectation of fee to (1) persons of limited means or (2) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means."
The term pro bono is derived from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good." Lawyers have a long-standing tradition of supporting the public good, donating their time and expertise to low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations. The Internet serves as an excellent medium for nonprofits to seek out this type of assistance, connecting with free or low-cost legal information and services.