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Doing Pro Bono Right


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How can we make the most of our limited resources without further overworking ourselves? Pro bono can be an answer. This workshop assesses the unique challenges facing organizations, and helps brainstorm ways to meet them in a low-to-no-cost way. Pro bono consultants can significantly expand your organization’s capacity, improve your programs, and lead to better funding, but only if you are prepared to do it right – something the Taproot Foundation knows from experience. Having completed over 1,000 pro bono projects to date, this discussion is an opportunity to learn from and apply Taproot’s best practices. Takeaways include tools to create internal buy-in, scope projects, reach out to potential pro bono consultants, and other resources.

Published in: Business, Technology

Doing Pro Bono Right

  2. AGENDA <ul><li>WELCOME </li></ul><ul><li>PRO BONO 101 </li></ul><ul><li>CHANGE DECODER </li></ul><ul><li>LIFECYCLE </li></ul><ul><li>NEXT STEPS </li></ul>
  3. WELCOME! ANNE DIAZ Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Consulting Taproot Foundation JOEL BASHEVKIN Executive Director, Western Region Taproot Foundation NATASHA MATUSOVA Integrated Product Development Associate Taproot Foundation ALETHEA HANNEMANN Director of Product and Program Development Taproot Foundation
  4. PRO BONO 101
  5. <ul><li>“ For the public good&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Used to describe professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment as a public service. </li></ul>WHAT IS PRO BONO? <ul><ul><li>Gain objective perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn valuable tools and processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience managing consultants </li></ul></ul>
  6. IS PRO BONO RIGHT FOR YOU? <ul><ul><ul><li>THE BEST PRO BONO CLIENTS ARE THOSE WHO: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have a clear strategic direction, and are looking for pro bono projects to help them continue on that path </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have strong, definitive leadership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have programs that are stable and sustainable; are not in a state of flux </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. PRO BONO IS ^ FREE PRO BONO IS AN INVESTMENT OF TIME, ENERGY, & TALENT. Level of attention Quality of product NOT
  8. <ul><li>YOU WANT: </li></ul><ul><li>High-quality deliverable </li></ul><ul><li>Learning opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>To become a stronger organization </li></ul><ul><li>A rewarding relationship </li></ul>UNDERSTAND MOTIVATIONS <ul><li>YOU WANT: </li></ul><ul><li>High-quality deliverable </li></ul><ul><li>Learning opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>To become a stronger organization </li></ul><ul><li>A rewarding relationship </li></ul><ul><li>YOUR PRO BONO CONSULTANT WANTS: </li></ul><ul><li>To help you! </li></ul><ul><li>To learn about the nonprofit sector and develop their own skills </li></ul><ul><li>To network </li></ul><ul><li>Good press </li></ul><ul><li>… food! </li></ul><ul><li>YOUR PRO BONO CONSULTANT WANTS: </li></ul><ul><li>To help you! </li></ul><ul><li>To learn about the nonprofit sector and develop their own skills </li></ul><ul><li>To network </li></ul><ul><li>Good press </li></ul><ul><li>… food! </li></ul>
  9. UNDERSTAND MOTIVATIONS <ul><li>YOU BOTH WANT: </li></ul><ul><li>The project to be completed and delivered in a timely manner. </li></ul><ul><li>The deliverable to be implementable and sustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>The client’s and pro bono team members’ expectations to be met or exceeded. </li></ul><ul><li>All parties involved to report high satisfaction with the group’s interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>The client (you!) to report the project made an impact </li></ul>Source: Designing for Impact Framework
  10. IN OTHER WORDS: Treat pro bono projects as a major investment in your organization.
  12. LET’S MEET YOU NAME, EXPERTISE, WHY TAPROOT? Assessment and Initiation Project Planning Project Execution Project Closure
  13. STEP 1. STEP 2. STEP 3. STEP 4 . Current Change Ideal
  14. STEP 5.
  15. STEP 6.
  16. STEP 7. In order to reach our full potential, _____________ must address the challenge of ______________________. _____________________ will help to get us beyond our current state, and _____________________ will work together during ____________________, using ______________________ to make this happen. When this project is complete, ____________________.
  18. LET’S MEET YOU NAME, EXPERTISE, WHY TAPROOT? Assessment and Initiation Project Planning Project Execution Project Closure
  19. <ul><li>Figure out what you need. </li></ul><ul><li>Rally your organization around the project </li></ul><ul><li>and assemble an internal team </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit and engage pro bono consultants </li></ul>ASSESSMENT AND INITIATION
  20. <ul><li>Create a timeline and scope </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a risk analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Look for opportunities to be “hospitable” </li></ul>PROJECT PLANNING
  21. <ul><li>Respect the timeline and scope </li></ul><ul><li>Be responsive </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate your relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from the process </li></ul>PROJECT EXECUTION
  22. <ul><li>Formally and publicly thank your pro bono consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect </li></ul><ul><li>Look for ways to continue the relationship </li></ul>PROJECT CLOSURE
  24. <ul><li>Learn more about pro bono at </li></ul><ul><li>Review guidance in the appendix </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to your organization about potential pro bono projects </li></ul><ul><li>Go out and find pro bono consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your project </li></ul><ul><li>DO PRO BONO RIGHT </li></ul>NEXT STEPS
  25. Thank you! Any questions?
  27. TAPROOTFOUNDATION.ORG <ul><li>Taproot Foundation Service Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Taproot Foundation offers pro bono services in HR, Strategy, IT, and marketing. Check out our grant catalogue and criteria to see if one is right for you. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul><ul><li>Competencies Map </li></ul><ul><li>Enables you to explore 76 opportunities for pro bono projects and the occupations that can serve the needs of these projects. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul><ul><li>Pro Bono Marketplace Map </li></ul><ul><li>The pro bono marketplace harnesses the millions of skilled professionals (“suppliers”) to deliver them effectively to a diverse set of clients. Use this map to learn about the state of pro bono for each group within the market. ( </li></ul>
  28. MAKING THE CASE FOR PRO BONO When making the decision to engage pro bono consultants on a project, it’s essential to get buy-in from your entire organization—from the admin to the board. Here are some key messages you can use: “ Done right, pro bono is a reliable resource that can impact our organization far beyond just the deliverables of one project; it can actually increase our capacity to deliver on our mission and making everyone’s jobs easier” “ Pro bono consultants are highly talented and well networked people who can become powerful advocates for our organization “ “ Pro bono consultants can help us do our jobs better by creating the resources we need “ “ In this economic environment, we need to use what resources we can to deliver on our mission. Pro bono is a great way to add talent without adding staff”
  29. ASSEMBLING AN INTERNAL TEAM SPECIALIST An individual that contributes their expertise as needed. BOARD MEMBER Sometimes necessary for projects. They contribute as necessary. DAY-TO-DAY CONTACT Schedules meetings, collects relevant information and document, acts was the liason between the organization and the pro bono consultants. EXECUTIVE SPONSOR A key decision maker at the organization. NONPROFIT CLIENT TEAM
  30. RECRUITING <ul><li>Once you’ve identified the change you wish to achieve using pro bono, have gained buy-in, and outlined the skills you need, go out there and find pro bono consultants. </li></ul><ul><li>First ask, who do we know? Is there anyone currently affiliated with the organization who has the right skills and experience to work on your project? </li></ul><ul><li>Put out a call to your network with a description of the opportunity for impact and ask them to send people your way. </li></ul><ul><li>Post on job boards, VolunteerMatch,, Craigslist, and your social media page. In the posting, be sure to include the level of commitment you think is required, relevant background and expertise, and a brief scope of work. And don’t forget to let people know what’s great about your organization’s mission! </li></ul><ul><li>Reach out to companies with employees that have the kind of talent you need. Check out Taproot’s Business Value Flashcards for messaging you can use to help them understand the power of pro bono: ( </li></ul>
  31. TIMELINE & SCOPE <ul><li>A well thought-out timeline and scope document, which both you and your pro bono consultants sign off on are critical to project success. </li></ul><ul><li>A good timeline has: key milestones and deliverables, meeting dates planned ahead, contingencies noted, and potential conflicts identified </li></ul><ul><li>A good scope document has: an outline of work planned, key deliverables, completion criteria, and a list of things the project will NOT cover. </li></ul>
  32. EXAMPLES OF HOSPITALITY There are many ways to be hospitable to your pro bono consultants. The following are a few great examples. For a kickoff meeting, one organization served food that represented the countries their constituents came from Nonprofit theatres companies have invited their pro bono consultants to performances or special events free of charge When possible, many organizations create the opportunity for pro bono consultants to interact with and get to know their constituents Some bake cakes!
  33. SHARE YOUR SUCCESS! Share the success of your pro bono projects with your networks. Write up the project in your organization’s newsletter. Get in touch with your pro bono consultant’s employer (with their permission of course!) to see if the project might be highlighted in the company’s CSR report. Present the work done at your Board meetings. Tell funders about the innovative ways you’re using volunteers – and impress them with your ingenuity and efficiency in getting these projects done! Ask for feedback from your pro bono consultants. Learn from the constructive pieces, and where appropriate, ask if your pro bono consultants will serve as references for pro bono consultants on future projects.