Pro Bono Week October 20-26: Get Involved in a Growing Movement
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Most charities and not-for-profits tackling social problems don’t have access to marketing, design, technology, management or strategic planning resources that they need to succeed. Without this talent, few are able to have the impact they want to tackle critical issues like the environment, health and education. This is where the Taproot Foundation comes in. A not-for-profit, it makes business talent available to organisations working to improve societies. It engages America’s millions of business professionals in pro bono services both through its award-winning programs and by partnering with companies to develop their own pro bono schemes. At the time of writing, Taproot had generated $122,045,823 in pro bono services. You can bet your bottom dollar this figure has since grown!
Pro bono service is the donation of professional services to community organisations, and includes everything from legal to marketing to strategic planning to human resources services. In the U.S. professionals annually donate over $15 billion in pro bono services to support charities and not-for-profits. It is one of the largest forms of philanthropy in the States—double all corporate and community foundation giving combined. Most recently, the technology community has begun to embrace the power of pro bono. LinkedIn, the largest professional online network in the world, has made it part of their core social strategy and is working closely with Taproot.
The motivations for companies to work in this way are diverse. It could be a more general corporate social responsibility strategy or an approach to recruit and retain employees who want to put something back into the community. It can also be an integral part of a company's professional development plans for staff. The Taproot Foundation concentrates its efforts within five metro areas where it has offices: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C. For example, in New York over the last eight years, Taproot has supported over 396 not-for-profits and delivered over $26 million in pro bono resources to the five boroughs. In San Francisco, Taproot started a decade ago. Its Bay Area office has grown from delivering a single marketing project to nearly 700 consulting engagements; from engaging three volunteers to 3,500; and in just ten years, has delivered over $32 million in pro bono service!
Taproot is striving to build a global pro bono marketplace through its Global Pro Bono Fellows Program, a network of independent NGOs from around the world who want to develop their own pro bono initiatives. Taproot works in partnership with the BMW Foundation for this scheme.
October 20-26 is Pro Bono Week, a global celebration of the pro bono ethic across all professions that use their talents to make a difference, a week inspired by the American Bar Association’s ‘National Celebration of Pro Bono. Taproot also works with partners internationally to focus attention on the global pro bono movement during the third week of October.
Photo Credit: Taproot Website