Pro bono consulting –the delivery of professional services undertaken voluntarily– is a great way to enhance your professional skills while doing public service for your community.
According to the Taproot Foundation, one of the larger organizations in this space: “Most organizations tackling social problems don’t have access to the marketing, design, technology, management or strategic planning resources they need to succeed. Without this talent, few are able to have their intended impact on critical issues like the environment, health and education.” That’s where you come in.
To help you choose what pro bono opportunity works best for you Below I’ve provided summaries of four organizations that provide leadership in the pro bono consulting arena.
Taproot Foundation – Born in 2001, the Taproot Foundation receives funding and support from American Express, Hewlett-Packard and many other large corporations. Today Taproot and its pro bono consultants work with nonprofits in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, the San Francisco Bay area and the Washington, D.C., area. It is also beginning to work with organizations internationally. I’m currently working as content manager with a team that also includes a graphic designer, project manager and programmer to reboot the website for a community lender in my area.
Compass – Compass’ mission is “to inspire the active engagement of business professionals with their local nonprofits to transform communities.” Based in the District of Columbia, Compass helps Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia-area nonprofits carry out their missions more effectively and efficiently by hiring pro bono business professionals and nonprofit leaders to support their needs. Many of the pro bono consultants are recent graduates from top business schools.
HandsOn Network – HandsOn Network is a bit different from Taproot Foundation and Compass. HandsOn aims to “inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that change the world.” The network does this by connecting people with volunteer programs and opportunities that meet their needs through zip code and issue search (i.e., animals, hunger, public safety). HandsOn works identify skills-based opportunities for volunteers in their geographic areas.
A Billion + Change – A Billion + Change, District of Columbia-based organization works to inspire business to “unleash the talent and expertise of their people in pro bono service, solving our communities/ greatest challenges.” Featured supporters of A Billion + Change include CapitalOne Deloitte and IBM.
All opinions are my own and not those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Follow Jay Krasnow on Twitter: @JayKrasnow