Prepping Nonprofits for Pro Bono

It never fails. Post CreateAthon, we find ourselves contemplating a certain set of questions related to the work we develop for nonprofits during 24+ hours of caffeine-injected, creative madness.

“Will they really be able to execute this work?”
“How can we know this work will be successful?”
“Should we enforce more upfront parameters?”
“Was this nonprofit ready for us?”

We’re not alone in this line of thinking. Every company involved in a pro bono initiative wants to know its investment of time and professional expertise will make a real impact within the nonprofit organization it supports.

But just when these questions began to creep again in this year, we were greeted by a brand new book from our friends at Taproot Foundation that begins to put it all in perspective. Aaron Hurst and company have put the question of nonprofit readiness to the test in Powered by Pro Bono, a guidebook designed to help nonprofits prepare their organizations in a way that can attract and make the most of pro bono service. The book clearly defines the difference between “getting some free stuff” to integrating pro bono service as a highly strategic tool to help build capacity in a nonprofit organization.

Why should nonprofits care? Every day, more and more companies are developing pro bono programs that allow employees to put their professional skills to work for social good. The flip side of that demands nonprofits must prove themselves as worthy beneficiaries, and it’s not enough just to ask for help: They must be able to both articulate a compelling case for support and demonstrate their ability to act on the pro bono counsel and deliverables they receive.

Every nonprofit that ever hopes to secure pro bono services would be wise to read this book now and immediately put its principles and resources into action. It’s a gift to every nonprofit that recognizes the power of pro bono and has the chops to bring it to bear within their organization.

This entry was written by Teresa Coles, posted on October 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm, filed under CreateAthon, CSR, Nonprofits, R-blog, Social Consciousness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

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