On Wednesday, January 9th, Aaron Hurst, founder and president of Taproot Foundation, will discuss highlights from Taproot’s new book, Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofit’s Step-by-Step Guide To Scoping, Securing, Managing, Scaling Pro Bono Resources (Jossey-Bass, 2012) in the New York Office's Training Annex (register here). This new resource for the nonprofit community enables nonprofits to plan for and turn on their pro bono potential and ultimately increase organizational capacity. In this post I will highlight some aspects of the book, which is available at all five Foundation Center offices.
The Taproot Foundation defines pro bono as "free, donated professional services (marketing, legal guidance, human resources, technology, etc.) to a nonprofit to further their mission." They break down the process of finding, hiring, and using these consultants into four stages. Stage One, Scope Projects, explains how to build your team and write a scope statement. Stage Two, Secure Resources, explains where to find consultants and how to deliver a proposal for services. Stage Three, Manage Projects, takes the reader through six key management phases of pro bono work and Stage Four, Scale Projects, suggests ways to build capacity and become "powered by pro bono."
What nonprofit needs are met through pro bono? The Scope Projects section outlines some of them, including the "need to build stronger relationships with ... donors and maintaining those relationships over time." To meet this need, consultants can help your organization implement a donor database, create a donor relations strategy, or even provide a fundraising coach. Another need, "to raise the visibility of ... services in the community" can be met by getting your volunteer professionals to create a PR plan, optimize your search engine, or plan and produce special events.Highlights also include the Five Attributes of a "Powered by Pro Bono" Organization (p. 152), which is followed by a step-by-step scaling process with the final goal of increasing capacity. The appendix is quite thorough, and includes job posting templates, a sample liability waiver, applications for pro bono services, and post-project surveys.
Other recommend books held by Foundation Center libraries on this topic include:
- Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits by Rosenthal, Lesley. Includes advice for those seeking paid or pro bono legal representation.
- The Power of Bro Bono: 40 Stories About Design for the Public Good by Architects and Their Clients by Cary, John (ed.). With descriptions and photographs of pro bono architecture projects around the U.S.
For staff advice and the latest Internet resources read GrantSpace's Knowledge Base Articles on consultants, especially "Where can I find "pro bono" tax or legal assistance for my nonprofit?"
Foundation Center--New York