Giving Compass’ Take:
• Andrea Bertels shares advice for companies that want to make an impact through pro bono efforts. These principles transcend organizations and issue areas.
• What unique offerings can your organization make? What local nonprofits can you partner with?
• Learn more about corporate social responsibility.
Identify Strategic Focus Areas: When you’re considering where to prioritize your pro bono efforts, focus areas should align with your company’s strategy and capabilities. With so many organizations in need, these areas help to act as a filter for the type of projects and relationships your company can consider, and allow you to make a deeper impact over time. Resources like Taproot Foundation’s Pro Bono Sweet Spot can help your company narrow in on key areas.
Communicate a Goal: Having a public goal can help to communicate more strategically about your pro bono projects externally and advocate for pro bono work internally, especially with business leaders who may be new to the company or unfamiliar with your company’s philanthropic investments.
Lean Into Experts: If you don’t know where to start with your pro bono program, don’t hesitate to turn to expert organizations.
Empower Your People: The best source of potential projects could be your own employees. Often times, they have existing relationships with nonprofit organizations and are eager to make a social impact while using or developing their skills. Consider asking interested employees what skills they already have, and what skills they would like to gain through pro bono work. Align with business goals by working with your Human Resources department or a business leader to develop pro bono projects that marry nonprofit needs with individual and business needs.
Define Your Scope: The most effective pro bono projects often happen when a nonprofit organization has a clearly defined need.
Collaborate vs. Deliver: If we “deploy volunteer experts” to nonprofit organizations, it may create the perception of a one-way dialogue— meaning the private sector experts deliver the solutions, and the nonprofit leaders receive them to implement. Instead, pro bono work should be done “with” and not “for” organizations.
Read the full article about pro bono work by Andrea Bertels at TriplePundit.
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