Pro Bono Week is our favorite time of year here at Taproot. It’s our excuse (not that we need one) to join countless organizations, intermediaries, and companies around the globe in celebrating the impact of pro bono. And in 2020—with communities confronting some of the toughest challenges in recent memory—this week will bring us all together (virtually, of course) in a deeply meaningful way. We’ll pause as a movement to reflect on the bright spots we’ve seen, acknowledge the struggles we’re facing, and roll up our sleeves in preparation of the rebuilding ahead.
Pro Bono Week can also be a special time at your company. It’s a great time to celebrate making a difference for nonprofits you partner with and highlight the work your employees have been doing all year long. Everyone could use a moment to focus on the ‘wins’ they’ve been able to achieve while working remotely, and Pro Bono Week is a great opportunity to put a spotlight on the positive!
Before you jump into your Pro Bono Week brainstorming, here are a few things to consider.
- Think about your goals first. Planning to engage more participants in your employee volunteer program? Hoping to build awareness around the meaningful impact you’re achieving through pro bono? Maybe you want to cultivate buy-in from your senior leadership or even elevate your brand. Whatever your goals may be, determine what outcomes you’re looking for so your efforts match.
- Enlist your communications team right away. They’re creative folks who can help you think through the types of strategies or activities that will suit your company best. Or, at the very least, they can make space in their editorial and social calendars for whatever celebrations you’re cooking up.
Now for a few ideas!
- Storytelling is powerful. It’s a chance to highlight the good your employees have been doing all year. It’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness around the nonprofits you serve—especially those that may be struggling during the crises we’re facing right now. Blogs, mini-case studies, quotes, graphics, and videos are all great ways to share your stories—choose the options that fit the amount of time and bandwidth you’ve got at your fingertips. Check out our guide to telling pro bono stories for a few more ideas.
- Use your internal channels, like your intranet or social platforms, to share the great stories you create. Some companies produce static graphics to be shared on employee-facing loading screens or landing pages, while others have a pro bono program spokesperson join a company-wide video series. Maximize all of your internal channels!
- Shout from the rooftops on social. Companies like Prudential get their president involved. Salesforce promotes fun and innovative programs. OracleNetSuite celebrates the work of their employees all week long. At Taproot, we like to share the impressive work of the nonprofits we support. The options really are endless, especially when you consider the sheer reach of your channels—this is one more way connecting with your communications team early on comes in handy.
- Share a little joy. To say we’re living in challenging times is a massive understatement, and we’re all feeling it. Pro Bono Week can be a way to bring joy and say thank you. Last year, we sent out hand-written notes to our most active volunteers and nonprofits. Program swag and mementos in the mailbox could be a nice touch, too. Think about the kind of thank you that you would want to receive and then send it to your participants!
- Bring people together virtually. Pro bono is all about connection. How about a Zoom happy hour with program participants and the beneficiaries they teamed up with? Or a get-to-know-you session to recruit your next employee cohort?