As an advocate and support system for refugees and immigrants, Brian Bollinger and Friends of Refugees have had a busy year. Through pro bono support from Taproot skilled volunteers and daily reminders of why his work matters, his organization has been able to do more to support the vulnerable.
At Friends of Refugees we know that immigrants are blessings, not burdens. Our mission is to empower refugees with opportunities for well-being, education, and employment. I feel so inspired by the work we do when I see my new American neighbors go from someone being served, to someone serving alongside us, and finally, to becoming leaders in our community.
The necessity of loving what you do
Feeling overworked or overwhelmed is a huge hazard in the nonprofit sector. If you don’t love what you do, the workload will kill you. Even with the long hours, it’s all worth it when we see our community struck with the realization of the incredible intelligence, ability, and ambition of a refugee neighbor. Moments like when an empowered mother has a healthy birth, a father finds a living wage job that breaks the poverty cycle, or a young person launches her own business means that my “worth it” list just keeps growing.
Knowing what you need
Despite the long list of inspirational moments, we’ve realized at Friends of Refugees that it is impossible for us to do it all. We needed help improving the SEO of our website to expand the reach of our message and attract new supporters. A Taproot volunteer came and helped set us up for success.
Through this project, we learned that the real trick with using pro bono is by having a clear vision of how you’re going to use the outcome of the project. That way you can ask for exactly what you need. With help from our Taproot volunteer, we began to see more volunteers attending our orientations and more donors finding out about us. We know it’s connected to our Taproot project because when we ask people how they found us, we observed a big uptick in “I found you in an internet search.”
Transforming lives through pro bono
Helpful – that is how I would sum up our Taproot pro bono experience. When you leverage professional expertise on behalf of the vulnerable, it makes the world a little bit better, a little bit kinder, and a little bit more just than it was before. Thank you for helping us transform more lives by standing on the shoulders you so generously offer.