As a senior in high school, Debbye got her first job as a bank teller. Now she is a Finance and Operations Management Consultant with over 25 years of experience in accounting, finance, auditing, and financial reporting.
I do pro bono service because I enjoy helping nonprofit organizations.
In addition to trying to participate in everything Taproot does, I do pro bono outside of Taproot, and have for many years. When people ask me what pro bono is, I say: it’s an opportunity to provide one’s professional skills and expertise to nonprofits who otherwise couldn’t afford their help. For nonprofits, it’s an opportunity to have a skilled professional not only help you with an immediate need, but potentially be available to help you in a long term consulting capacity.
My first pro bono gig was with Taproot. I worked on developing a financial model for Common Ground, an organization that provides HIV prevention and treatment to at risk individuals. The model allowed them to easily generate reports that they planned to use for strategy and finance decisions for years to come. This was my first Taproot project, and it will always be near and dear to my heart.
Working in a way that adds value
Since then, I’ve completed eight more Service Grant projects with Taproot. When I do pro bono, I believe in working in a way that genuinely adds value to the nonprofit. I’m especially proud to have led a pro bono team that recently delivered a strategic scorecard for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. We were able to take the 70+ benchmarks in their strategic plan and condense them into an easy-to-use scorecard that allowed the ACLU to understand their progress in a meaningful way.
To people considering doing pro bono, I say: Do it. You’ll enjoy it, and you just might make a new friend or two, be offered paying consulting engagements, meet people who can help you in your professional growth, or just fall in love with some really great people doing some really great work.