Neeta Shah is a finance professional with a long list of superpowers—problem-solving, communications, and corralling her two energetic toddlers to name just a few. For her, pro bono is a way to use her strengths to help nonprofits working on social causes that are near and dear to her heart.
Opening doors to another world
When I was younger, I always wanted to be a librarian. I loved being surrounded by books. For me, books were a way of getting to discover new worlds, go to different time periods, and meet exciting people. That sense of exploration stayed with me through adulthood. As a finance professional I get to explore the world in different ways but found that I missed that sense of doing something completely new. That’s why I turned to pro bono.
Exploration through pro bono
When I saw that Fiver Children’s Foundation had posted a pro bono opportunity on Taproot Plus, I instantly knew I wanted to give my services. They are a youth development organization that supports underserved New York City area children through out-of-school time programs. Fiver needed a financial strategy expert and their mission really struck a chord with me—the perfect fit! I volunteered to help them understand their financial strategy program-by-program for the next 5 years. My favorite part of the project was meeting with Fiver’s team to learn about the wonderful programs they offer for kids; that made the end result of the project all the more special to me. Together we created a financial analysis they could present to their board of directors and an interactive financial model that would set them up for success going forward.
“Get involved! Pro bono makes you feel valued and proud.”
I was hooked on volunteering through pro bono after working with Fiver and wanted to do more. That’s when I found an opportunity with Edible Schoolyard, a nonprofit that partners with New York City public schools for cooking and gardening education. Our project together focused on program management which was an exciting shift from my typical day-to-day work. My favorite part of the pro bono work was seeing our ideas and solutions come to life after all the data gathering and prep work. We were able to create a system designed to help their organization track and manage a breadth of impactful programs.
An exchange of ideas
Rewarding—that’s how I define my experience giving my skills through pro bono. I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside all the nonprofit professionals and teams. Everyone involved was so intelligent, creative, and humble! Exchanging ideas and experiences with different people is always so inspiring for me, and working with nonprofits through Taproot as a volunteer has been a constant source of inspiration.