Pro bono service has the potential to shift technology adoption and implementation in the social sector.
The Taproot Foundation, in collaboration with VMware Foundation, released a new supplement to Transforming Technology Pro Bono that will ensure nonprofits can maximize the impact technology pro bono can have on their organizations.
“Technology underscores everything at a nonprofit – from basic operations to innovative services,” says co-author and Taproot consultant Ava Kuhlen. “Successful technology pro bono projects require seeing the nonprofit as the customer. This means investing in discovering what the nonprofit needs and then designing a sustainable solution together that the nonprofit needs, uses and maintains.”
“VMware takes a customer-centric approach to accelerate its customers’ digital journeys,” says Jessamine Chin, VMware Foundation Director. “We see the growing gap in nonprofit digital transformation. To meet this need, our people can contribute their professional talents to co-create innovative solutions with nonprofit staff – driving positive social change.”
According to NTEN’s 10th Annual Nonprofit Staffing & Investment report, the average technology budget of nonprofits is 5.7% of each organization’s total operating budget. With over 40% of organizations reporting a regular use of paid technology consultants and only 28% often or regularly using technology volunteers, there is an opportunity for pro bono service to help fill the gap.
Breaking down the common barriers
Transforming Technology Pro Bono was designed to address technology challenges by introducing concepts that break down some of the common barriers to successful technology pro bono projects. This additional supplement focuses on the initial phases of the Solution Development Framework, which is inspired by the Systems Development Life Cycle methodology commonly used in the technology sector to improve the quality of software.
Key highlights include:
- A deeper dive into the Discover and Design phases of the Solution Development Framework, which are critical, yet commonly skipped, practices.
- A Discover guide for defining an end state and uncovering organizational challenges and opportunities.
- A Design guide to analyze and prioritize projects and gather requirements.
By investing in how pro bono volunteers and nonprofit staff can effectively undertake the Discover and Design phases of a technology pro bono project, Taproot and VMware aim to maximize the impact of tech pro bono and develop sustainable solutions to meet the needs of nonprofits around the globe.
Transforming Technology Pro Bono is offered as part of Taproot’s initiative to support nonprofits in solving critical social issues by more strategically using technology pro bono. Find out more about Taproot’s initiatives here.