Is pro bono free?
Skilled volunteers and those providing pro bono services do not charge their nonprofit clients, but pro bono does require a commitment of time and occasionally other resources (such as printing budget for a brochure). It’s important to recognize that skilled volunteers and nonprofits will need to invest time and energy to make pro bono work. The returns on this investment, however, are often enormous.
What kind of support can I receive pro bono?
Just thinking about the challenges you face within your organization can help generate a list of viable project opportunities. Taproot focuses on connecting nonprofits with professionals primarily in marketing, design, strategy, human resources, finance, and technology. Within those areas of expertise, there are many different types—and sizes—of projects that can be tackled. Find out how pro bono can help address your challenges.
Where do your skilled volunteers come from?
Our skilled volunteers are a mix of professionals, with 60% employed by companies, 25% independent contractors, and 15% who are in transition or who are retired.
I know we need help, but I don’t know where to begin. Can you help me figure out how to apply for services?
Yes! We’d love to help you get started with pro bono. Fill out this short form and briefly let us know what challenges you’re facing. We’ll follow up with you to discuss the best pro bono service to address your challenges.
What are Virtual Office Hours?
Virtual Office Hours connects you with a skilled volunteer for a one-hour virtual consulting call. This session allows you to float ideas, brainstorm, troubleshoot, or get advice from subject matter experts on topics ranging from marketing to HR to strategy and beyond. These virtual sessions are available to nonprofits and social change organizations in the U.S., the E.U. including the U.K., and India.
Request a session
What is a Speed Consulting workshop?
You and your organization will gather advice from skilled volunteers on key challenges across multiple areas in this half-day, round-robin workshop. Offered to nonprofits and social change organizations in select cities nationwide.
Find an event near you
What is a Marathon event?
You and your organization will team up with a small group of skilled volunteers to address a challenge in person—from a scope of work all the way through to a deliverable—in one day. Offered to nonprofits and social change organizations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Find an event near you
What is a Taproot Team Project?
A Taproot Team Project pairs you and your organization with a team of 2 – 6 volunteers for a 12 – 15 week project fully customized to address your organization’s most pressing infrastructure challenges. In addition to sourcing a team of talented volunteers, Taproot staff provides project oversight support, including scoping guidance, project troubleshooting, and more. Offered in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay Area. Applications accepted in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Not every organization that applies will be accepted.
Find application questions here
What is Taproot+?
Taproot’s on-demand matchmaking platform connects you and your organization with 1 – 2 volunteers for 4 – 6 week virtual projects. These projects are managed by you, from selecting your skilled volunteers to managing your project. Taproot staff is available for project scoping support upfront and ongoing troubleshooting as needed. Offered to nonprofits and social change organizations in the U.S., the E.U., including the U.K., and India.
Post a project on Taproot+
How do I know what program is the best fit for my organization?
Contact us – we’re here to help you figure that out!
My organization is not in one of your four cities. Can we still get help?
Yes, access to Taproot+ and Virtual Office Hours is available to any nonprofit in the United States, the E.U., including the U.K., and India. In addition, we also offer Speed Consulting events in select cities.
How do I access services?
Read about our available services. When you see a pro bono service that can meet your needs, click on the appropriate link to get started on that service!
When are Taproot’s services available?
You can get quick help through Virtual Office Hours or post a project anytime on Taproot+.
If you want to join us at an in-person pro bono event or workshop, check out our events schedule.
If you’d like a long-term project to tackle a more complex need, we accept applications for our Taproot Team Projects on the first business day of February, April, June, August, October, and December.
What happened to the Service Grant program?
After 15 years of offering a fixed catalog of projects through our Service Grant program, we’re adapting to better meet your needs and strengthen your organizations. Taproot Team Projects — which takes the place of our Service Grants — offers fully customized projects and a shorter timeline of 12 – 15 weeks, all with a team of skilled volunteers and the project support you’ve come to expect from Taproot.
What are the eligibility requirements for social impact organizations?
Organizations must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit to participate in Taproot’s U.S. programming, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis for organizations with a fiscal sponsor. Registered nonprofits in the EU, including the U.K., and India are eligible to post pro bono projects on Taproot+. Nonprofits of all sizes are welcome to apply for our services. The only exceptions to this are organizations that seek to advance a religious doctrine or actively discriminate based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, disability, national origin, political affiliation, or religious belief.
Why should I use pro bono services? Isn’t it true that “you get what you pay for”?
Over the course of serving more than 6,000 nonprofits across the country and abroad, and working to design pro bono programs for over 80 companies, we have uncovered the keys to making pro bono successful. We’ve learned that when you select and scope a project carefully, secure the right professionals for the job, and manage the work effectively, pro bono can be as effective as paid consulting (or even better!). We’ve seen firsthand the way in which pro bono can help a nonprofit excel at what they do.
How do you measure the value of pro bono service?
The best way to measure the value is to use the hourly rate of the professionals involved in service. The current average hourly rate for pro bono service, as determined in partnership with CECP, is $150.
How is pro bono different from traditional volunteering?
Traditional volunteering, such as a beach cleanup or serving at a soup kitchen, typically addresses the need for “extra hands” – a nonprofit needs people to help deliver a program. Pro bono service, however, uses specific professional skills to focus on addressing an organization’s internal strategic and infrastructure needs (often referred to as capacity building). For example, an HR professional could engage in traditional volunteer opportunity by planting a community garden, but could also provide pro bono professional services by helping an organization draft an employee handbook.
I’ve never worked with a nonprofit before. Is that okay?
Yes! As long as you have the right professional expertise for the specific project at hand, you don’t need to have prior experience working for a nonprofit. In fact, you are not alone – many of our pro bono consultants haven’t worked outside the corporate sector.
What type of Taproot project is the best fit for me?
Taproot provides various opportunities for you to get involved. You can work virtually on short-term projects and one-hour consultations or in person on long-term projects and at full and half-day pro bono events. Find out all the ways you can get involved.
Taproot+: Work virtually or in person with a nonprofit on short-term projects lasting 4 – 6 weeks on average.
Virtual Office Hours: Provide quick consultations to nonprofits in one-hour, one-on-one virtual sessions.
Taproot Team Projects: Work in person with a team of 2 – 6 volunteers on projects that typically last 12 – 15 weeks. In person meetings will take place throughout the project. (Available in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Bay Area)
Workshops and Events: Team up with a group of consultants in person to help a nonprofit address a challenge. (Available in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, and other select cities)