I don’t live in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or the San Francisco Bay Area. Can I still volunteer with Taproot?
Of course! Sign up for an account on Taproot Plus to volunteer virtually for projects or consultation sessions.
Can I use a Taproot Foundation project to build new skills?
While learning is part of every process, the goal of Taproot’s programs is to provide the highest quality support for nonprofits. Volunteers are expected to have at least 3 – 5 years of professional experience in a given area and should volunteer for opportunities that align with their expertise.
Why volunteer with Taproot Foundation?
Taproot has been leading the pro bono movement for more than 18 years. Our model has proven successful in engaging thousands of business professionals every year and supporting more than 7,000 nonprofits since 2001.
Where does Taproot Foundation get its funding?
We are a 501(c)3 organization with two key funding streams: grants from private and corporate foundations and revenue from consulting projects with companies and other organizations that want to learn about, support, or do pro bono service. Some companies and foundations sponsor pro bono services for their existing grantees. Other funders provide general operating support. We are also supported by associations, individuals, and our own volunteers.
Can I select the nonprofit I want to work with?
Absolutely! You can apply directly to projects and consultation sessions for nonprofits that align with your area of interest. A broad range of nonprofits attend our workshops and events, so while we do our best to appropriately match volunteers to nonprofits, we generally hope you’re open to working with new and varied organizations depending on attendance.
Will I be reimbursed for my travel or parking expense to attend in-person meetings? Is my volunteer time tax deductible?
Taproot cannot reimburse you for gas mileage, parking, or other related travel expenses for trainings and meetings. In certain cases, however, you may be able to deduct some of your out-of-pocket expenses related to your work with the Taproot Foundation. See IRS Publication 526 on Charitable Contributions for details. Please note that the tax code is complex and constantly changing, so you should always check with the IRS or an accountant to ensure you are taking the correct deductions. For example, the mileage rate for volunteer expenses is lower than the mileage rate for a Schedule C expense deduction.
Do people ever stay on to work with a nonprofit after a project is complete?
Yes! Many volunteers build such a strong connection with their nonprofit client that they continue working with them well beyond the completion of the project. We’ve also seen volunteers join their nonprofit client’s board of directors, staff, or longer-term volunteer teams.
Can I use the completed project in my professional portfolio?
Definitely! Many marketing and design volunteers include completed projects in their creative portfolio. We also encourage you to submit your finished projects for design awards. Other skilled volunteers also find that pro bono project descriptions help round out their resumes. Please be aware that ALL work executed on the project for the nonprofit client belongs to the client and that the client is not required to recognize the photographer, designer, etc. in the final product.
I’m already in Taproot’s network, but I haven’t volunteered in a while. What can I do to be active again?
Activate your profile on Taproot Plus using your existing credentials, and update your skills, your LinkedIn profile, and your portfolio sites.
I lost my sign-in information. What do I do?
Are there full-time employment opportunities with Taproot Foundation?
Taproot Foundation is often looking for talented individuals to join our team of dedicated employees. Check out our current openings.
What does a corporate pro bono program look like in action?
Taproot Advisory Services team designs and develops pro bono programs that meet our clients where they are. All of our program models are customizable, allowing companies to utilize the unique skillsets of their employee. A program might engage employees in a half-day consulting session or a full-day workshop that ends with the development of a deliverable. Or in some cases employees engage in multi-week strategy projects or long-term placements. We will work with you to determine the best option for your company depending on your business and social impact goals. To see examples of our programs, check out our most recent case studies.
What’s the business case for pro bono service?
One of the first steps to establishing a pro bono service initiative at your company is getting buy-in from key stakeholders. Luckily, the case for pro bono is well-documented. Not only can pro bono drive social impact, it’s also great for business. Pro bono service programs can help attract and develop talent, boost your company’s reputation, drive innovation, and much more. To get an in-depth look at how pro bono can help your business, check out our Business Value Flashcards.
How can pro bono develop talent at my company?
Our programs provide unparalleled professional development opportunities for employees by integrating pro bono into a company’s talent development strategy. We can help your company incorporate its learning and development goals into a pro bono program that develops employees in areas like client management, problem-solving, and collaboration. To see an example of how pro bono can be a powerful experiential learning opportunity, read this interview with talent development experts.
How do I launch a pro bono program at my company?
Get in touch! Whether you’re a corporate social responsibility professional, a talent development leader, or any other employee, we’d be happy to help you think through the best next steps to bring pro bono service to your company. We can share more about our services or introduce you to resources that will help put you on the right path.
How do I take my existing pro bono program to the next level?
No matter where you are in implementing your pro bono strategy, there is always an opportunity to take your impact further. We’d be happy to share our thoughts on how to expand or improve your program. Contact us for more information. Please also visit our Resources for helpful materials and tools.
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. Explore the Spectrum of Community Engagement.
What is pro bono?
Pro bono service goes far beyond the legal field. It is the donation of professional services (i.e., technology, human resources, architecture, marketing, strategy, legal) benefitting organizations working to improve society.
What are the benefits of sharing my skills pro bono?
When business professionals like you volunteer expertise to nonprofits, you are not only helping them accomplish a specific project, you are helping build their capacity to do good. Pro bono is a great way to flex your skills in new and exciting ways, learn from nonprofits about important issues affecting our communities, and even develop lasting friendships.