10 years ago, pro bono service was a niche field that wasn’t trusted by nonprofits and few professionals knew existed beyond the legal community. Last week, the 100 pioneers from around the globe and representing nearly every business profession descended on NYC for Taproot’s Global Pro Bono Summit, celebrating and advancing the progress of making pro bono the global language of social change and professional community engagement.
The Global Pro Bono Summit is a key part of Taproot’s new partnership with the BMW Foundation to gather leaders with a shared vision to make the talents and skills of the business community accessible to organizations working for our collective good. This year’s Summit included convening leaders from companies and consulting firms for our Corporate Day, sponsored by HP, as well as gathering leaders from NGO’s supporting pro bono from within the US and 13 additional countries around the world.
The four days focused on building the individual capacity of each of the attendees’s programs, but also on identifying collective efforts that will lead to the advancement of the field at large. The Summit this year was framed by the latest research in the field as well as the history of the pro bono movement.
From the Summit, seven action items emerged as areas for investment in the field. Taproot is committed to partnering with Summit attendees to help move the field forward on each of these over the next 12 months:
- HR Advocacy – Inspire the HR profession to engage in pro bono services and become champions for pro bono within companies as an HR strategy.
- Reach New Nonprofit Leaders -Train the next generation of nonprofit leaders to make pro bono a core strategy to achieve their missions.
- Collective Impact – Enable a collaborative of companies to apply the power of collective pro bono services to impact a single issue.
- Train Nonprofit Boards – Invest in training board members on their role in helping an organization scope, secure and management pro bono, because nonprofits that excel in pro bono do so in strong partnership with their boards.
- Online Pro Bono Marketplace – Invest in building out the online pro bono marketplace to reach more organizations and build the function to expertly triage and facilitate matches between companies and nonprofits.
- Develop Common Technology – Support the coordination of efforts to drive effective technology solutions that support the management of pro bono services and minimize redundancy.
- Develop Common Standards & Measurement- Support the development of some common measures for evaluating pro bono to make the case for our field and to help improve each of our programs.
We are also proud to announce the BMW Foundation’s pledge to partner with Taproot on the Global Pro Bono Summit for the next five years. The 2014 Global Pro Bono Summit will be held in San Francisco the week of February 24-27, 2014.