So you’ve signed up—now you’re ready to find the right volunteer and get things done! But how does it all work? We’ve broken down how to use Taproot Plus posting your very first request step-by-step so you can set it up, find the right volunteer, and get back to making a difference as soon as possible.
Here’s how to use Taproot Plus to start your search for a volunteer!
Step One: Choose which type of pro bono collaboration you want to do—a short consultation Session or a full-scale Project.
- Sessions are 60-minute calls—they’re perfect if you’re feeling stuck or aren’t sure how to scope out the kind of Project you might need. They’re a great option if you’re brainstorming or need quick answers to specific questions.
- Projects can be long- or short-term efforts that you and your volunteer work on and complete together. They’re the right option if you’ve got an idea or challenge to meet that passes the four tests of good pro bono.
Pro (Bono) Tip: There is no limit to the number of requests you can post, so don’t feel like you have to ‘do it all’ in one Project! Each request is kind of like creating a unique job description, so get as specific as you can in your posts.
Step Two: Choose a category for your request from the drop-down menu.
On Taproot Plus we focus on sourcing support for finance, HR, marketing, strategy, and technology requests. Look through the list of available categories and pick the one that seems like the best fit.
Step Three: Tell us more about what you’re looking for!
This step is very straight-forward for Sessions, but don’t worry about creating a detailed scope of work for a longer-term Project either. Creating a scope of work with your volunteer is one of the first steps you’ll take together after you get started on a Project. No need to duplicate that work!
Writing descriptions is a lot easier with a little guidance, so here are a few of our top tips for creating one that will grab volunteers’ attention right away:
Explain what you’re hoping to accomplish through your Project
- Describe the activities, deliverables, or products you’re looking for, and identify any defined “chunks” of work that’ll you’ll accomplish together.
- Include any specific estimates you already have for the steps you’ll be taking. For example, if you know the number of interviews the volunteer will need to conduct for your HR assessment, share that number!
- Be concrete in your descriptions, and make sure to include the ultimate goal or final deliverable. The more specific, clear, and confident you can be in your request, the better the volunteer-recruitment process will go.
Create a compelling pitch to attract volunteers
- Show passion and excitement for your team’s work, and for the Project in particular! Sharing how the volunteer’s work will empower your mission is a great idea—emphasizing the impact a volunteer could have will help your Project stand out.
- Think about the volunteer’s perspective: what will their experience be like? Volunteers tend to appreciate (and apply for) Projects that show their time will be used efficiently and effectively.
- Remember to include a picture—believe it or not, photos can make a big difference in how much attention your request will get from volunteers. A landscape, high-resolution image that shares the spirit of your mission is best.
Describe the work you’ve done to prepare
- Explain how your team has prepared to make the most out of your work with the volunteer. That shows volunteers that you’re ready to get started.
- If you feel like you aren’t quite ready yet, that’s ok! Wanting to get more prepared is great reason to request a Session to get organized for the larger Project!
Pro (Bono) Tip: There is an option to request in-person or local volunteers only. This is handy to have in mind for the future when in-person service is safe for everyone involved!
Looking for a little more support requesting a common type of Taproot Plus Project?
We’ve made it even easier to get started! In the Taproot Plus Project request form, you’ll find a drop-down menu of common pro bono outcomes to choose from, including web design, HR assessment, HR coaching, and board recruitment. These scopes include best practices for describing your goals, the activities that will be in- and out-of-scope, the skills your volunteer ought to have, and what you’ve done to prepare for the project so far. If you use one, let us know—we’d love to hear how it worked for you!
Pro (Bono) Tip: If you’re ever looking for advice during this process (or any other process on Taproot Plus) reach out to us at the help desk! Our team will personally work with you find the next step you’re looking for – whether it’s something we can answer ourselves or a question for a specialist to answer in a Session, we’re here to help!
So what’s next?
Now that you’ve made your first post, feel free to create some more! There’s no limit to the number of Projects or Sessions you can have active on Taproot Plus at a time. So what’s next? That question is really up to you: what would your team work on next if you could have all the support you wanted?