One hour. One call. No need to leave the house. How does that sound for a way to change the world?
Virtual pro bono programming has never been more crucial than it is right now—as quarantine keeps volunteers away from the on-site projects they would otherwise commit to and social distancing forces nonprofits to postpone or cancel events and programs. Virtual pro bono is a resource that remains available to them despite the isolation that COVID-19 has caused; in just an hour, your expertise and experience can become that game-changing resource for a nonprofit in need.
Taproot Plus Sessions give professionals like you the chance to help a nonprofit identify solutions or next steps for a single, specific challenge in just 60 minutes. During these one-on-one consultations volunteers help nonprofits brainstorm, troubleshoot, and diagnose challenges. These one-time volunteer opportunities are one of the quickest and most convenient types of pro bono—for both volunteers and the social good organizations in need of support!
Right now, nonprofits are looking for Sessions with volunteers who can help them with fundraising strategy, grant research/writing, digital marketing strategy, and remote IT infrastructure. You can see the most up-to-date and specific needs here.
Sessions are a great option for virtual volunteering on a tight schedule, but you don’t have to take our word for it! We asked a few volunteers who have completed multiple Sessions through Taproot Plus to share their tips and experiences–here’s what they had to say:
What compelled you to start volunteering your skills pro bono? Why do you choose to volunteer as a Taproot Plus Sessions consultant?
- “I am retired and living in a small city in New Mexico. This was a way of using my skills, which would be impossible trying to do 1:1 in person here. I find it fascinating to solve some of the unique issues nonprofits encounter.”
- “I wanted to update my portfolio while assisting nonprofits I was interested in.”
- “I’m not sure how I stumbled across Taproot Plus but it seemed an excellent fit.”
- “Sessions are just plain fun. I get to be the expert for an hour, and you can hear the client scribbling away to record your words of wisdom.”
What makes a Taproot Plus Session a convenient way to volunteer remotely or from home?
- “I can choose the possible times for a one-hour session to match my schedule.”
- “Because everything is ad hoc, I can usually talk to the client while taking a walk or driving my car depending upon the subject of the call. I can also wander the house or sit in our courtyard in the sun.”
Tell us about a Session you volunteered for: What did you help the nonprofit brainstorm or problem-solve?
- “[The nonprofit I was working with] needed information on how to categorize their income and expenses. I walked them through the accounting process and warned them of some of the pitfalls they should avoid. I offered some easy- to- understand suggestions on how to manage their restricted/designated funds (only for certain uses) and grant accounting. Not sexy but necessary.”
What’s a tip you’d give to a volunteer new to Sessions?
- “Manage the one-hour call. Sixty minutes is not a lot of time.”
- “Ask the nonprofit to describe their mission in sixty seconds…They need to spend time telling you about the problem(s).”
- “Take notes. You will be amazed how the hour flies and how often you will notice a note you took in the first five minutes at the end of the discussion.”
- “Be careful to clarify expectations with the nonprofit.”
It’s more important than ever that we step up to support the nonprofits working so hard to support our communities. Signing up is simple and you’ll be able to see opportunities to connect with nonprofits right away. With these expert-volunteer tips to get you started, you’ll be ready to jump right in!