Armin Pialek is the first Fellow in a pilot joint venture between Taproot and the BMW Foundation. He is working to first bring pro bono to Germany, and then to replicate the model to engage Fellows to develop pro bono with Taproot and the BMW Foundation around the globe.
Another week of exciting pro bono adventures at Taproot. First, I participated in a Powered by Pro Bono workshop that introduced NGOs to the Taproot’s latest innovation. The Powered by Pro Bono book, due to be released in September, marks the cornerstone of the new program which will provide nonprofits with the tools necessary to maximize the impact of the professionals donating their time and skills. The book is a step-by-step guide through each stage of a pro bono engagement, from scoping the need to securing the pro bono resources, managing the project and scaling to a point where critical needs related to organizational infrastructure can be routinely met via pro bono services, allowing the nonprofit to maximize its impact. Attending the workshop, and having read most the book, it really became clear to me that one of the keys to a successful and impactful pro bono project is a strong process. This also speaks to the importance of the “blueprints” for each of Taproot’s Service Grants. They provide nonprofits and pro bono consultants alike with a comprehensive roadmap ensuring a high quality deliverable.
I also got to know to another exciting pro bono model in the USA. Public architecture institutionalizes pro bono in the architectural profession, or in other words, makes the architectural profession more socially aware. In the last ten years public architecture has helped nonprofits across the US to build or refurbish the space that they work in to make them more efficient. In addition, public architecture initiated a “The 1%” pledge, aimed at more than 15.000 architecture firms in the USA, encouraging them to donate at least 1% of their time for pro bono. More than 1000 have already pledged.
Similarly, Social Coding for Good has created a platform for the IT professionals to donate their programming skills pro bono. What’s unique in these examples is how the engagements help facilitate a pro bono market place in specific professions. A core piece of Taproot’s work actually builds on this model of focusing on developing a strong pro bono ethic outside of the legal realm. Imagine a world where pro bono is an integral part of any profession!!!