Continuing my world tour of pro bono I spoke to Alejandro and Eduardo of AED Costa Rica. They have thoroughly assessed the pro bono environment in Costa Rica for almost 2 years and are about to launch a national pro bono online platform. The platform is designed as a fully automated tool matching unskilled volunteers with nonprofits and social projects. In addition, a more manual tool will match skilled volunteers with nonprofits in need of their expertise. This specification best fits the Costa Rican pro bono environment that is heavily focused on unskilled hands-on volunteering whilst still introducing the concept and the tool to do skilled pro bono. In turn it has the potential to massively increase the impact that each volunteer can have.
From Eric, who is a committee member of the Pro Bono Lab in France, I heard about other pro bono service in the USA that I have not come across so far. The number and diversity of players in the American pro bono market is astonishing, showing a high degree of maturity of the US pro bono environment. Furthermore, he drew my attention to the concept of “Dollars for Doers”. In those programs, companies match the volunteer hours of their employees in a nonprofit with financial donation to that nonprofit. A great way of providing incentives for employees to do pro bono.
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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.