One of the goals of the partnership between Taproot and the BMW Foundation is to design a program that can help to scale pro bono service to countries around the world. Developing the program we have realized that to start with it is more promising to approach only countries with a robust market environment. So far we have defined four criteria to evaluate this robustness:
- Firstly, pro bono service is only an effective model for capacity building in large urban areas.
- Secondly, a large enough creative class or service industry is inalienable to make relevant services available. This has been one of the prerequisites for the success of pro bono service in the US.
- Thirdly, a big and dynamically developing philanthropic sector needs to be in place to provide the resources necessary to execute a powerful service.
- Finally, policy and regulation as well as government play an important role. When they are not favorable it will be hard to establish a sustainable service. This is especially true for many developing and emerging economies where nonprofits sometimes operate outside a legal framework. This insight was shared with me by Ingrid, who is conducting a program evaluation for Huizeren . This Beijing based nonprofit has implemented Taproot’s Service Grant Model in China last year.
These criteria help to identify countries that promise to be most successful in implementing a sustainable and impactful pro bono service.
Lastly, I want to share a fascinating number about pro bono in the US. According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, more than 15 Billion USD of pro bono is delivered annually already. If this movement goes global it can really make it matter.
Ready to make the pro bono pledge? Learn how you can donate your skills and expertise to nonprofits in need.
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.