Our core values are at the heart of everything we do at Taproot–they’re the inspiration behind every new project and the touchstone we need when it’s time to make decisions. These four values—pragmatic optimism, impact-oriented, playful professionalism, and progress—keep us grounded as a community and centered on our shared vision. They’re behind all the ways we ‘make it matter’ every day!
Here’s what several Roots (that’s what we call each other on the Taproot team) had to say about what our core values mean to them, and how they show up in our work together:
It takes audacity to try to change the world, and practical management to make those changes happen. Our work requires imagining what could be possible in the future and then taking a sensible and realistic approach to making those possibilities a reality.
“I love all of our values and I think each one is distinctly Taproot. They play off each other and give different meaning when combined. But pragmatic optimism is the most distinctly Taproot in my eyes. It is a part of our DNA. To be ambitious about an issue or a project but having the wherewithal to dream in a fashion that produces results. It gives us and the programs we administer the ability to do better, be better and grow. It’s right and important for Taproot as an ethos.”– President and CEO, Lindsay Firestone Gruber
Effective pro bono service always puts nonprofits’ needs first. All our programs, tools, and resources are designed to have a real, measurable impact for the nonprofits we serve.
“I think the best part of our impact-oriented work is that it is something you see with the people and groups we work with outside of Taproot Foundation. I know that across all our teams internally, everyone is performing their different roles in an impact-oriented way, but that’s something I see with our volunteers, nonprofits, and corporate and philanthropic partners as well. Different people, different teams, different organizations coming together with different skills, different experiences, and different focuses means that our collective work has the greatest impact possible.” – Special Assistant to the President and CEO and Special Projects Associate, Adam Bilow
“I like that Taproot is so impact-oriented because it makes my work feel worthwhile. I like being able to clearly connect my day-to-day work in Strategic Partnerships with our larger purpose.” – Strategic Partnerships Associate, Melissa McElroy
People have the greatest impact and are most fulfilled when they can be themselves at work. We celebrate what we have in common as well as our differences and encourage one another to share our own unique perspectives. All with enthusiasm and a sense of play!
“For me, playful professionalism is what drives Taproot and our pro bono programs—we infuse it into every part of our identity, and I think that translates to our skilled volunteers and nonprofits. Whether it’s a Speed Consulting event or a Taproot Plus project—that idea of playful professionalism helps us take on challenges with bright eyes and come together to overcome them. It creates an environment built on collaboration and thinking outside of the box, which is what the heart of pro bono is.” – Marketing and Communications Associate, Hannah Vona
Keep moving forward! We are always striving for progress—for ourselves and for the nonprofits we support. Working towards a goal together helps us develop, improve, and learn-as-we-grow, making all of us stronger advocates for the future.
“Progress means adapting to meet the moment. It means the best way to run this year’s pro bono program might not be the best way to run next year’s program. Like sharks, we will die if we don’t keep moving. ‘Progress’ is also a reminder that the best pro bono engagements don’t sustain social good organizations, they push them forward.” – Advisory Services Consultant, David Kaiser Jones
“I think Taproot’s focus on progress shows up in everything we do—it’s something you feel in conversations with our team. Roots have cultivated the skills to strive for excellence in our programming while staying humble about our work. Striking this balance helps keep our programs adaptable and means that nothing is too sacred to shift. I love working in an environment where it’s okay to fail one hundred times in pursuit of finding one thing that works to make our programs more effective or more accessible. There’s a commitment to progress externally by running pro bono programs that help organizations who are experts in their issue areas do their work more efficiently and with more resources, and there’s a commitment to internal progress. It’s a mission at Taproot, but it’s also a practice.” – Advisory Services Associate Consultant, Toria Isquith
Those are our core values – what are yours?
Values are the driving force behind our work, in everything from optimizing our virtual volunteering platform Taproot Plus to planning large-scale service programs to running free webinars on how to find (or become!) a volunteer.
What drives you to help others? Whether you’re a nonprofit professional looking for resources, a volunteer service coordinator at your office, or simply a person with skills you’d like to share, we’re here to connect you with an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Want to see our values in action? Learn more about how our work directly helps nonprofits looking for professional support.
Ready to get involved? Join our Taproot Plus community now—our services are always 100% free of charge to nonprofits and volunteers.