The end of the summer brought with it not only the warm weather us San Franciscans long for but also a special visitor from Seoul, South Korea. Ji Hyun Lee of Samsung Life Insurance came to Taproot’s San Francisco office for three weeks to learn about pro bono and more broadly, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Creating Shared Value (CSV) practices in the US.
Understanding Taproot’s position in the social impact sector by getting an overview of nonprofit’s needs laid the groundwork for her time in San Francisco. Thanks to the lovely members of Taproot’s Product, Program, and Advisory Services Teams, Ji Hyun Lee began her visit by learning the ins-and-outs of how Taproot makes business talent available to nonprofit organizations working to improve society.
Who can tell the story of the effects of pro bono better than a pro bono recipient? After a ten minute metro ride across the San Francisco Bay, we stopped off in Oakland to speak with a grant recipient of Taproot’s Service Grant Program. The Korean Community Center of the East Bay detailed the value of the Strategic Planning Prep grant they received through Taproot. Seeing the enthusiasm of the executive director as she recounted the process and end deliverable boosted our energy and lit the way for the subsequent meetings we had scheduled.
Various meetings, various perspectives
As the weeks progressed, Ji Huyn Lee meet with some of Taproot’s major partners including LinkedIn, Deloitte, and Genetech to give her a corporate perspective on pro bono and CSR practices both locally, nationally, and internationally. To offer a holistic view of pro bono and CSR responsibility programs, meetings were conducted with organizations, such as Business for Social Responsibilty (BSR) and Foundation Center, offering alternative methods of bridging the gap between the private and nonprofit sector.
Bringing a deep knowledge of CSV and concluding our schedule of meetings, we met with Foundation Strategy Group (FSG) where the discussion focused on using innovative solutions for businesses aiming to make a social impact while also bringing profit to a company. The meetings Ji Hyun attended covered the spectrum of pro bono, CSR, and CSV programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and the US.
Ji Hyun’s trip to San Francisco generated lots of discussions about the possibilities for a Samsung Life Insurance social impact program and connections to organizations working to improve society through cross-sector collaboration. Cultural exchanges added to the experience as both Ji Hyun and Roots (aka: Taproot Staff Members) discovered intriguing commonalities and fascinating differences between our cultures’ approach to creating social impact.
Ji Hyun came away from this visit with lots to think about and more to do. All of us here at Taproot are eager to see what Ji Hyun develops in South Korea and the contributions they will make toward the global pro bono movement.
A special thank you to the organizations who took the time to meet with us. Your insight added great depth and insight to Ji Hyun Lee’s visit.