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Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofit s Step-by-Step Guide to Scoping, Securing, Managing, and Scaling Pro Bono Resources

ISBN: 978-1-118-14095-6
272 pages
September 2012, Jossey-Bass
Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofit s Step-by-Step Guide to Scoping, Securing, Managing, and Scaling Pro Bono Resources (1118140958) cover image
How to access the power and profitability of pro bono resources


Savvy nonprofits use strategic management, marketing, technology, leadership to be competitive. With strapped budgets, many nonprofits cannot afford to pay for these resources.  However, businesses are an often overlooked as an effective source of skilled professionals who can supply the needed skills. This book shares the acclaimed Taproot Foundation s pro bono best practices and shows nonprofit managers to apply them to their own unique challenges in a low-to-no-cost way.  The author offers keys to identifying opportunities for using pro bono sources, recruiting pro bono resources, and managing pro bono projects effectively.


  • Reveals how a nonprofit can partner with a global corporations to further their mission in an effective and low-cost manner
  • Aaron Hurst is the president and founder of the Taproot Foundation who pioneered a new field in community investment and continually breaks new ground through its signature, catalytic programs designed for the emerging global pro bono marketplace
  • Gives nonprofit managers and staff the keys to identifying opportunities for using pro bono resources

Taproot s Aaron Hurst offers a hands-on guide to managing and engaging pro bono resources directed at nonprofit organizations.


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Figures, Tables, Exhibits, and Worksheets ix

Preface xiii

Aaron Hurst

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Taproot Foundation xix

Introduction: Pro Bono 101 1

How to Use This Book 2

A Brief History of Pro Bono 4

Nonprofi t Pro Bono Use and Need Today 5

Making Pro Bono Work: Five Principles 10

Getting Started 14

Stage One: Scope Projects 17

Understanding Your Pro Bono Project Needs 20

Using a To-Do List to Identify Project Needs 21

Screening: Four Tests for Great Pro Bono Engagements 24

Scoping the Project and Building an Internal Team 31

Conducting a Pre-Mortem 40

Stage Two: Secure Resources 45

The World of Untapped Talent 47

Sources of Pro Bono 51

Identifying Potential Providers 78

Making an Ask 80

Typical Pro Bono Application 89

Stage Three: Manage Projects 95

Phase Zero: Preparing for Kickoff 100

Phase One: Kickoff 110

Phase Two: Discovery 119

Phase Three: Drafting 130

Phase Four: Delivery and Implementation 135

Phase Five: Evaluation and Celebration 138

Stage Four: Scale Projects 147

What Does It Mean to Be Powered by Pro Bono? 149

Level One: Beginner 154

Level Two: Practicing Pro Bono 155

Level Three: Organization-wide Adoption 160

Level Four: Powered by Pro Bono 182

Epilogue: Off into the Sunset . . . 195

Appendix A: Determining Your Multiyear Goals 199

Appendix B: Examples of Job Postings 201

Appendix C: Sample Liability Waiver 207

Appendix D: Example of a Submitted Application for Pro Bono Services 213

Appendix E: Sample Post-Mortem Template 217

Appendix F: Sample Post-Project Surveys 221

Appendix G: Identifying Your Core Competencies 229

Appendix H: Potential Pro Bono Projects 231

Notes 237

Index 244

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Aaron Hurst is the president of Taproot Foundation. He is one of the nation's most recognized social entrepreneurs, and a leading advocate of pro bono service. He is also the author of the inspirational Mommy and Daddy Do It Pro Bono.

Taproot Foundation, founded in 2001, leads the rapidly expanding pro bono marketplace. Taproot has served more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations through its award-winning Service Grant Program, designed pro bono programs for dozens of leading companies, and sparked key national pro bono initiatives such as Billion + Change.

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September 10, 2012
Powered by Pro Bono

This book shares the acclaimed Taproot Foundation’s pro bono best practices and shows nonprofit managers to apply them to their own unique challenges in a low-to-no-cost way.

See More
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