We took a look at the work happening in the field of corporate pro bono and pulled together our top 4 picks for what's trending in 2014. 

Any other trends you're picking up on or want to learn more about? Share your thoughts with us!


HP Honored with 2013 Impact Award at Powered by EF Awards


HP Receives Impact Award

 In December, Hewlett-Packard was honored with the 2013 Impact Award at the annual Powered by EF Awards. HP was recognized for its work advancing the pro bono movement through its partnership with the Taproot Foundation. 

"We are honored to receive the Impact Award. We discovered that the same passion, energy, and culture of innovation that make HP a successful company can also be used to make a profound and positive social impact in the world. With that in mind, we have worked with Taproot to design opportunities for HP's employees to contribute their professional expertise to help nonprofits and small businesses thrive.  

HP is grateful for Taproot's partnership in helping us design our pro bono opportunities in a way that is strategic for our business, valuable for our employees, and impactful for our community partners."

-- Caroline Barlerin

Senior Director of Corporate Affairs, HP

Trending in 2014:  
Top 4 Pro Bono Trends for the New Year

TREND #1: Leveraging a New LinkedIn Tool


You might have seen the recent exciting news from LinkedIn - the world's largest professional network is now making it easier to connect the needs of nonprofit organizations with the 82% of LinkedIn members who are interested in donating their skills through pro bono and board service. Here at Taproot we are proud to be part of bringing this great advancement to life, both as one of their "trusted providers" in the Volunteer Marketplace, but also in working together behind the scenes over the last two years to support the LinkedIn for Good team as they thoughtfully explored how to design this critical functionality. We are confident that this new development will help transform the way nonprofits and individual professionals can connect around pro bono and board service needs.


But what about our corporate partners who already run their own in-house pro bono programs - if you already support you nonprofit partners with pro bono services delivered by your own employees is this new tool relevant for you?


The answer is yes.  Here are 3 simple reasons why...


TREND #2: Building Deep Nonprofit Partnerships


Corporate partners are increasingly shifting to build long-term, strategic partnerships with nonprofits in issue areas that align with their corporate philanthropy goalsAdding pro bono to initiatives that support structure is a way to significantly deepen a company's potential impact in that area


As the CECP shared in its 2013 Giving in Numbers report, the number of companies focusing in on one program area has increased by 50% since 2007.  We've seen this through our work too, with examples like Hillshire Brands launching its pro bono pilot by partnering closely with Feeding America and its network of food banks.  The initiative focuses Hillshire talent squarely on an issue of concern for the company: ending domestic hunger. 


As corporations continue to build programs meant to have a lasting impact in the social sector, selecting strategic nonprofit partners with the potential for long-term partnership can maximize a company's impact.
TREND #3: Extending Done-in-a-Day Projects


In the last couple of years, done-in-a-day pro bono events have risen in popularity - and for good reason! One-day events allow a company to execute an impactful pro bono program with minimal time commitment. But more and more companies are asking: how can we build on the momentum and passion that a one-day event generates?


Here are two ways that Taproot has helped companies leverage done-in-a-day pro bono events into longer-term and higher impact programs:

  • Building a Foundation: Done-in-a-day can be a great starting point for volunteers, nonprofits, and internal stakeholders to launch into longer-term projects. Many day-long projects lead to innovative ideas for future projects and participants leave the event feeling excited about their new partnership and ready to re-engage.
  • Scaling the Done-in-a-Day Model: Companies can equip their employees to help play a lead role in planning and launching done-in-a-day events across the company. One way is to invite representatives from other regional offices to shadow the event planning and implementation process which can provide the needed buy-in and understanding to help organize their own events locally. 

These are just a few examples for how a done-in-a-day event can kickstart a more ambitious pro bono program. What can you do in 2014 to deepen your company's impact once your done-in-a-day event is over?

TREND #4: Going Global from the Get-Go


Companies getting the itch to "go global" with their pro bono programs is nothing new. In fact, a typical pattern is for companies to start with a local pilot pro bono program to test the waters, then gradually scale the program into several domestic markets, and then, after a year or two of effective programming, they tackle the next step: building a pro bono program that can be replicated internationally. We have seen and helped to facilitate this successful model for growth for several of our partners.


But now we're seeing a new trend forming: for a few ambitious companies, global pro bono programs are the new the starting point - not just the place to which they eventually hope to grow. Their thinking is this:  why only pilot locally when you're multi-national company?  If they're going global, they want to be global from the very beginning, building programs to launch in cities across their global footprint that reflect their company's culture and organizational design. And some companies are getting creative to make it happen, adding technology like virtual conferencing into the mix to make pro bono accessible to NGOs in even more remote areas. As more and more companies embrace a truly global frame of mind, we're sure to see more pro bono programs "go global from the get-go" in 2014.
The Taproot Foundation Appoints Liz Hamburg to President and CEO 

The Board of Directors of the Taproot Foundation is excited to announce the appointment of Liz Hamburg as the organization's second president and CEO, effective February 1, 2014. 


"I'm thrilled to be joining the Taproot Foundation," said Hamburg. "I have personally experienced the great joy and satisfaction of offering my professional services to nonprofits and have seen the meaningful effect that pro bono services can have on an organization working to drive social change. I'm so excited to find new and innovative ways to broaden Taproot's reach even further."



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