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Thursday, January 7, 2010

you, doing something good

As someone who has always worked for nonprofits, this is a cause near to my heart:

The Taproot Foundation has a new campaign encouraging people in pretty much any line of work to contribute their professional talents to nonprofit organizations.

People usually think of pro bono work as just being for lawyers, but there's no reason that you can't contribute your skills pro bono no matter what you do -- marketing, lobbying, HR, design, plumbing, whatever.

If you work in HR, you could offer your expertise to a nonprofit to advise them on how they could improve their hiring processes or retention rates, better leverage the skills of their current employees, or ensure their policies cover their bases legally. If you're a designer, you could help a nonprofit develop their brand or design materials. And so forth.

Taproot offers this advice: "If you're interested in doing pro bono work, you should first take a look at your professional strengths and think of a few specific tasks you would enjoy performing or deliverables you could offer. Then approach the manager or volunteer coordinator at a nonprofit you respect or already volunteer for and have a conversation about your talents and their specific needs to determine if there is a good match. The key to pro bono is the commitment of cultivated, professional skills instead of unskilled labor. Oftentimes, pro bono volunteerism can have the greatest long-term impact for the nonprofit."

As a bonus, you'll also be expanding your network at the same time you're improving your community. And if you're currently unemployed? Now you've got something on your resume and a bunch of new people who want to help you.

Learn more here and here.


DC Jobs said...

I definitely agree with your closing paragraph about the benefits of volunteering for the unemployed.

It's a great way to expand your pool of references as well as your network.