Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Hurst’

Consider priorities and project type before enlisting pro bono

“I always have an intuitive sense of what my organization needs—but by unpacking my reasons, I’m better able to set priorities and determine what can be done pro bono, and what I need to pay for,” says Ellen Schneider, executive director with Active Voice.

 

Schneider is an active user of pro bono work and highlighted in Aaron Hurst’s book, “Powered by Pro Bono.” Stepping back and prioritizing what projects are suited for pro bono work is an important preliminary step. That’s why when we reviewed Hurst’s book, we asked him about what projects are especially a good fit. Here’s what Hurst had to say:

 

CausePlanet: One of your profiled executive directors is quoted for finding success with focusing his pro bono professionals on tactical versus strategic projects. Is this a common strategy or simply consistent with behavior along your beginner-to-expert continuum?

 

Hurst: As with any consulting work, the less providers need to know about the sector or your organization, the easier it will be for them to create a deliverable that’s useful to you. This all comes down to the scope of work–the more tactical projects simply require less background–which is not to say that strategic projects can’t be successful, but it’s a good starting point.

 

CausePlanet: Is there an ideal type of project with which to experiment, using your four steps for pro bono engagement?

 

Hurst: Something simple is always best. To really see the value though, I would recommend a project with a rewarding and visual result, like a brochure or an annual report. Each is typically straightforward, and nonprofits capitalize on both the added bandwidth from the pro bono consultants as well as their design competencies, giving them a tangible result to show off after the fact.

 

CausePlanet members: Join us for a live conversation with author Aaron Hurst on Thursday, January 31 and get your pro bono questions answered.

 

By Denise McMahan

 

See also:

 

Leveraging Good Will by Alice Korngold

Powered by Pro Bono by Aaron Hurst

Stretch your marketing dollars by Mark Howard

Other blogs about pro bono services

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Look at priorities and project types before enlisting donated services

“I always have an intuitive sense of what my organization needs—but by unpacking my reasons, I’m better able to set priorities and determine what can be done pro bono, and what I need to pay for,” says Ellen Schneider, executive director with Active Voice.

Schneider is an active user of pro bono work and highlighted in Aaron Hurst’s book, “Powered by Pro Bono.” Stepping back and prioritizing what projects are suited for pro bono work is an important preliminary step. That’s why when we reviewed Hurst’s book, we asked him about what projects are especially a good fit. Here’s what Hurst had to say:

CausePlanet: One of your profiled executive directors is quoted for finding success with focusing his pro bono professionals on tactical versus strategic projects. Is this a common strategy or simply consistent with behavior along your beginner-to-expert continuum?

Hurst: As with any consulting work, the less providers need to know about the sector or your organization, the easier it will be for them to create a deliverable that’s useful to you. This all comes down to the scope of work–the more tactical projects simply require less background–which is not to say that strategic projects can’t be successful, but it’s a good starting point.

CausePlanet: Is there an ideal type of project with which to experiment, using your four steps for pro bono engagement?

Hurst: Something simple is always best. To really see the value though, I would recommend a project with a rewarding and visual result, like a brochure or an annual report. Each is typically straightforward, and nonprofits capitalize on both the added bandwidth from the pro bono consultants as well as their design competencies, giving them a tangible result to show off after the fact.

CausePlanet members: Join us for a live conversation with author and founder of Taproot Foundation, Aaron Hurst, on Thursday, January 31 and get your pro bono questions answered.

See also:

Leveraging Good Will

Powered by Pro Bono

Stretch your marketing dollars

Leave a reply

Leverage Hurst’s retooled pro bono partnerships

If you’ve been stung by a past pro bono partnership, you’re not alone. Powered by Pro Bono author Aaron Hurst has seen both the immense potential in pro bono services and the underwhelming outcomes nonprofits experience. These observations prompted Hurst to launch a movement through his Taproot Foundation. The goal? Reinvent how nonprofits go about engaging pro bono support. His book prescribes organizations follow his four stage process that’s been successfully tested with hundreds of pro bono partnerships.

We’re pleased to introduce our Page to Practice™ book feature of Powered by Pro Bono by Aaron Hurst, President and Founder of the Taproot Foundation. For the last 10 years, the Taproot Foundation has championed pro bono services throughout major communities in America with the goal of nonprofits leveraging millions of dollars in low-to-no-cost services that outpace philanthropic results.

One of the proven principles is to reach business professionals early in their careers. By doing so, they are instilled with an expectation of pro bono service for a lifetime. Consequently, an increase in the supply of donated expertise is available to the nonprofit sector. Thanks to this strategy and others explained in Hurst’s book, pro bono is becoming the norm in our society.

According to Hurst, 20 of the top 25 MBA programs in the country offer pro bono services. Additionally, the Foundation’s recent White House-adopted campaign, “A Billion + Change,” generated nearly two billion dollars in corporate pro bono service pledges. If you apply Hurst’s recommended framework, you can clearly benefit from this new talent strategy long-term. Join me in our author interview with Aaron when we ask about his views on pro bono work as well as the most common mistake to avoid.

CausePlanet: Thank you for this tremendous book and a great “hands-on guide” for revitalizing results-oriented pro bono partnerships. How does Taproot Foundation’s view of pro bono differ from what we’ve experienced in the past?

Hurst: Taproot dedicated most of its early years to making sure pro bono service could be provided in a reliable way. It’s definitely been a problem in the past, as evidenced by decades of one-off, inconsistent pro bono service. When we started up, nonprofits were reluctant to buy in, and we would hear nonprofit leaders voice their attitudes toward pro bono with gems like “you get what you pay for” or “the gift that keeps on taking.”

At the stage we’re at today, we have provided over 1,500 pro bono projects to nonprofits and have established best practices for the design and management process. We have a successful completion rate of over 95 percent, and these best practices are what we’ve tried to communicate in Powered by Pro Bono.

CausePlanet: What is the most common mistake nonprofit leaders make when engaging in a pro bono arrangement?

Hurst: Not treating it like a paid engagement. In a standard consulting engagement, clients will clearly define their need and make sure they’ve got the right team for the job. Nonprofit leaders are often too quick to say thank you before taking the time to evaluate. It’s important to check in regularly, hold the team accountable for content and deadlines, and give and receive feedback.

Watch for more interview excerpts with Aaron Hurst in next week’s blog post. For the complete interview and book synopsis, purchase our Page to Practice summary at the summary store or subscribe to our library of recommended reading. You can purchase the book, Powered by Pro Bono, at www.wiley.comApply for a service grant with the Taproot Foundation and launch your own pro bono partnership.

See also: Leveraging Good Will by Alice Korngold

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