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Transforming Technology Pro Bono: New Tool for Nonprofits Released by Taproot Foundation and VMware Foundation

Framework guides nonprofits as they build technology capacity using pro bono tech experts

Published 05-10-17

Submitted by Taproot Foundation

The median technology budget of nonprofits is less than 2% of each organization’s total operating budget, and most nonprofits are not confident that they have enough skilled staff or training to effectively use technology, according to NTEN’s 9th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Report. This is in stark comparison with the ubiquitous adoption and use of technology in the for-profit sector. With the goal of bridging this technology divide, the Taproot Foundation, in collaboration with VMware Foundation, released a new nonprofit-focused tool entitled Transforming Technology Pro Bono at Taproot’s annual U.S. Pro Bono Summit on April 26.

“We know just how important a need technology is for nonprofits and that many nonprofits don’t have the resources or the know-how to access that expertise,” says Liz Hamburg, Taproot Foundation President & CEO. “We hope this tool can help social change organizations tackle big challenges with the help of pro bono tech experts.”

“VMware’s culture of service empowers our people to be active in the global community. Through this resource, we hope to inspire VMware people to contribute their Service Learning time and talents to help bridge the digital divide,” says Jessamine Chin, Director of the VMware Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with Taproot to advance the conversation around technology pro bono.”

Transforming Technology Pro Bono was designed to address technology challenges by introducing a practical approach to break down some of the common barriers to successful technology pro bono projects and by presenting a framework and assessment, drawn from best practices in the technology industry, that can help nonprofits build capacity with pro bono technology talent.

Transforming Technology Pro Bono: A Practical Approach to Engaging Technology Talent for Nonprofit Capacity Building content includes:

  • The Solution Development Framework, inspired by the Systems Development Life Cycle approach commonly used in the technology sector to solve business problems.

  • The Discovery Assessment, designed to help nonprofits uncover opportunities before diving into a specific project.

  • Clear guidance for nonprofits and technology volunteers on using these approaches, including questions to ask, recommendations on volunteer skillsets to seek out, and additional resources available. 

Download Transforming Technology Pro Bono here.

Transforming Technology Pro Bono is offered as part of Taproot’s initiative to support nonprofits in solving critical social issues by more strategically using technology pro bono. Learn more about Taproot’s initiatives here.

About the Taproot Foundation
Taproot Foundation, a national nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with skilled volunteers who provide their expertise pro bono. Taproot is creating a world where organizations dedicated to social change have full access—through pro bono service—to the marketing, strategy, HR, and IT resources they need to be most effective. Since 2001, Taproot’s skilled volunteers have served 4,000 social change organizations providing 1.4 million hours of work worth over $150 million in value. Taproot is located in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles and is leading a network of global pro bono providers in over 23 countries around the world.

About the VMware Foundation
The VMware Foundation exists to provide a platform to amplify the contributions of VMware people to their causes of choice, contributing to VMware's collective impact in the world. Knowing that we learn best by doing, at the heart of VMware’s approach to giving is Service Learning. By integrating reflection with meaningful community service, Service Learning helps enrich the volunteer experience, encourages a learning mindset, and builds a culture of service that extends beyond our “day-jobs” to lifelong civic engagement. VMware was recognized by Great Place to Work and Fortune as one of 2017 Best Workplaces for Giving Back, and in 2016, 85% of VMware people gave back to the global community. 

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Taproot Foundation

Taproot Foundation

The Taproot Foundation is the provider of pro bono services to the nonprofit sector. It works to engage the country's millions of business professionals in pro bono service, building the infrastructure of organizations we rely on to strengthen and support our communities. Their pro bono model leverages the best practices of leading professional services companies to deliver reliable and quality marketing, human resources and technology services using corporate employees. Since 2002, the Taproot Foundation has recruited over 3,500 business professionals to awarded over $12 million in pro bono services to nonprofits in New York, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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