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Addressing Social Sector Needs Through Technology Pro Bono

Taproot Foundation and VMware release their newest nonprofit resource on the heels of the Global Pro Bono Summit

Published 05-14-19

Submitted by Taproot Foundation

The social sector continues to lag in the adoption and use of technology due in part to lack of funding and limited staff. How can pro bono service bridge the gap between the needs of the sector and available human and financial resources? On the heels of last week’s Global Pro Bono Summit, Taproot Foundation and VMware are releasing their latest research—a compilation of guides to Transforming Technology Pro Bono—in an effort to support nonprofit organizations in maximizing the impact technology pro bono can have on their mission.

“Technology can be a powerful tool for the social sector as we tackle critical issues facing our communities,” says Lindsay Firestone Gruber, Taproot Foundation’s President and CEO. “Pro bono technology support plays a vital role in ensuring that nonprofits successfully access and use technology in ways that truly transform how they meet the needs of those they serve.”

“At VMware, we share the belief with Taproot that technology pro bono can be a key capacity-building resource for the social sector,” notes Jessamine Chin, Director of VMware Foundation. “Through our collaboration on Transforming Technology Pro Bono, we intend to catalyze more effective and sustainable tech pro bono that addresses the needs of nonprofits.”

Taproot Foundation and VMware Foundation have worked together since 2017 to uncover the challenges facing nonprofits as they take on pro bono tech projects. In that time, the median technology budget for nonprofit organizations has more than doubled to 5.7 percent of an organization’s operating budget (according to NTEN). Yet organizations report not feeling confident that they have the staff or the skills they need to effectively use technology.

Transforming Technology Pro Bono is a practical guide for nonprofits and volunteers that breaks down some of the common barriers to successful tech pro bono projects. In this compilation, new research is combined with the previously released Solution Development Framework to provide a comprehensive approach infused with best practices from the technology sector.

Key highlights from this new compilation include:

  • Detailed guides to all four phases of the Solution Development Framework—Discover, Design, Implement, and Maintain.

  • A deeper dive into the Implement and Maintain phases, which covers the integration and regular evaluation of technology solutions.

  • All resources previously released, including a discovery assessment, job descriptions for the ideal technology volunteers, and more.

Download Transforming Technology Pro Bono here. 

Transforming Technology Pro Bono is supported by VMware Foundation and Dell Technologies.

About Taproot Foundation

Taproot Foundation, a national US nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with passionate, skilled volunteers who share 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 network of skilled volunteers has served 6,627 social change organizations providing 1.68 million hours of work worth over $193 million in value. Taproot is located in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles, and partnered to found a network of global pro bono providers in over 30 countries around the world.  @taprootfound


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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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