Last year, in my annual review, my boss asked about my plans for professional development. I had a list. One of the items was doing pro bono work. I had stumbled across the Taproot Foundation last fall while researching resources for a retirement planning conference we hosted. Their mission is, “to lead, mobilize and engage professionals in pro bono service that drives social change.”
While I do my share of volunteering, I haven’t tried anything that involves using my professional skills. The deal is that “pro bono consultants” sign on to a six-month project using their expertise to help a non-profit that needs the resource. They estimate about 100 hours of work – 3 to 5 hours each week. And would you believe that HR people are in demand?
My boss thought it was a great idea. I have been with the same company for 14 years – my entire career – and I could really use a reality check on the real world. Yes, I do realize that the Land of Non Profits is not quite the Real World. But it is close enough.
I applied, was accepted and attended the orientation session today. They are trying to up their game by increasing the number of projects this summer. Right now, they have about half the volunteers they need to staff them, so the facilitator begged us all to spread the word. The website specifies web/tech, marketing/creative services, strategic/financial and project managers. They work out of Chicago, Washington, LA, San Francisco and New York.
I have now completed my first assignment.