New Resource: Pro Bono As a People Strategy

How companies can create shared value between CSR and HR
Oct 23, 2018 9:45 AM ET

Taproot has long made the case that a strong corporate pro bono program is a triple win—nonprofits receive the support they need, companies build deeper relationships with their communities, and employees have the opportunity to apply their skills in new and meaningful ways. While a good deal of evidence supports pro bono as a powerful social impact strategy, practitioners often struggle to articulate the business case for pro bono.

Through Taproot’s work developing pro bono programs across the corporate sector, we’ve learned that pro bono can help companies meet key HR objectives like attracting, retaining, and developing their employees. In this new resource, we explore how pro bono practitioners can align their pro bono efforts with their company’s HR strategy to create shared value across the company.

How can pro bono enhance a company’s HR strategy?
Many companies share a common set of HR objectives, though each might have a different way of approaching or prioritizing them depending on a variety of factors.

Pro bono can support four key areas:

  • Attracting Talent 
    Today’s job seekers want to find purpose in their work and are looking for ways to align their personal values with their day-to-day work.
  • Developing Talent 
    Members of today’s workforce highly value professional training and development as a job benefit.
  • Retaining and Promoting Talent
    A company’s employees are one of its most valuable assets and are critical to its ability to meet strategic goals, yet many companies struggle to retain talent and promote from within.
  • Diversity and Inclusion
    Companies are increasingly focused on establishing an inclusive workforce that values a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.

How can companies take advantage of the opportunity?
Although aligning pro bono with HR strategies is a relatively new venture, many pro bono practitioners have done so successfully. After interviewing several companies that are already working to create shared value, we culled a few of the key best practices that can help pro bono practitioners get in sync with their HR counterparts.

  • See how Adobe aligned with HR to help employees hone critical leadership skills and develop expertise.
  • Explore how Prudential Financial’s programs have flourished through finding Talent Management champions.
  • Discover how GSK’s focused recruitment process built broad investment as a key talent development strategy.
  • Learn how Deloitte’s stepup program integrates experiential learning into stretch opportunities.

Demonstrating shared value builds broader investment
We know that corporate pro bono is a powerful and effective talent strategy. By employing the best practices outlined in this resource, you can demonstrate the shared value of that impact to compel broader corporate investment and ownership of pro bono. Seize this opportunity to embed pro bono within your company and drive the corporate sector towards greater social impact.

This resource was developed with support from Prudential Financial, Inc.

Download Pro Bono as a People Strategy > 

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 6,450 social change organizations providing 1.6 million hours of work worth over $180 million in value. Taproot is located in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and is leading a network of global pro bono providers in over 30 countries around the world.

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