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A 'Flip' Chat With...Aaron Hurst, President and Founder, Taproot Foundation

March 11, 2011

(This is the fifteenth in our series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat, with Headwaters Foundation for Justice executive director Trista Harris.)

"The challenges nonprofit groups face today demand that we find a better way to insert business expertise into the nonprofit world," wrote Taproot Foundation president and founder Aaron Hurst in a Chronicle of Philanthropy opinion piece back in 2009. "If crafted well, an army of pro bono consultants can help nonprofit groups strengthen their own abilities to adapt so they can deal with constantly evolving social, economic, and environmental challenges...."

Indeed, as nonprofits -- like many foundations, corporations, and individuals -- struggle to recover from the Great Recession, working "smarter" and doing more with less has become the new mantra.

Fortunately, nonprofits and people interested in providing pro bono services can turn to the Taproot Foundation for advice and resources. Over the last ten years, Taproot -- which works in five metro areas to "strengthen nonprofits by engaging business professionals in service" -- has perfected its recipe for pro bono collaboration. The ingredients of that recipe include:

  1. service grants;
  2. advisory services;
  3. leadership resources; and
  4. advocacy

In our latest "Flip" chat, Hurst discusses the state of the pro bono industry, reflects on challenges his organization has faced over the last ten years, and offers some advice to folks looking to switch from the for-profit world to the nonprofit sector.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

(Total running time: 4 minutes, 46 seconds)

What do you think? Do you have an experience or advice related to pro bono work you can share? Is it something you'd recommend to others? And what advice would you give Aaron and his Taproot colleagues as they enter their second decade?

-- Regina Mahone

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