I’m looking for someone who shares my interests in philanthropy, is adaptable, and will ultimately enhance my day-to-day life.
No, this isn’t an online dating profile. In fact, the new partnership between LinkedIn and the Taproot Foundation may feel like a matching service (connecting needs to corresponding assets, profile assessment, etc.), because it is! The new TaprootFoundation.org aligns business professionals interested in pursuing philanthropic goals with nonprofits in need of their assets.
I was lucky enough to get the scoop on this project through Taproot’s Aaron Hurst and Meg Garlinghouse of LinkedIn. (Full disclosure: Meg Garlinghouse sits on Network for Good’s Board.) Check out my interview with them below.
AM: What was the inception of this partnership?
MG: The mission of LinkedIn for Good is to connect talent with opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. As we developed our social impact strategy, the obvious solution was to work with the organization who has been the thought leader in this space – growing the pro bono marketplace from almost nothing to over $100mm.
AH: At the same time, Taproot was looking to expand beyond being a pro bono service provider to ensure all nonprofits have access to the marketing, technology and other critical services they need. LinkedIn contacted us to help inform their strategy and we quickly began to see that the stars were aligned. Our strategic intent was so directly aligned and synergistic. Neither one of us could fully realize our social impact vision without the other one.
MG: It is exactly the kind of partnership all companies should seek when working with nonprofit organizations. We both had knowledge and assets that could be leveraged by each other.
AH: It isn't about money or Photo-Op-Philanthropy. I can honestly say that I haven't come across another cross-sector partnership that is more strategic or has more potential for impact.
AM: How are you helping professionals expand the definition of pro bono service? Is LinkedIn the ideal platform?
AH: Most nonprofits think about pro bono service in very narrow terms. They immediately think of legal support and perhaps marketing, but when they see the list of 120 potential projects, they radically change their thinking about what is possible.
MG: [TaprootFoundation.org] then inspires and equips them to reach out to professionals in their network via LinkedIn who may have never thought of doing pro bono service but when approached by a specific and compelling ask from a nonprofit their admire, are very likely to get engaged.
Infographic via TaprootFoundation.org