FAQ

I've never worked with a nonprofit before. Is that okay?
Yes! As long as you have the right business expertise, you don’t need to have prior experience working for a nonprofit. In fact, you are not alone—many of our pro bono consultants haven’t worked outside the corporate sector. Most people find the experience to be invigorating and love the opportunity to use their skills in a new setting. Some of our skilled volunteers enjoy it so much, they continue working with their local nonprofits well after their Taproot Foundation project is completed.
 
When can I work on a Taproot project?
You could start as early as today! You can sign up for Taproot+ now, and start looking for a cause that sparks you and a project that needs your expertise.

We also have two types of in-person programs in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Taproot awards long-term team-based project six times per year, and we typically staff the pro bono consultant teams in February, April, June, August, October, and December for those projects.
 
Taproot also holds one-day events around once per quarter; contact us for specifics.
 
Do I need to fill out separate applications for Taproot+ and for working through a local Taproot office?
At this time, yes. You’ll register with one account that will allow you to access both our virtual programming (www.taprootplus.org) and local in-person programs (www.taprootfoundation.org). Depending on which platform you go through, you will be asked to supply additional information relevant to that program. You are 100% welcome to participate in BOTH virtual programs and in-person programs.
 
I don't live in Downtown Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, or New York City. Can I still volunteer with Taproot Foundation?
Of course! If you don’t live in one our four regions, we encourage you to sign up on Taproot+ to participate in our virtual projects.
 
Can I use a Taproot Foundation project to build new skills?
While learning is part of every process, the goal of these engagements is to provide support for nonprofits, so our skilled volunteers need to work within their existing professional skill set in order to deliver the highest quality service to the nonprofits. This means that we will only select you for roles that align with areas in which you have at least 3-5 years of professional experience.
 
Why is Taproot Foundation the place to do pro bono service?
Taproot has been leading the way for pro bono for more than 15 years. Our model has proven successful, engaging thousands of business professionals in pro bono every year and supporting more than 4,500 nonprofits since our start. It’s incredibly rewarding to use your expertise for social good and you’ll meet amazing people along the way!
 
Where does Taproot Foundation get its funding?
We are a 501(c)3 organization with two key funding streams: grants from private and corporate foundations and revenue from consulting projects with companies and other organizations that want to learn about, support, or do pro bono service. Some companies and foundations sponsor pro bono services for their existing grantees. Other funders provide general operating support. We are also supported by associations, individuals, and our own pro bono consultants. For more information about our sponsors, please visit the Partners Page.
 
Can I select the nonprofit I want to work with?
On Taproot+, yes! You can search all available projects and reach out to any nonprofit you want to work with. You’ll be able to speak with the nonprofit who will decide whether or not to work with you, so be sure to tell them why you think you’re a good fit.

For our local programming, we do our best to ensure that you have the opportunity to work with a nonprofit that fits your interest. Typically, either our staff or lead pro bono consultants (Project Leads) will reach out to you with potential projects, but you can also look for projects on your own after you’ve attended an orientation.
 
If I join a long-term, team project, who will be on my team? Can I select my teammates?
Each of our projects are scoped to address a specific nonprofit need. Teams are designed to make sure the team has all the necessary skills and expertise to accomplish the project. Our pro bono consultant leads (Project Leads) staff their teams according those roles so we aren’t able to offer the option for you to select specific people for these engagements. It’s a great way to meet new people!
 
Will I be reimbursed for my travel or parking expense to attend in-person meetings? Is my volunteer time tax deductible?
Unfortunately, Taproot cannot reimburse you for gas mileage, parking, or other related travel expenses for trainings and meetings. In certain cases however, you may be able to deduct some of your out-of-pocket expenses related to your work with the Taproot Foundation. See IRS Publication 526 on Charitable Contributions for details. Please note that the tax code is complex and constantly changing, so you should always check with the IRS or an accountant to ensure you are taking the correct deductions. For example, the mileage rate for volunteer expenses is lower than the mileage rate for a Schedule C expense deduction.
 
Do people ever stay on to work with a nonprofit after the Taproot Foundation project is completed?
Yes, many pro bono consultants build such a strong connection to their nonprofit client that they keep working with them well beyond the completion of the Taproot project! We’ve also seen our pro bono consultants and skilled volunteers join their nonprofit client’s board of directors, staff, or longer-term volunteer teams.
 
Can I use the completed project in my professional portfolio?
Definitely! Many marketing or web pro bono consultants include the finished product from their projects in their creative portfolio. We also encourage you to submit your finished projects for design awards. Other skilled volunteers also find that pro bono project descriptions help round out their resumes. Please be aware that ALL work executed on the project for the nonprofit client belongs to the client and that the client is not required to recognize the photographer, designer, etc. in the final product.
 
I’m already in Taproot’s network but I have an updated resume and I'm interested in being re-assessed. Who do I contact?
If it's been a couple years since you signed up and you feel your experience would be beneficial for a different project type or pro bono consultant role, please e-mail the recruitment team at pbc@taprootfoundation.org. Don’t forget to attach your updated resume.
 
Are there full-time employment opportunities with the Taproot Foundation?
The Taproot Foundation is often looking for talented individuals to join our team of dedicated employees. Check out our current openings.
 
I lost my sign-in information. What do I do?
Visit the sign-in page and click on the link that says, "Forgot your password?"