HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRO BONO PARTNERSHIP
Did you know that every October during Pro Bono Week organizations from around the world volunteer their services to organizations with limited resources?
The term pro bono comes from the Latin, pro bono publico which means “for the public good.” As strategic leaders in the social profit sector, we’re always looking for ways to pitch in and give back.
While we’ve always had one charitable pro bono client, The Massey Centre for Women, last year, during pro bono week, we ‘ramped up’ our contributions and committed to doing 1 Good Deed a Day for some very small charities that would otherwise not be able to hire us. We learned so much from helping these great causes:
This year we’re trying something new
For Pro Bono Week 2017, we’re making a commitment to an ongoing partnership with nonprofit Futurpreneur Canada.
The power of partnership
This Imagine Canada article sums up the power of partnership perfectly. Although we want to support all of the great causes out there, we’re limited by time and resource availability. That’s why we chose to establish an ongoing strategic partnership. It helps us focus our efforts and have a more significant long-term impact. Thinking of doing some pro bono work? Here are our tips for evaluating a pro bono partnership:
1) Choose something you’re passionate about
Whether it’s paid or pro bono, it’s important to always deliver amazing work. Pro bono work represents your brand, so approach everything you do with positivity and enthusiasm. Excellence comes naturally when you’re passionate about what you’re doing.
Helping entrepreneurs start and grow their business leads to more jobs, creating a better economy for all Canadians. That’s a cause we can get behind! What cause, issue or topic are you passionate about?
2) Be strategic
Think about your organization’s purpose and goals, before you choose a partner, make sure they’re aligned. Many of the young entrepreneurs we’ve met through Futurpreneur are socially conscious and focused on making the world a better place. They use business as a force for good and that’s aligned with our purpose of creating a vibrant social profit sector capable of solving our generation’s greatest challenges. Knowing that much of the innovation we need to improve the world will come from the entrepreneurs that Futurpreneur supports has helped us commit to providing them with strategic marketing services during Pro Bono Week and beyond.
3) Make it great for everyone
Successful partnerships are mutually beneficial for all parties. They provide access to resources, connections, and opportunities that might not otherwise be available. They build expertise in areas that may need development, helping everyone involved gain something new. When seeking a pro bono partner, find a brand that needs help with an area you’re looking to expand. Partnering with Futurpreneur helps us provide entrepreneurs and startups with strategic marketing services that they might otherwise not have access to. Since most of our work is with charities and nonprofits, it’s a nice way to change things up and provide us with experience in new sectors. While we expand our collective experience and make new connections, our pro bono partner increases their capacity to advance their mission of helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. This makes it a win-win for everyone involved.
4) Think long-term
This isn’t about adding a cool project to your portfolio or winning a flash-in-the-pan award. It’s about building trust and fostering mutual collaboration. In fact, to do truly great work, you should invest in your partner’s success for the long-haul. Creating an ongoing partnership helps you provide better service over time as you get to know your partner’s organization on a deeper level. Instead of just being on the outside looking in, you become invested in seeing long-term results. You also have the opportunity to make a lasting impact, which is way more satisfying than an ‘in and out’ approach.
Through all of the busy, day-to-day tasks of running a business, it’s easy to lose sight of your pro-bono strategy. Celebrating Pro Bono Week is a great time to reflect on your contributions and think about how you can use your company’s collective expertise for the benefit of others. Have you done any pro bono work? We’d love to hear about your pro bono strategy. Send us a note.