Finding potential sources for pro bono help can be a very difficult proposition. Besides intermediaries, most sources do not publicly list their pro bono offerings. You can’t just go to a website and expect to see a detailed guide of who does pro bono and how they do it.
This would seem to make locating pro bono assistance impossible but that is not so, according to Aaron Hurst, president of the Taproot Foundation in New York City. In his book “Powered By Pro Bono,” Hurst wrote there are four steps nonprofit managers should follow to find quality pro bono services. Those four steps are:
- Whom Do You Know? Take a look at your current list of funders and partners. Who among them would be most open to a pro bono partnership? If you can’t think of anybody who would be a good match, keep searching.
- Whom Does Your Board Know? Your board is one of the most powerful sources of leads for a nonprofit. Make sure to think beyond the board members and their employers to consider their professional networks.
- Where Else Can You Look? If steps one and two don’t leave you with a satisfying list of prospects, think about which local business and professional firms could be good prospects.
- Vet Your Prospects. Once you have found promising prospects, it’s time to vet them to find out which are more likely to turn into an actual source of pro bono support.