Take a very rainy San Francisco day and add a Taproot Foundation “ScopeAthon”. Mix in a dozen non-profits, about 20 pro bono consultants and some substantial business challenges. It adds up to be a great way to spend a morning in the city, at the very groovy Autodesk Gallery.
My assignment, along with another consultant was to work with the Lindsay Wildlife Museum Operations Director. The museum is a rescue center in the East Bay and is open to the public. It offers many educational events, and gives people an opportunity to connect with nature.
These Taproot events are challenging and intense. Consultants and non-profits are teamed up to work on strategic or tactical organizational challenge. It’s amazing what a small group can accomplish in just a few hours. Especially when laptops are shut, phones are silenced and the goal is clear. I think our “client” left with a workable plan and clear path forward.
It was especially gratifying to apply my business skills in helping Lindsay – a 60-year-old organization that rehabilitates animals affected by intense urban growth. A very small and hopefully useful contribution. I’m looking forward to working with the Museum again in the future.
Here's what amazes me most about working at these Taproot events. People who make their career in the non-profit world are either crazy or saints. Probably both. Kick me if I start to complain about how hard it is to get my job done, how the budget's too small, resources too thin or the competition too fierce.
I've been writing off & on about Pro Bono consulting and the Taproot Foundation. I'm so excited to have been "tapped" for a one day Skills Marathon in early August. Specifically I'll be working with a small team as the Principal Consultant. The organization we'll be working with is BAWSI - Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative. One of their programs, called "BAWSI Girls" is a free, weekly after-school program. Elementary school girls develop self-esteem and good health practices from role models they can admire and emulate - female athletes drawn from Bay Area college, university & high school teams all over the Bay Area. I'm just learning about this great organization - founded and managed by remarkable women. Excited!
Having worked for both start-up & public companies, my professional "makeover" includes social giving. A few months ago, I applied to become a Pro Bono consultant for non-profits through the Taproot Foundation. Of those who apply to work with Taproot, 45% are accepted. I've been "tapped" as a Strategy Consultant. After an orientation & training in SF last week, I've targeted a few projects on which I would like to contribute. The time commitment is 3-5 hours a week, so I guess my horses will get an extra day off now an then. With a focus on small-business consulting, and a little pro bono, I'm happy to say my career is no longer focused around corporate shareholder value. What's a Taproot? If you're looking for a way to give back by leveraging your professional skills, check out Taproot.
I am so excited! I received this email from Taproot Foundation yesterday. "Thank you so much for applying to donate your professional skills and MAKE IT MATTER. You’re a great fit for one or more of our volunteer roles and your next step is to attend one of our upcoming orientations." They have told me that I'm likely to be in a leadership position working with a bay area non-profit as part of their strategy practice.
Georganne Benesch is the principal of Tiger Team Marketing, CMO of Centerline Farm and a over zealous Yoga practitioner. With 25+ years in high-tech product marketing, she consults for start-ups, small businesses and technology companies.