Taproot Foundation Announces Winners of Taproot’s MAKE IT MATTER Challenge

Taproot Foundation Announces Winners of Taproot’s MAKE IT MATTER Challenge

Panel of judges, including LinkedIn executive chairman and co-founder Reid Hoffman, evaluated four finalist ideas, chose two to connect thousands of nonprofits to quality pro bono professional resources
Monday, September 8, 2014 - 8:25pm


CONTENT: Press Release

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF., September 8, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Today, Taproot Foundation announced two winners of Taproot’s MAKE IT MATTER Challenge, an innovation challenge launched earlier this summer aimed at securing ideas to connect thousands of nonprofits to quality pro bono resources.

Four finalists selected from more than 150 entries presented their ideas on Friday, Sept 5 at LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters to a panel of five esteemed judges, including LinkedIn’s executive chairman and co-founder Reid Hoffman and Taproot President and CEO Liz Hamburg. The two winning teams were:

  • The Pro Bono Challenge Grant (Karen McCord)
    • What if a nonprofit could get a critical pro bono project AND funding to support their organization? With a Pro Bono Challenge Grant, foundation will encourage nonprofits to use more pro bono to increase the capacity of their organization.
  • Bona Fide Consulting Corps (Robert Cunningham, Heeyeon Park, and Joshua Winata)
    • Many nonprofits want to use pro bono, but good pro bono requires an investment of staff time, and many nonprofits aren’t sure where to start. A fellow in the Bona Fide Consulting Corps would work alongside nonprofit employees to help assess organizational need and plug in pro bono resources where the organization can best use them.

The challenge, sponsored by LinkedIn and personally by Hoffman, awarded $10,000 to each winning team and an additional $5,000 to donate to a nonprofit of each team’s choice.

"Taproot is a great leader in the field of pro bono, and The Make it Matter Challenge itself demonstrates the potential for professional skilled volunteering,” said Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn executive chairman and co-founder. "We were honored by the number of people who participated. From proposals for deploying technology in a scalable way to drive social change, to managerial improvements and ideas for increasing connectivity in the networked world, in fact, all of the presenting teams were winners.”

Taproot Foundation President and CEO Liz Hamburg added, “All four of the finalists had amazing ideas to connect more nonprofits to pro bono. While it was hard to choose, each of our two winning teams showed the greatest potential to scale those connections and ensure the pro bono that happens is truly high quality. We’re energized by all of the great thinking, creativity, and innovative ideas that have the potential for massive impact.”

Since September 2013, more than two million LinkedIn members have indicated their interest in giving their time and talent a nonprofit. As a further sign of the growing drive to do pro bono, 82% of surveyed LinkedIn members said they want to volunteer their time and skills.

Meanwhile, Taproot has found that 92% of nonprofits want more, high-quality pro bono in areas such as marketing, IT, and HR. The core need now is to enable more nonprofits to engage those professionals in service.

The judges determined the two winning entries would best fill that need and be able to connect high-performing nonprofits to an exceptional market of engaged and motivated professionals willing to provide pro bono services.

The presiding judges were:

For more information about the Challenge, visit: http://www.taprootfoundation.org/support-probono/make-it-matter-challenge

About Taproot Foundation

Since 2001, Taproot Foundation has proven that pro bono service is a viable and reliable tool for strengthening nonprofit organizations. Today, Taproot continues to be a national leader and seeks to build a pro bono marketplace that, like philanthropy, is large, accessible, professional and transparent. By taking lessons learned from our award-winning Service Grant Program and applying them to our innovative new program areas, we work to stimulate the supply of pro bono resources through our corporate Advisory Services practice, as well as demand for these services by giving nonprofits the tools and training that sets them up for successful pro bono engagements. Our work has evolved to include thought leadership and international field-building, convening global leaders in the social sector to guide the design and direction of the pro bono movement while focusing on infusing a pro bono ethic into business professions, professional schools, companies and nonprofits in communities across the country and around the world. Visit www.taprootfoundation.org.

About Pro Bono Service

Pro bono—short for pro bono publico,"for the public good”—refers to professional services delivered without expectation of a fee to organizations serving the social good. It is both a form of support for community organizations as well as an increasingly core part of the ethic of business professionals from design to HR and technology, who believe that high-quality professional services are too important to only be available to those who can afford them.


Media Contact:

Adam Ukman

Taproot Foundation

Ph: 312-623-4265


Website: www.taprootfoundation.org