Giving Nonprofits What They Want

How Taproot considers user experience across its programs
Sep 13, 2017 3:30 PM ET

You’ve probably read a restaurant review on Yelp. How many comments are about the food? About the host’s reception? About the attentiveness of the waiter? I used to just read the food reviews and not care too much about the others, but it’s the combination of all of these factors that create my restaurant experience. The food can be outstanding, but if the host made me wait 2 hours to get it and the waiter spilled it on me, I’m probably not having a nice dinner out.

This restaurant analogy is my over-simplified way to think of user experience. But I do agree that user experience “encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

So how do you create an outstanding user-experience? Taproot knows that pro bono service is only successful if you end up with satisfied nonprofit recipients and volunteers. But the end deliverable is only one part of the “pro bono experience.” In Taproot’s effort to provide the highest UX that we can to both our nonprofit partners and talented consultants, we've recently launched a new program and considered how nonprofits engage with all of our offerings.

Here are the mantras that guided our decisions:

Give the customer what they want
Nonprofits may serve similar missions, but each is a unique organization with unique contexts, goals, resources, and needs. To ensure that our consultants provide a solution that works for a particular organization, Taproot now offers fully-customized projects to address a nonprofit’s most pressing infrastructure challenge. With Taproot’s consultative process, and our pro bono consultant’s responsive approach, we ensure that every nonprofit receives a tailor-made solution that works for them.

Go beyond expectations
“It’s not the destination but the journey.” Taproot focuses on high-quality interactions and service touch-points to ensure that the nonprofit and consultant have an enjoyable and effective journey. We’re professional, quick, and effective. Providing outstanding, client-specific service isn’t new for us, but rather a conscious decision and something we continually strive for. Taproot team members work hard to make sure every nonprofit and volunteer are heard, supported, and guided to success.

Make it muss and fuss-free
Quick, easy, and a joy to use. For our nonprofit partners we offer Taproot+, an on-demand, online platform that connects nonprofits with skilled volunteers for 4-6 week engagements. Creating a profile and project application is as easy as signing up for (though maybe not as personal). For our skilled volunteers, we’ve simplified the application and made it easier to find opportunities in their geographic areas. With these changes, we can better help partners engage in a seamless and succinct pro bono experience.

UX isn’t just for the software industry, it’s for all industries who serve an end-user. Our stakeholders—nonprofits and consultants—deserve the best service, product, and organization we can offer. Taproot sees the time, energy, and passion nonprofits and consultants put into their pro bono experiences every day. We hope these adaptations empower all of our partners as we continue to strengthen the social sector.

Have questions about how our programs work? Contact us to learn more about how your nonprofit can find support today. 

About the Taproot Foundation
Taproot Foundation, a U.S. based nonprofit, connects nonprofits and social change organizations with passionate, skilled volunteers who share their expertise pro bono. Taproot is creating a world where organizations dedicated to social change have full access—through pro bono service—to the marketing, strategy, HR, and IT resources they need to be most effective. Since 2001, Taproot’s skilled volunteers have served 4,600 social change organizations providing 1.5 million hours of work worth over $160 million in value. Taproot is located in New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago and is leading a network of global pro bono providers in over 30 countries around the world. @taprootfound