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Pro Bono Web Development For Social Enterprises and Non-Profits

Pro bono publico, widely known as “pro bono,” is a common practice of donating professional services at low- or no-cost to serve an organisation’s mission. The rise of pro bono has encouraged industry leaders across all sectors to set new standards on how their businesses should interact with the community. Pro bono service is an incredible valuable to non-profits and social enterprises.

When non-profits are able to spare their budgets, they can reinvest money directly into their causes to solve existing challenges. How can social enterprises and non-profits fully reap the benefits of pro bono programs and ensure a successful end-result? There are a few things you should keep in mind.

Mindful Partnering

It’s absolutely critical to choose the right partners when you first start a pro bono program. They should be accountable and supportive. Make sure that you are clear on what both sides are expecting, and what will happen once the partner is no longer available to you, such as after the completion of your software development or website.

Your developer should possess the requisite skills and experiences needed for the particular project at hand. Confirm if they can complete the project within your time frame. Also, keep an open line of communication in case any challenges come up along the way.

Finding Pro Bono Partners

You can start looking for pro bono assistance or volunteer offers through your local and national associations of non-profits or with organisations that you’re already familiar with. Alternatively, reach out to matchmakers that connect professionals with non-profits, like Taproot, Voolla, or Catchafire.

Other valuable networks that might be worth connecting with include:

  • TechSoup, a group who links charities with tech products, services, and learning resources to make informed decisions about technology.
  • Impact48, a group that organises “hackathon”-type events. Impact48 brings together local and interested technical communities to tackle a 48-hour challenge by using their skills to help a chosen charity or organisation.

Alternatives to Pro Bono

If you want an alternative to free or pro bono, it is worth looking at low-cost services or providers that offer charity discounts. Big corporations like Google and Microsoft provide non-profits free access to their tools. This can reduce IT costs and empower staff and volunteers to work together more effectively. On the other hand, be aware that you may actually be better off in the long run by paying for quality input into your own project.

Can you imagine if you have access to the same technology resources that big companies have? Surely there will be challenges inherent with pro bono work, but how you plan and tackle these obstacles will decide the final outcome. If done properly, this form of giving is a win-win for both your developer and your non-profit.

Interested in pro bono assistance? Here at HappyPorch, we are always excited about work that improves the world around us. Check out our services and pro bono page for more details on how we might be able to serve your mission with our web development expertise.

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About the author

Barry O'Kane

Barry is the founder of HappyPorch. With 20 years in the web development industry as a programmer and agency owner, he has a preternatural ability to decipher the systems and processes code that holds many teams back from achieving their goals. Partners say Barry gets to the root of issues quickly and makes it downright easy to deliver good work.    

While he's unbelievably grounded, it's not uncommon to find him sailing through the trees as he paraglides his way round the world.