Taproot has been a wonderful experience for me! I first got involved in the middle of a project in LA when I first became unemployed and Alicia Keysor, SPHR (who was already on the project) was so very helpful, guiding me in understanding the flow. Last fall, I was assigned as an AD for a project with a well deserving organization assisting victims of domestic violence and I feel so lucky! The organization and the employees & volunteers working for the organization, as well as the team I'm working with through Taproot, Alicia Keysor, SPHR, Brian Hasegawa, Kelly Basoco, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and Erika Whitaker Gibson have truly made the project so rewarding! If you need any information or would like to further discuss volunteering with Taproot, please contact me anytime!
I've personally volunteered for four Taproot projects and had a great time! The good thing about working on Taproot projects is that there are a variety of roles in which you can serve. On one project I served as the web developer and the next project I served as graphic designer. Next time I will probably try a different role. The time commitment is great as well. There were a total of 2-3 in-person meetings. Our team also held weekly calls. The calls typically lasted about 15-30 mins. If there were times you couldn't make it, the team understood. I will continue to volunteer. I've made a ton of good friends and contacts from Taproot as well as within the organizations we serve.
My very first (and only, really, but more on this later) experience as a volunteer with Taproot was when I was brought on to replace another consultant who abruptly quit halfway into their project without getting anything done. I had to work double time to meet the deadlines, which weren't extended for me. After it was finished, ahead of schedule and to rave reviews by the client, I was invited to a new project, which I wanted to do to see what I could pull off if given a reasonable schedule this time around.
After the initial kickoff meeting for the new project, however, I was dismissed from the team because the account director (who was "in between jobs") thought my every-weekday-afternoon-and-evenings plus all-day-weekends availability "wasn't flexible enough." She wanted her team members available anytime on weekday mornings as well. So, being (apparently) the only member who couldn't because I worked a day job, I was removed during a private telephone conversation a few minutes after the kickoff meeting ended. For readers unfamiliar with the Taproot process, a kickoff meeting is the very first time project team members meet and introduce themselves before actual planning and work on the project begins. So I was kicked to the curb before I ever got the chance to prove that I could do the work and meet the deadlines.
So who cares, one might say, just find another project. Which brings me to the second problem.
New opportunities (usually 2-4) are posted each quarter, but each time I have seen a project that looked interesting and sent a message to the account director expressing my interest, I have been told that the position was already filled, usually by a consultant the director has worked with before. As a result, in the past year and a half of being a registered volunteer consultant with Taproot, I have worked on exactly one project, and only because somebody already on that project dropped out. With such a shortage of opportunities available and far too many consultants vying for them, I still see Taproot continuing to advertise for and recruit more volunteers, with my skillset, on my local Volunteermatch and Idealist sites.
It really ought to be against the code of conduct to remove a team member due to work commitments, as long as that team member is doing the job they signed up for and is keeping up with deadlines. To be removed from a team before work on a project has even been planned out, let alone started, is unfair and unprofessional, especially when it is so difficult to get onto a team in the first place. I have nothing against unemployed or retired volunteers who have all the time in the world, but people who hold full time jobs and still make the time to volunteer ought to be treated with a little more courtesy and respect than I was.
I signed up with the reasonable (I believe) expectation that volunteers' time and skills would be appreciated and respected. On the contrary, my experience at Taproot has been demeaning and humiliating.
I have had nothing but positive experiences with Taproot Foundation - with this being my 3rd. I have worked with great nonprofits, networked with some of the best of the best in DC (where I volunteer) and even made quite a few friends along the way. The resources are there to guide you along the way and the staff are there to support, problem solve & encourage you along the way. I look at my city and my own life's purpose in a new way. I tell all my friends personally and professionally about it and quite a few have signed up. Wouldn't volunteer anywhere else.
After having been on 3 projects for Taproot I can honestly say, I would never work with this organization again. Having seen a project go thru 8 web developers and then another project that went thru 3 you would think that at some point they are not going to have any talent left. They need to review their interaction with their volunteers as I dont think that I have ever experienced the abuse that some of their office staff can dish out.
Taproot is one of those organizations that just makes you smile. From the initial orientation classes to completing your first ever project, the professionalism and passion of all concerned make for a satisfying experience. I initially was attracted to Taproot after the death of a neighbor who's community involvement was quite frankly, humbling. So searching for some way to 'give back' using my marketing experience, I signed up as an account director. That was 18 months ago and in that time I have completed 2 projects. But the real pleasure is the work with the non-profit. Having lived in the corporate world for decades, the non-profit sector was something new to challenge myself with. Boy, what an eye-opener! The dedication that exists at the grass roots community level is simply staggering - especially when you consider the lack of resources .. miracles it seems do happen, and all on your doorstep .. and that's where you come in. Get involved with Taproot and you'll really create something worthwhile .. and it'll put that smile back on your face!
The Taproot Foundation has one of the best business models I have ever seen in a non-profit. Taproot has an extemely well organized structure to deliver marketing support services to other non-profits. The staff is top notch, the volunteer tools are superb and professional and the impact of the organization's work is significant.
The Taproot Foundation has one of the best business models I have ever seen for a non-profit organization and it does great work on behalf of many many non profit enterprises. Taproot is well organized, has top notch staff and from what I can tell has made a significant impact in its field. I have been a volunteer since the beginning of this year and am very pleased I did so.