The 2016 Social & Community Investment Awards: PwC

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Type of Work: Pro Bono Client: The Taproot Foundation

The Taproot Foundation’s mission is to drive social change by leading, mobilizing, and engaging professionals in pro bono service and achieves their mission by matching professionals with non-profit need.

Taproot engages individual professionals and builds pro bono programs for Fortune 500 companies across the country and overseas. In light of its success, Taproot was seeking to expand its reach globally and catalyze further impact for numerous organizations, across multiple countries. It reached out to PwC to make that happen.

The PwC team built a global expansion strategy by performing a current state assessment of Taproot’s operations, identifying models of expansion in the non-profit space, and identifying key stakeholders to engage to support implementation and streamline expansion.

“The specific engagement was designed to maximize their global impact,” says Igor Belokrinitsky, a Principal in PwC’s Strategy&. “It really wanted to take its global impact to the next level. I think we’re the right partner for them because that’s what we do. We are a global firm with global capabilities. I think that made us uniquely qualified to do the work.”

The team exhibits direct collaboration between Strategy& and PwC Management Consulting, allowing cross-pollination of domain knowledge, skill sets, and culture.

“The work that Taproot asked us to do for them is very similar to work we’ve done with many other clients,” Christoph Dankert, Director in PwC’s Strategy& says. “I think it was a very natural fit for us on many levels. It was very similar to how we staff and how we go about a completing a commercial engagement. However, this is pro bono work and the overall mission of Taproot makes it more special, I think.”

And that was evident in the response PwC received when it put the work out there, initially. “When the engagement was offered to employees, the first responses began rolling in almost immediately, Belokrinitsky says. “There was a lot of demand and energy around this project, for sure. When they see an engagement like this, I think it’s compelling for our people. I’m very proud of our people who worked on this engagement. They went above and beyond what was required. You could really see the passion around this engagement.”

And that passion was evident in the amount of time and resources spent for Taproot. Belokrinitsky says if the firm had billed the project at full rate it would have been about a $500,000 engagement.

That commitment ripples through all pro bono and volunteer work PwC does. PwC staff volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours each year on various pro bono projects both locally and globally. “It really is who are as a firm,” Belokrinitsky says. “Our people are passionate about service.”

PwC supports and encourages its people to give back to the communities where they live and work. With important priorities but limited resources, non-profit organizations are always in need of skilled volunteers to support their mission to help address significant social issues. “Our employees are at the center of the pro bono work, and continually share the meaning it brings to them personally and professionally,” Dankert says.

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