28. 10. 2016 Pontis Foundation

Eight examples of successful cooperation between the non-profit and business sectors

We looked for examples of successful pro bono cooperation. Read on and find out who won the wild card for the 2017 Pro Bono Marathon.

Combine the excellent projects of non-profit organizations with the expertise of professionals and great things will happen, even in areas where projects may be struggling. We present interesting examples of successful pro bono cooperation and thus bring to a close the yearly Global Pro Bono Week. This is the third time the Pontis Foundation has attended this event, this year alongside fifty-three other organizations. Take inspiration from the following examples and read on to find out who won the wild card for the 2017 Pro Bono Marathon.

Online mentoring for children from Roma settlements

ETP Slovakia & Istropolitana Ogilvy

In June our non-profit organization (ETP Slovakia), which, among other things, deals with education in Roma settlements, attended the Pro Bono Marathon in Bratislava. We cooperated with professionals from the Istropolitana Ogilvy advertising agency and presented our work to them. They took a particular interest in our Mentor Programme and came up with a great idea to extend it through online mentoring.

They prepared a draft for a catchy campaign in just one day and came up with “Capable Children”, because – as we told them – our children are really capable human beings. The main objective of the campaign was to actively engage the public in providing a better future for Roma children from settlements, thus indirectly making a better future for us all. Since then we have been mostly reaching out to well-known personalities who are looked up to by society on the recommendation of the agency.

The cooperation with Istropolitana Ogilvy in the Pro Bono Marathon was excellent. They combined our concept, which was supported with field experience, with their creativity and marketing expertise. The agency also offered a helping hand even after the Pro Bono Marathon ended, and they are still selflessly helping us and providing advice.

The “Capable Children” project has had a promising start; we are currently searching for online mentors and preparing for interviews with potential applicants. After nearly a month, we received twenty-two applications from volunteers who were ready to provide distance mentoring for the children.

We give our heartfelt thanks to the Pro Bono Marathon and Istropolitana Ogilvy; our new, very interesting, beneficial, and sustainable project has got off the ground thanks to their assistance. We strongly recommend that others take advantage of such an opportunity.

“Long-term cooperation helps us to plan more effectively”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DofE) & Peter Janiga

From the end of 2014, there was a concentrated effort by a team of education enthusiasts, together with the strong support of business leaders, to successfully open a national office of the DofE programme. The objective was to expand the programme to all regions of Slovakia. During that time, we were contemplating the legal form of the organization, the setup of internal relationships, the financial support for activities, and other things.

We contacted Peter Janiga through LEAF, a non-profit organization that has been running an expert volunteering programme for several years. Peter works as a corporate lawyer in the financial sector and has rich experience with volunteering and advising for non-profit organizations. He agreed to work without any monetary compensation and tackled almost all legal matters in our organization very quickly and in depth.

We have been working with Peter for two years, and his contribution has been enormous. He provides free assistance with, for example, the licensing procedures and the arrangement of long-term business partnerships. This enables us to do effective and long-term planning. Peter has shown a keen understanding of our vision and mission, a proactive and creative approach, and has been a flexible and effective communicator. He’s a perfect example of the advantages of pro bono services and of cooperation between the business and non-profit sectors.

The success of this partnership encouraged us to approach other volunteers from the ranks of professionals, for example, from the marketing and PR sectors. We are very happy to continue working with pro bono professionals; our experience makes it clear that this form of cooperation is not only viable but also exceptional and appropriate.

A custom-made CRM system

Via Iuris & Accenture 

The Pontis Foundation helped us find an excellent solution to our non-standard problem (the creation of an appropriate structure and the setup of a CRM database system) in Accenture. We see our cooperation with Accenture in a very positive light. We managed to build a custom-tailored system thanks to their help. The attitude of the team from Accenture was not only very professional but human as well. Thanks to their pro bono programme, we could continue working on finishing the project beyond the format of the Pro Bono Marathon. We very much appreciate that the level of attention and the quality of services was on a par with the services provided to paying clients. 

The new CRM system is already fully operational, and we have been using it to record all our contacts, campaigns, and events. We work much more effectively and have saved a lot of time.

We view cooperation between non-governmental and commercial organizations as very important; it’s an enriching experience for both parties. We would gladly use the pro bono services again in the future, and we recommend them to every organization that thinks they could be a help in moving forward. It’s an excellent opportunity to get quite valuable feedback from professionals outside the sector, to see a different point of view, and to start doing things in a better and more professional way.

Interesting remarks from other partnerships

The presentations helped us prepare a series of measures which we have been gradually putting into practice. To put it succinctly, the recommendations took our situation into account, and they weren’t just some generic advice. This can be demonstrated by our identification with them and their gradual implementation. The external expertise from professionals has contributed greatly to our work, and we recommend pro bono partnerships for everyone who’s been immersed in any subject for a long time.

SGI & Dell

I place a high value on reliability and frankness in communication. It saves time and helps me avoid unpleasant surprises. Mirek, a lawyer, met my expectations; his communication was swift and very practical. He allotted quite a lot of his free time to help our organization. On the occasions when he couldn’t, he always made it clear that he was momentarily unavailable. I believe it’s important to have boundaries when working together, and I’m happy Mirek was of the same opinion. His pro bono services added another dimension to the work of our organization.

Internationals Bratislava & Mirek Karas

The people from the agency were very accommodating and creative. It was fascinating to watch these professionals from marketing and advertising address our issue during brainstorming sessions and discussions, and to see what they were able to come up with over one day. We realized that if we want to properly advertise our school, it’s necessary to use the services of professionals; the services of passionate volunteers just aren’t enough. This knowledge is very important and will help us in our further development.

Equity & MUW Saatchi and Saatchi

The presentations were very interesting and inspirational, covering a broad range of themes as requested by our broad assignment. It’s hard to speak about specific implementation details, but the presentations were definitely very inspirational and influenced our thinking. We also managed to find a sponsor this year through Triad in one of their clients. It was a pleasant and unexpected bonus. Would we use pro bono services again? Definitely, but the next time we would use them to solve some actual pressing problem rather than creating solutions that are filed away for use when we have more capacity.

Vnútroblok & Triad Advertising

Our objective in the Pro Bono Marathon was to make a creative proposal for the “24 Hours for a Great Country” campaign. The creative AdBee agency chose our assignment and managed to make a proposal and even help with the implementation. It was the most successful “24 Hours” campaign ever. The cooperation with AdBee didn’t end with this campaign. We agreed to pursue a longer-term pro bono partnership that still continues today.

Pontis Foundation (DobraKrajina.sk programme) & AdBee 

Eight non-profit organizations participated in our call for finding examples of successful pro bono cooperation. We awarded the wild card (an opportunity to participate in the 2017 Pro Bono Marathon) to ETP Slovakia. Congratulations!

Who we are

We create strong and meaningful linkages between the corporate, civic and public sectors in our three strategic topics – social innovation, philanthropy and responsible entrepreneurship. We build expertise our expertise in these issues, bring trends, promote long-term impact, and inspire.

Pontis Foundation
Zelinarska 2821 08

Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8111
Contact for media:
Phone: (+421 2) 5710 8113


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