November 28, 2020

The Weekly Good: ProBueno lets you offer up your talents and skills for good

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Probueno Drew Olanoff, TechCrunch

Imagine that you’re a pretty good drummer, you’re in a band, and you’d like to give lessons. You could charge for these lessons, of course, but you’re really into helping out charities. A site called ProBueno is a marketplace, founded by MIT alums, to shop your talents in exchange for charitable donations. When you think about it, all this really is is technology-empowered volunteering.

It’s a brilliant concept and the site has just announced that it has signed up Khan Academy for a pilot program.Screenshot_3_10_13_7_38_PM

Here’s how co-founder of ProBeuno, Michel Rbeiz, explains the site and its mission:

“ProBueno’s goal is to transform the way people think about pro bono work and use technology to make it easy. Pro bono work is generally reserved to a very small and elite subset of the population, who can offer their professional expertise for free to nonprofits. It comes with a number of constraints: finding a nonprofit one cares about, that also needs particular talents at a time and place that’s mutually acceptable.”

While you might not have had the time to give those drumming lessons to someone who needs them, now you can, but feel good because the money is going directly to charity, like say, the Red Cross. It’s hard to help fundraise for a charity, because you never know what it is that you can do to help. It’s easy to help a non-profit like LiveStrong, because you know that you can help out with a bike race to raise funds. Other non-profits with less-defined themes aren’t so easy to get involved with.resume-1227bce69f8f3da804d949fad8606a8e

Another co-founder, Ryan Kabir, shared the reason why the site was built:

“We developed ProBueno because we realized how difficult it was to make a difference for the causes we cared about. We could not write a large enough check, or drop everything to volunteer. We felt there should be an easier way for people to use their talents for good.”

The company has raised $340K in angel funding from friends, family and a few investment funds. This recently launched fund-raising tool is best shown off on the landing page for the Khan Academy. There’s a dropdown that lets you choose a task that you could offer time for, and once you’re connected with a willing donor, you perform the task and the money will get right to Khan Academy.

The individual task pages look a bit like what you’d find on Kickstarter, letting you set the number of “spots” that are available for the service that you’re providing. If you were to offer up looking at someone’s resume, you could have five spots available at $20 each, and that would be $100 going to your charity of choice.

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