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Taproot is a nonprofit that engages millions of business professionals in pro bono services both through its award-winning programs and by partnering with companies to develop their pro bono programs. In this audio interview, founder Aaron Hurst speaks with Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Ashkon Jafari about how the organization started and how it creates its cross-sector collaboration. He discusses how nonprofits can qualify for grants, and offers his vision for the organization.
Aaron Hurst is founder and president of the Taproot Foundation. He is also a creative force behind the conception of the national A Billion + Change initiative and the service enterprise model. Widely known for his thought leadership in civic engagement, nonprofit management and corporate social responsibility, Hurst is both an Ashoka and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation fellow. An entrepreneur since he was 16, he began his career as a social innovator at the University of Michigan, where he designed and led an educational program for local correctional facilities, and subsequently became the first student to receive the Michigan Campus Compact Award. Upon graduating, he worked in inner-city education in Chicago before landing in Silicon Valley as an early employee at two venture-backed social venture companies.