Pro Bono Privacy Initiative

The privacy profession continues to grow, and it is clear that the work we do is in demand and critical to enabling trust across industries and sectors—including the non-profit sector.

The Pro Bono Privacy Initiative, a program that offers privacy professionals an avenue to help non-profit human services agencies with their privacy and data protection challenges, was developed in 2011 by a small group of IAPP members led by Hogan Lovells’ Harriet Pearson representing companies, law firms and consultancies. With the success of the program, the IAPP is now encouraging other privacy professionals interested in volunteering their time to become part of the initiative.

What is the Pro Bono Privacy Initiative?

The Pro Bono Privacy Initiative is a shared opportunity for privacy experts to assist non-profit organizations with the development of useful privacy tools and resources. Most non-profits do not have the in-house expertise to manage the privacy and personal data security-related issues that they encounter. This initiative encourages privacy professionals to donate their time to help these organizations improve their effectiveness and better serve their constituents.

"Privacy and data protection issues are a growing challenge for non-profit service organizations using online and digital data management tools to enhance their client service and outreach efforts. These non-profits can often lack access to resources and expertise that can help them use personal information accountability and in compliance with regulations."

Harriet Pearson, CIPP/US, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP

The Pro Bono Privacy Initiative aims to help:

  • Non-profit organizations use personal information responsibly, and improve their compliance and risk posture
  • Privacy professionals contribute to society while enriching their experience and network
  • Supporting companies demonstrate corporate citizenship and commitment to privacy
  • Participating law firms and consultancies fulfill their pro bono commitments while burnishing their credentials and reputation

Past participants in the program have worked with domestic violence, adoption and international peace organizations, and found it to be an inspiring and rewarding way to use their expertise to give back to a worthwhile cause.

How can I get involved?

It’s easy! Anyone can participate in the program. It’s up to you to choose a non-profit organization, make the connection and put in the volunteer hours. We recommend choosing an organization that is close to your heart, so you reap the most feel-good experience and you’ll be sure to stick with it.

When can I start?

Your participation is solely up to you (and any other volunteers who join you on the project), so you can begin at any time. We ask only that you report your experience back to the IAPP so we can share with others who might be interested in undertaking pro bono work.

Tell us about it!

Here is what to send us as your project comes together:

  • Project name
  • Volunteer name(s)
  • Name of non-profit
  • Objective/what you hope to accomplish

Then once the project is complete, tell us what came out of it. If you have any tools or resources that can be shared with other IAPP members, we would love to see them!

E-mail us at


If you have questions or need more information, please e-mail us at


Recent Projects

Organization: Sisterhood of Temple Beth Torah Sha'aray Tzedek, Tamarac FL, plus other religious groups, libraries and Parent-Teacher Organizations
Pro Bono Team: Dianne Blitstein Solomon, CIPP, CIPT
Project: Cyber Security 101. The purpose of the project is to bring basic privacy and security training to the general population through the groups with which they are affiliated. Topics are aligned with the kind of training one would get as an employee of a large company, including the opportunity to ask questions and get misperceptions clarified. The core talk covers best practices related to email and the use of debit and credit cards. Additional topics are added to suit the audience and time available. They include privacy basics for church, mosque, and synagogue administrators; managing your organization’s email list; privacy and security for international travel; and keeping your school age children safe online.

Organization: Rare Genomics Institute
Pro Bono Team: 
Deanna Tyler, CIPP/US, CIPP/G, CalRecyle
Privacy Program: Assist the organization in identifying categories of confidential information, identify best privacy practices to protect the information and develop policies and training for staff and volunteers

Organization: BlinkNow Foundation
Pro Bono Team: Samantha Vaughan, CIPT, CIPP/C, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM, Vice President, Global Privacy, Compliance and Information Management, Wyndham Exchange & Rentals
Project: Reviewed data collection and management practices associated with BlinkNow’s operations and third party site host to prepare a Terms of Use and Privacy Notice for its new website, and facilitate interaction with various social media sites. The work involved not just drafting, but reviewing each phase of the project with the client, explaining the rationale and background of global privacy principles, and how they are reflected in the associated language. About BlinkNow: The BlinkNow Foundation’s mission is to provide an education and a loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children. We also provide community outreach to reduce poverty, empower women, improve health, and encourage sustainability and social justice. The Foundation fulfills its mission by providing financial support and management oversight to the Children’s Home and Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal. BlinkNow has been covered in the New York Times, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek and other publications:

Organization: Indian Health Council
Pro Bono Team: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
Project: Indian Health Council (IHC) is a consortium of nine tribes in California dedicated to improving Indian health, wholeness, and well-being. WSGR helps IHC with its HIPAA compliance efforts including: patient notices; business associate agreements; work with health information exchanges; policies and procedures; training; and responses to law enforcement and other legal requests.

Organization: Reading Partners
Pro Bono Team: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR)
Project: Reading Partners is a national education nonprofit that provides one-on-one tutoring to improve the reading skills of elementary students in low-income communities. WSGR helps Reading Partners with its FERPA and other privacy-related compliance efforts, including: parental notice and consent; student record requests; policies and procedures; agreements with schools, districts, and service providers; and training.

Organization: The Little Grape that Could
Pro Bono Team: Alex Cameron, Partner, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Project: The Little Grape That Could is a non-profit wine company founded in Toronto by a team of skilled volunteers. 100% of profits from the sale of each bottle of wine go to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. Among other things, The Little Grape That Could celebrates and honours real people on every bottle of wine sold, and on its website, raising unique privacy considerations. This project involved the review and development of the organization’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information and its related consent and privacy policy language, leading to the successful launch of a very worthwhile charitable initiative.

Organization: Children’s Cancer Association (CCA)
Pro Bono Team: Cindy Lay Hahn, Matthew Storer and Ari Lee
Project: Reviewed CCA’s online data collection and privacy notices, and then made recommendations to limit data collection and enhance content

Organizations: Walk-In Counseling, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, Relate Counseling, Sub-Saharan Youth and Family Services
Pro Bono Team: Bob Cattanach, Janine Foster, Jeff Roby, Sarah Sederstrom, Kumar Dasani, Karl Peterson, Bob Arndt, Michael Cohen, Nadya Aswad, Rahul Nabar, Jamie Dvorak, Daniel Burks and Lisa Baez
Project: Privacy in a Box: A privacy workshop for local non-profits to evaluate and assist with their privacy needs

Pro Bono Team: Beth Marshall, Deborah Wells, Peggy Reetz, Cindy Van Ort, Gina Spada, Adam Bryer, Manuel Cuevas, Kristine Scott, Aylin Abayhan, Diana Salazar, and Vicki Gage-Bernheimer
Project: Privacy in a Suitcase: A toolkit developed for privacy professionals to reference when working with local non-profits

Organization: Shelterbox
Pro Bono Team: Theo Ling, Lisa Salapatek, Katherine Fick, Theresa Mohan, Terrie Gleason and Eva Warden
Project: Worked with Shelterbox on the development of its privacy policies and practices related to its online and off-line activities

Organization: Safe Horizon
Pro Bono Team: IBM Corporation and Hogan Lovells US LLP
Projects: Security Breach Response Plan, Tips for Removing Information from the Web

Safe Horizon provides support and advocacy for victims of crime and abuse. Pro bono volunteers teamed up to help Safe Horizon prepare a breach response plan and identify areas of improvement tailored to their needs and New York state law requirements. The volunteers also developed guidelines, using a mini-ethical hack, for Safe Horizon staff and clients on how to keep sensitive information off the Internet. Both projects also include draft work plans for training sessions targeted to Safe Horizon key responders and client base.

Organization: Seeds of Peace
Pro Bono Team: Hunton & Williams LLP
Project: Tips for Creating an Effective Social Media Policy

Seeds of Peace is an organization dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with leadership skills necessary to advance reconciliation and coexistence. It manages a summer camp and hosts gatherings for participants in the Middle East and South Asia, which requires a host of personal data to be transmitted through its website. Volunteers prepared a website privacy statement and terms of use documents.

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