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Charitable work is something that will get you in the big mans good books. But are there other benefits? Other downsides? At Keywest we do donate our time, and provide adjusted costing, but in this world nothing comes for free.

charitableIn an article on Creative Bloq, Sam Piggot details how he went from sparse work to having one company use him for all of their production needs and therefore help bring in about half of his yearly income. Sam tell us, “When asked for a favour with no promise of immediate financial or personal gain, saying no is easy.” Which is true. But he also explains, “you have a desired skillset; it’s fantastic to get paid for using that, but remember that not everybody has five-figure budgets.” His message being, that a charitable favor, or small gig, can lead to bigger and better things. This may not happen in every case, but the ones that do and turn out to be great successes are worth it, and for the ones that don’t, well at least you got the experience and chance to say you did something nice for another person/organization.

In comparison, Linda Essig writes on the Creative Infrastructure Blog, entitled “Just Say NO!“,

“A first year graduate student in my arts management class presented a paper this week on arts labor economics.  Her undergrad degree was in acting so she had never delved into the topic formally. She certainly understood through anecdotal observation that there is an imbalance between artist labor supply and artist opportunity and that artists are often paid less than their peers in other fields (to put it mildly).”

In this instance, Linda was discussing the use of unpaid work, often of students, in arts based industries. While more focused on middle to large sized companies versus charitable causes, Linda explains her frustration with the availability of individuals willing to provide their services free of charge, which in turn takes paid jobs away from those struggling to find work in the industry.

At Keywest we believe in charitable video donation, but to a degree. We get calls on a regular basis to provide charitable work free of charge, or at a reduced rate for non-profit organizations and registered charitable organizations. We do help out whenever we can, but we try as much as possible to create a two-way relationship. This is to ensure that the time and effort our crew puts into the work is also beneficiary for our company as well. We create this two way relationship through us providing the required service in exchange of things such as links to us on their organizations website, social media activity, and giving us the ability to use their video for our promotional purposes.

While searching for others options on the topic of charitable work online, I came across a forum where one person was asking advice on whether to do charitable web design work or not. One gentleman’s response was the right mix of honest and insightful, and so I want to share it with you here.

“If you do some sites to non-profit organizations, you send a signal, that you are web designer not only for money, but you really enjoy what you are doing. People who are doing something only for money wouldn’t do it for free, only passionate will. A passionate is much better webmaster than the others!

And there are not only financial motivations. Doing something non-profit gives you satisfaction that you have helped other people. It is also something new after working with clients who were changing demands 10 times a day, and everything analysing with criteria, how much money will they earn on it. Usually if you do something for non-profit organizations, you have much more freedom in designing the site as you would like to.”

What are your thoughts on working free of charge, whether for a charitable organization or not. Would you be willing to give away your services? Do you think there are other benefits? If so let us know in the comments below!

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