Should You Work for Free? For the Right Cause, Sure
January is the perfect time of year to reflect upon that. We all just came through the busy holiday season, where agencies created cool holiday cards, donated to their favorite charities -- and even more important -- delivered campaigns, often for no fee, to the causes that they believe in. Talk about making a difference.
I would love to know how much agencies throughout the country and the world donate to the nonprofits. I suspect the dollar figure would be staggering. Something tells me that when it came to small agencies, that figure would be very encouraging for the charities -- but would give the agencies' accountants heartburn!
Why should you give away your ideas for free at a time that you need to bill for fee? Here's why:
- As the world becomes more complex, there are more organizations springing up each day that are trying to solve the world's problems. Often these organizations need the pro bono services of ad agencies, law firms, accounting firms, etc.
- Doing pro bono work is good for the soul. It allows an agency to flex its creative muscles in ways paying clients might not/cannot allow, while doing good. An agency in Cleveland, Point to Point (pointtopoint.com), runs a pay-it-forward like campaign called "Change for 20." Each employee is given $20 with a simple set of rules: change someone's life with it and document the experience on the blog through video, photos and print posts. There are many other agencies around the globe doing equally powerful work.
- Raises your agency's profile in the business community. You can put your agency logo on materials you created, site you built, events you planned. And work for non-profits typically have the highest winning percentage in the advertising/PR award shows.
- It's your largest clients' pet cause. You have no choice.
Now go out there and make a dent in the world. No one can do it better than you.