Web Design and Development
As a web development company, we have received numerous requests for pro bono work. And the prospective clients have fallen into a wide variety of categories. Some have been up and coming musicians or struggling artists. Others have been start up companies who didn’t want to invest in something that wasn’t a sure thing. And only once have we ever received a request from a true not-for-profit company.
With so many requests, we realized that (1) we couldn’t realistically satisfy them all and (2) it was not worthwhile to give pro bono work to anyone that requested it. So, to help differentiate between a good pro bono client and a someone that just wanted free labor, we came up with a set of standards.
The following guidelines are what we use to find our pro bono clients. If you are considering taking on some pro bono clients of our own or are hoping to be a pro bono client yourself, this list will serve you well.
Of course, there are good exceptions to these rules. However, these guidelines can be used as a starting point.
There are also other times when you might want to offer unpaid work. Many freelance workers, for example, offer free work in return for experience, promotion, or additions to their portfolios. Or sometimes, professionals give their labor with strings attached, such as in the case of work done in exchange for future profits, promotion, services, or future payment. When engaging in these or similar exchanges, it is important to carefully consider each such client and to protect yourself and your work. We suggest creating contracts which clearly outline the scope of the work and the terms of compensation.
Pro bono work is a great way to give back to the community or to assist not-for-profit organizations that selflessly help others. However, when choosing your pro bono client, remember that you should always get something back for your work. It does not need to be monetary compensation, but at minimum, you should get some recognition for your work.
For more information on Working Pro Bono, see the Business of Design Online’s Working Pro-Bono article series, that covers everything from motives to marketing, to contracts.Tags: cheap web development, web development rates, working pro bono