Putting your hand up for pro-bono work can be very rewarding. Of course we immediately consider the reward for the organisation or charity we are doing work for, but it can be just as rewarding for the professional donating their time.
Over the years I have supported a number of not-for-profits with pro-bono work. Not only have I found that I have been able to donate my skills and add some value for them, but I have found that the rewards for me have been tremendous.
Let me explain...
Of course I have loved doing what I do, it feels good to give value to a good cause. I have experienced this and loved it. Believing I can do some good in the world feels great. But aside from that, the thing that has surprised me is how much I have gained professionally. My growth hasn't been just from honing my skills by whipping together another marketing plan, but I have learned new things that I would have never learned in a traditional paid role.
I currently volunteer as the Ulysses Dancers Marketing Manager. Ulysses Dances is a not-for-profit contemporary dance group based in Townsville. They are celebrating 10 years giving contemporary dancers the opportunity to produce quality performances and experience everything a professional dancer would. Of course, I have loved this! What I am enjoying even more though is the opportunity to collaborate with creatives of all walks of life.
Diversity really is the key to creative perspective and I'm certainly getting it with these guys. My mind has been stretched to consider viewpoints that I haven't ever considered before. I believe I am getting far more than I'm giving in terms of professional development and that is a reward that is very tangible, very difficult to replicate in a traditional client/supplier role and very valuable.
I encourage you to consider what charitable work you are undertaking in your business. And to look far beyond the cheque you sign for a donation, the Board you sit on as a Director and add to this, as I have, with an ongoing mutually beneficial collaboration.
You never know where it could lead. Good luck!