Creative Cred: Give a little, Get a Lot
Lawyers work pro-bono. Doctors cross borders to help those less fortunate. Retired business people and teachers mentor floundering businesses. In short, most professionals recognize that volunteering is key to establishing and growing their business. It’s time creative types jump in, help out, and build their portfolios.
Nonprofits need more than counsel, they need the kind of talent writers, filmmakers, and artists can provide. Whether you’re looking for that first portfolio piece or expanding an already established career, aligning yourself with a nonprofit offers you a wealth of creative opportunities.
Profile a volunteer
Interview the administrator
Chronicle the history of the nonprofit in a book
Spotlight the success stories of the clients
Write a newsletter
Compose a funding raising letter
Paint a mural
Design a fundraising invitation
Photograph the clients
Hold art/photography classes for clients
Design a nonprofit’s newsletter
Cook for a fundraiser
Landscape the grounds around the building
Provide floral arrangements for benefits
HOW YOU CAN GET STARTED
Identify a nonprofit you are passionate about. Know the history, how it is funded, analyze their existing materials, and determine what you can offer.
Visit, observe, and become involved before offering your services.
Be upbeat and clear about your skills and how you can help.
Learn the language of your nonprofit if you are a writer (acronyms, euphemisms, etc.) If you are a photographer, ask if there are restrictions about where or whom you can shoot. If you are a landscaper, find out if clients have physical limitations.
Do what you say you will, and deliver what you have promised on time.
The next time you’re looking for a way to showcase your talent, look no further than your community. Your portfolio, your business, and your heart will benefit from your creative generosity.
My son served in the Peace Corps. He was also a playwright. His plays were produced in Hollywood and the proceeds funded a mobile library that still services the mountain villages of Albania. He has gone on to an incredible job in communications that takes him around the world.