Readers, have you ever donated your services to benefit a nonprofit or for a big fundraiser? These events can be a great way to get exposure for your business. Of course, they are also a great way to give back to your community. Last week I met with the lovely Sasha Souza, an event designer based in Napa, California; we discussed the possibility of working together for Wish Upon a Wedding, which grants weddings for terminally ill couples. Last Thursday I also did the decor for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s gala at the Central Park Zoo. The theme was “Elephants and Ivory,” and the evening honored Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder and director of Save the Elephants.

While no one would argue these organizations are wonderful, are they also good for business? Here are the pros and cons of donating your services for a good cause:


You’re helping others!
You’re helping yourself! You’ll be introducing your work to a new group of people, who may become new clients. Just make sure that your name and contribution are included in the evening’s program so that people know who is responsible for your beautiful work.


I have had the pleasure and luck to work with the most professional of committees and organizations. However, sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to get everyone on a committee to agree.
Make sure you cover all of your costs. Know exactly how much money and time you can afford to invest. Don’t hesitate to reuse elements from previous jobs for a charity event. You’ll be able to showcase some of your best work without breaking the bank.
Sometimes, after doing a charity event for next to nothing, the new clients you get from the event, will think they can also hire you for next to nothing. Make sure they understand that is not the case.

Readers, have you gotten new clients by donating your services? Which charities have you worked with? Please share!

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