At one point, our agency, dibona, bornstein & random did so much pro bono work that I suggested that we change our name to pro bono, bornstein & random.
These causes are clearly important to us, but we also try to apply some fundamental requirements for taking on such clients:
- We believe in the cause. This way we, people who are otherwise steeped in more commercially driven work, profit emotionally.
- These clients offer opportunities for us to do great work with a different kind of creative freedom and exposure as an agency. With such exposure, we profit creatively.
- The non-profit client appreciates our work enough to refer us to others in their professional network, who have marketing budgets. There is no better referral than one from a great client relationship.
Of course, there are some curious dynamics to working with non-profits on a pro bono or “semi pro bono” basis.
One irony is that we are often taken more seriously when we charge a nominal amount for our services than when they are purely donated. Perhaps cost infers value.
Another irony is the stark reality that very large dollar value of our uncharged time has zero tax benefit.
Still, it is work we very much want to do, causes we want to support, and relationships we want to nurture.
And we’re looking for more causes to support! If you represent an organization with a non-profit that needs agency support, we’d love for you to fill out this simple survey and we’ll be in touch with you about a future partnership.