In the design world, nobody will hire you without something in your portfolio, but how do you get that portfolio if no one will hire you? One great way to give your portfolio a little boost is to take on a pro bono project. Doing design work pro bono basically means you’re volunteering your services for free as a public service. In most cases a designer will take a job form a non-profit organization.
Thinking About Non-Profits
If you are fresh from school or just getting started in the design world, taking on a pro bono project can really get you started in the world. By working for a non-profit, they will greatly appreciate your work and efforts, and you will be donating your services for a good cause. The best types of non-profits for you to aim at would be small to medium sized ones. The larger ones will have more than enough resources for all their design needs. All you have to do is search online or make some local phone calls to get started.
Making It Happen
Once you have a good idea of the places you want to try for, take time to contact them. It’s normally better to talk to them in person or by phone, but if you have to, try an email. This will give you a lot of practice as a designer, and you can get some first hand knowledge on how things work.
Design for them the way you would as if you were getting paid. You want to get a great experience out of this, so don’t think that just because you’re doing it for free should change that.
Having some pro bono work in your portfolio can get attention aimed at you if you never had any real work experience yet. You can also feel free to take risks with your design skills that you normally wouldn’t take, such as designing a web site if all you do is logos. This is a great way to grow as a designer without the pressure of wasting the clients money. After you are done you can proudly show off your work in your portfolio.