Recently, I've been in a conundrum about doing pro bono work and wanted to get SitePoint's thoughts on the topic.
- Would you do pro bono work, or do you already?
- If you keep tabs of price of work done, can you/do you use it as a write-off in taxes?
- Is it worth it?
I did and I would do it again.
Not here, no write-off in taxes... yet!
Yes, if only for your self.
I'd do it if it's for something worthwhile (like something to do with a non-profit community organization or event), or to gain experience on something I wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to get paid for.
But--I would also make it clear that since it is pro-bono, the paid projects do come first.
do you mean like trying to help in forums like this?
btw - for what it's worth, I voted 'yes'
Well, not exactly what I meant, more you doing the work for someone and not you assisting someone...
but if we could write off what we do to help here, I'd be ALLL for it! :)
Anything to help others that need the help is worthwhile. And as a bonus you get to feel good about it (the "there's no truly selfless act" theory) and most likely learn from it.
Well, I'd not do it for altruistic reasons (yes, I'm that bad a person), but I'd do it for educational purposes. I'd set myself challenges and make solving those my main goal. So, even if my motivations didn't stem from the goodness of my heart, it'd still be a win-win situation for both. In other words, I voted "yes".
If it's something you actually care about, then of course it's worth it!
I'm the only no vote?
I'm a HUGE believer in the no truly selfless act theory.
On a more practical level, I've found "pro-bono" work to lean towards creating yourself a situation where you need to constantly expectation manage. Secondary rewards are often of questionable value and that warm fuzzy feeling that is your (semi-conscious) primary reward wears thin quickly.
I'm a strong believer in deeply discounted work on projects you believe in, but I'm not a fan of "pro-bono".
that's fair enough, but believe it or not, there are people in this world who are happy to give a 100% discount on occassions.
I have no trouble at all believing that. I've even done it. I can't honestly say it's a very good idea IMO, or that anything is ever really "pro bono" (not everything that counts can be counted).
Valid arguments on both sides.
I see your point BLZ: I've done a few small pro-bono projects and they can quickly get out of hand if you're not careful. (eg, "client" pushes for more revisions, project snow-balls into something bigger, client/project become an all consuming fire that takes over your very soul and eats your paying clients' projects for breakfast, lunch and dinner, etc, etc...)
The "there are no truly self-less acts" argument can be true, if you want to see it that way. I think it comes down to your point of view and your disposition: I wouldn't expect (or want) help from someone who is going to complain about the whole time. But, I also wouldn't want help from someone who does it happily but ONLY so they might get a favor out of it later.
If you wanted to see it that way, then even the person who helps out of the goodness of their heart, just for the warm fuzzies it gives them, is doing it out of selfish desires.
Maybe Shaun(OfTheDead) has it right, though: if a person loved puppies and someone wanted a poster promoting the adoption of puppies, said person would most likely make it, if they loved puppies enough. Same goes with everything: hospitals, politicians, SitePoint forums, lawyers, Satan, churches...
If you believe in it enough, I guess you'd probably support it the best you know how, right?