Are you working for free? Does that sound nuts to you? Maybe it doesn’t. It’s pretty common these days to receive services or products in exchange for our time, but what about offering your time without any expectation of pay?
Damon Becknel, an experienced entrepreneur and land developer, understands that the benefits of doing pro bono work can be huge and life-changing for everyone involved. The term ‘pro bono,’ Latin for “for good,” is used when talking about legal and other professional services provided at no charge and with the hope that the person or people receiving the service will be positively affected. Unlike volunteering, which generally operates under the auspices of a separate organization, pro bono work is used as a marketing strategy by corporations, law firms, and nonprofits alike because its main goal is relationship building.
Here are a few of the benefits of doing Pro Bono work.
What is Pro Bono Work?
It might seem odd to give away your services, but the benefits of doing pro bono work can be tremendous for those receiving it and those giving it. Pro Bono work is defined as professional or legal services that are voluntarily given free of charge and with the hope that the person(s) will be positively affected. Unlike volunteering, which operates separately (See Volunteering: An Intrinsic Part of Community & Culture), Pro Bono work is used as a marketing strategy; corporate law firms and nonprofits use this form of service because the main goal is relationship building.
Where Does Pro Bono Work Come From?
Each year many experts believe approximately 50 billion dollars worth of pro bono work is performed by more than 1.7 million attorneys across the United States alone!
Why Do People Volunteer?
While many people choose to volunteer because they feel it benefits their career or looks good on a resume, some do so simply because they care about the community and want to give back. What are your reasons for wanting to volunteer? Getting involved in your community is a wonderful thing—but why are you volunteering? Some common answers might be.
It benefits me through leadership development, networking, practice management, or even professional certification.
Provide skills that may not have been learned in school or at work.
Rewards of Volunteering: The pay doesn’t go beyond what you receive from helping others in need, but there are many other rewards of volunteering. Some immediate benefits include…
Exposure to new things-helping others can lead to a greater appreciation for life and all it has to offer.
- An opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
- A feeling of self growth and fulfillment that transcends into all areas of your life.
Also, the satisfaction that comes with knowing you have helped someone who is not in a position to help themselves is a reward unto itself—and there’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone else! Who wouldn’t want their workday filled with this kind of energy?
When was the last time you offered your professional services for free? There are so many reasons to offer pro bono service in addition to building relationships, networking, and exposure. Any business can provide a valuable service that benefits the community by offering pro bono work even if it isn’t in their field of expertise or doesn’t help them gain any material benefit. If you’re hesitant, consider the following.
It might be just what your business needs! With exponential growth in recent years, is there any reason not to give back? Providing creative ways (see creative ways to do Pro Bono work) to get involved can make all the difference in nurturing your business or career. Take advantage of every opportunity you have available!
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