Friday, July 20, 2012

Want Creative Credit? Give a Little!

By Rebecca Forster



Want to know a secret?  Volunteering can be your ticket to building a creative career platform.

Other professions have embraced the nonprofit strategy as personally fulfilling and professionally strategic. Lawyers work pro-bono, doctors cross borders to help those less fortunate, retired business people and teachers mentor those who need a helping hand.

But nonprofits need more than counsel, they need the kind of exposure, writers, filmmakers and artists can provide.  Whether you’re looking for that that first piece for your portfolio or expanding an already established career, aligning yourself with a nonprofit offers you a wealth of creative opportunities.

WRITERS AND/ OR FILMMAKERS
 Profile a volunteer
Interview the administrator
Chronicle the history of the nonprofit
Spotlight the success stories of the clients

ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS
Paint a mural
Design a fundraising invitation
Photograph the clients
Hold art/photography classes
Design a nonprofit’s newsletter

CHEFS/GARDENERS
Cook for a fundraiser
Landscape the building
Provide floral arrangements for benefits

There is no limit to the benefits you will receive by volunteering your creative services. You will build your portfolio, be introduced to businesses and clients that are ready to pay for your talent, and, above all, you will have made a difference with your words, your images and your creativity. There is no lack of drama at a nonprofit, all you have to do is seek it out.

Here are a few creative/nonprofit partnerships:

Eric, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania, writes plays about his experiences. They are produced in Hollywood and the proceeds benefit the village in which he lives.

Sam, a well-known musician, teaches children stricken with cancer how to play the guitar. The local newspaper did a front-page article on his efforts.

Cheryl, an aspiring filmmaker interviews people in an assisted living facility and runs those interviews on her website calling attention not only to rich histories but also to her talent.

Jackie painted a mural on the wall of a local library. She was credited for her work by the library.

The next time you’re looking for a way to showcase your talent, look no further than your community. Your portfolio - and your heart - will benefit from your talent and generosity.