Skip to content

What do you know about Pro Bono?

So, how much do you exactly know about designing for pro bono?

As working designers, especially for students, we should all be educated about designing for pro bono.  Surprisingly, a lot of people have wrong perceptions to how pro bono is worked. When done correctly, pro bono design can be one of the ways designers can get more powerful impact in their communities and abroad. Pro bono shouldn’t be viewed as just some work you perform for free, but rather an opportunity to channel one’s skills into a rewarding project that stands to benefit a whole group of people, even you, the designer.

Now to avoid and misconceptions you’ve had about pro bono, here are some of their MYTHS.

#1: Pro bono design means free design.

Contrary to popular perception, pro bono doesn’t mean for free. Its literal Latin translation is “for good,” shorthand for pro bono publico, “for the good of the public.” Pro bono work usually involves professionals reducing or entirely waiving their fees, hence the confusion, but the focus remains on work for the public good.

#2: Pro bono design produces sub-par results.

NO! This is not true at all. The only thing worse than such an expectation of sub-par design is the frequent suggestion or implication in the social sector itself that nonprofits can’t or shouldn’t look good.

#3: Pro bono clients aren’t as sophisticated as paying clients.

There’s a saying that the only thing more important than good designers are good clients. For fee-generating and pro bono clients alike, it can be an entirely new or even a once-in-a-lifetime experience to undertake a design project, so designers are understandably cautious about the clients they take on.

#4: Pro bono clients should take what they can get.

There’s a perception that nonprofits should be happy with student labor, donated office space, furniture, and even old, outdated computers. In some cases, such donations fill a crucial void and go to good use. In other cases, they cause more headaches than they’re worth and hinder organizations.

#5: Pro bono work only benefits the clients.

The benefit to clients, communities, and the public aside, the payoffs of such pro bono projects are not insignificant for designers and firms. The benefit to clients, communities, and the public aside, the payoffs of such pro bono projects are not insignificant for designers and firms.

 

Above information provided by Fast Company Design.