Offering pro bono services to charities is beneficial to agencies in more ways than one

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Photo by Jesse Orrico

Charity is one of those paradoxical terms; everybody aspires to get involved in it, but with a busy city job and projects on the go, it usually gets demoted to the bottom of the priority list and not many of us find the time to properly invest in it. But, what happens if agencies were to combine charity with their work and kill two birds with one stone?

When our chief executive officer Stephan Briggs made the decision to start a digital partnership with local charity Big Hearts, we had no idea it would reap so many rewards for our side of the table. Getting your agency involved in a charitable project ticks all the boxes of a generous and fulfilling campaign, but can also guide your company down avenues of publicity you haven’t considered for your line of work.

Here are 6 reasons why offering pro bono services to local charities can be beneficial to your agency:

Corporate social responsibility

Among the stress of project deadlines and demanding office hours, it can be difficult to gather enough spare time to give back to the local community. Involving your agency in a charitable project raises morale in the workplace and gives your employees the opportunity to work as a team to tackle important issues without affecting other commitments.

Gaining awareness and recognition locally

Our work with Big Hearts won us nominations for both digital and business awards, has resulted in local and online press coverage and the charity itself often mentions our partnership on social media and in their newsletters. Being involved with a charity may surprise you by offering opportunities that you hadn’t necessarily anticipated when planning your year.

Opportunity to work collaboratively with a great team

One thing we found particularly valuable when it came to working with Big Hearts was that we were always communicating directly with the same fantastic people throughout the process, and were therefore able to have a significant impact within a relatively short space of time. Working with charities is great for less busy times of the year, as they will produce great opportunities and offer more flexible working schedules; you can get stuck into the core of the project without concern for regimented approval from various decision makers.

Opens doors to potential paid work in the future

By doing excellent work and obtaining results, an agency can gain the opportunity for a strong case study, award nominations, recommendations from the charity and the strong position of being a known and trusted partner if the charity itself looks to commit to paid work going forward.

Clients will recognise that you work to make a difference, not just for profit

We all know that it’s easy to brag to clients about the great work your agency has achieved and the awards you’ve won, but having worked on a pro-bono basis for a local charity will demonstrate that you take pride in helping your clients grow their business, not just cashing their cheque. It makes a brilliant selling point and is an interesting topic of conversation for a first pitch.

So, as well as chasing leads and preparing pitches this year, it might be worth dropping an introductory email to a local charity or an organisation close to your agency’s heart – the time and effort involved in offering your services will be more than outweighed by the benefits of such a partnership.

Lauren Pearson is PR and marketing manager at digital agency Yard.

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