As humans, most of us want to do something at one point in our lives to help the greater good. A lot of times that’s how people get involved with volunteering for a nonprofit. As a student, I’ve had to do my fair share of pro bono work for classes, for friends, and because I felt like I could give more by using my specific talents rather than offering a few hours of my time.
Here are a few reasons why I think pro bono work can be a great benefit for your portfolio:
You can give back to your community in a unique way: Sure, everyone can volunteer for a few hours to stock food banks, help build a home, or pick up trash around your college campus. Those things are great, and I’ve spent a lot of my college experience doing just that, but as a public relations-professional-to-be the most rewarding thing I’ve done is help a nonprofit get word out about their fundraiser. The result was an influx of volunteers and donations rather than just one additional volunteer. I’ve learned the knowledge required for public relations - solid writing skills and the ability to clearly communicate an organization’s mission - are key to helping nonprofits and really any business succeed.
New experiences: For both me and Sara, one of our favorite reasons to work with a nonprofit is having a chance to get experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise had! Those who know me know that even a year later I still can’t be quiet about the time I got to work for amfAR while studying abroad. I was studying in a tiny town on the French Riviera called Cannes. They have a pretty huge film festival that happens every year and attracts celebrities from everywhere. During the event amfAR takes the opportunity to host a fundraising gala to support AIDS research. As a volunteer I delivered invitations for a whole week and was able to see dozens of celebrities like supermodel Karlie Kloss and actor Orlando Bloom as well as a number of other individuals whom I have admired for years. I would’ve never had this opportunity if it were not for my volunteering that spring.
You have the opportunity to turn a small nonprofit into a success: Like I mentioned earlier, the writing skills that come with being a public relations pro can really help launch a nonprofit into the public eye. If you look at any medium-sized city, you will see dozens of mom and pop nonprofit organizations that get swept under the rug for different reasons. Maybe they have unclear messaging, a terrible web or social media presence or maybe they don’t know how to get in front of their target audience. As a public relations professional you can help! At the end of the day, it’s incredibly satisfying to know that your support helped build awareness for a worthy cause.
I’ve listed three reasons why I believe in pro bono partnerships but the list could go on and on. I truly believe pro bono work is equally beneficial for both the public relations firm and nonprofit. The nonprofit gets the help they need to reach their goals and the firm benefits by gaining credibility, a sense of humanity and it shows your firm’s understanding of its corporate social responsibility.
I was thrilled to learn that so far in 2017 Sara Hussey Public Relations has partnered with the Greyt Gatsby costume fundraiser benefiting Greyhound Pets of America - Central Texas and Grateful Thread, Austin’s largest clothing swap designed to celebrate sisterhood with generosity and friendship.
Here are a few from my time in Cannes:
About The Author
Hey there! My name is Anaïsa, I was born and raised in Austin but have been adventuring around Denton, Texas for the past four years. I'm currently a student at the University of North Texas where I'm studying Public Relations and French. My hobbies include traveling, photography, and going to music festivals (how can I not be an Austinite, right?). One day I hope to combine all of that into a career. Learn more about my experience here.