Some people run the other way when asked to do charity work. Nobody wants to spend an afternoon, day, or weekend away from their everyday routine. They're either too busy, or just don't want to dedicate time to something that isn't going to benefit them in some way. Just because you aren't being paid for the work you're doing, does not mean that there aren't any benefits.
A few weekends ago, I spent an entire 48 hours, with a group of others, building a fully-functional website for a non-for-profit organization. The event was called Refresh Weekend and was coordinated by Justin Harter. That weekend, four different charities were given awesome websites which completely suited each organizations needs.
Although I wasn't paid for those 48 hours, here is how I benefited from the event:
- Uber Networking – I met many developers, designers, and videographers at Refresh Weekend. Each and every one of them had a unique skill that they brought to the table. All of which are current and relevant in the industry I work in. Not only did I hear these people talk about what they do for a living, but I was able to see them walk the talk. Now I have a guarantee that these individuals know what they're doing. This benefit alone is irreplaceable.
- Kickback – Whenever a major charity takes place, there is usually a press release or an announcement of some sort. In one fell swoop, your name is being recognized and your work is being showcased. The best part about kickback from charity is that it most likely is coming from an audience that you couldn't reach before. By opting to help out a charity, it's possible that you gain audience to that charities network.
- It Just Feels Good – I get a genuinely awesome feeling when I help someone who truly deserves it. I find this feeling is hard to come across. It's better than watching your loved ones open the presents you bought them on Christmas morning.Let's face it. The world would be a lot more harsh without charity and giving. You may not be getting a paycheck for your work, but there are still benefits to be gained from doing so.