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Thread: Helpful guide if you ever get asked to work for free

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    Helpful guide if you ever get asked to work for free

    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    clever....the person who designed this has a good sense of humour.
    Kevin M
    "FNQ Bolter"

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    Kiwi,

    Very funny I will have to show this one around. I am not good enough to work but have friends who are.

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    Im not good enough to work either but i do somehow.
    Charitys and friends or mum require more questions, but if you say yes to cheap, you are the cheap guy forever.
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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    Ummm..... so to answer the question........... Should I work for free?
    Chris

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Now why did I go to the effort of doing that MBA, I should have just read that

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    The only one NOT to have a YES is "legitimate business". The only one that will ever pay you is "legitimate business". The author's been bitten and instead of making money spends all his time making flow charts. Cute!
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    i feel it is important to donate time to non-profits.

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    Agree - I think it's essential for a whole lot of reasons.

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonshine View Post
    i feel it is important to donate time to non-profits.
    A very noble sentiment, but not always all that practical.

    When I started my own Consulting Engineering Practice in a small regional centre 22 years ago I was repeatedly asked by non-profits, usually churches, to design or report on something from small warehouses to whole churches, all expected free.

    In my 1st 5 years in business I think we did about $50,000 worth of work for free. Very little of it we did we receive any acknowledgment for.

    The final straw was when the local Catholic primary school developed severe cracks & we spent many hours determining the cause. When we did the local priest was bemoaning the cost of the rectification I suggested, oh well so & so is a concretor so he'll help, & joe blow owns the concrete plant so he'll help and another member is a builder. No he couldn't ask a parishioner to donate their labour. I'm bloody protestant so he got a bill for $5500, which was still half price and I don't do charity work at all any more.

    My wife is in Lions & I've had a number of years in Jaycees and we regularly make donations to quite a few local charities

    Imagine if you were asked to donate your photographic services for free to a charity, when would you stop & do you think for a minute they would appreciate the full value of your generosity. Hell, any one with a camera can take a photo
    Last edited by Boo53; 24-01-2011 at 6:00pm.

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    Not that is effects me a great deal but I do some pro Bono work for charities that involved in, eg heartkids but if I were running a business I'd only do a % of unpaid work as a tax deductible donation. I know from personal experience that a lot of these charities are actually quite big business and do pay for services etc as required

    So, I guess it depends on the circumstances

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    That's really sad Boo53 and Kiwi, I'm proud of you. I was taught very early in my business life that the more you concentrate on making money the less you acquire. and that's so true. I'm proud of being the chairman of five Brisbane prisons (voluntary) and Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (voluntary) and Brisbane YMCA (largest in the southern hemisphere - voluntary) plus serving on the board of a rotary club, an involvement with Lions, a former Jaycee at national level, president of two Chambers and CEO of an Economic Development Board (all voluntary). How has that effected my business, film and photography? It allowed me to retire financially fifteen years ago. Like Boo53 direct association with the organisations rarely allows you to profit from their needs. But the work each of those organisation have referred to me over the years is incalculable. Friends of friends. It really depends on your approach and expectations but it helps to have a good dose of marketing.

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    I'm not sure why I make you sad, I give a lot to charity, my wife basically works ft for charity ft, and ad I said I do pro Bono work for the charities i support where I can. But photography is not my profession but if it were I'm sure you should donate time but you can't live off free obviously so you'd have to balance that charity work

    On aside, if youre involved in lions and Jaycees you might know my dad, Ian white ?

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    No. No. Kiwi, I was feeling sad for Boo53 and proud of you. Boo53 has had a terrible experience with charity/community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redgum View Post
    direct association with the organisations rarely allows you to profit from their needs. But the work each of those organisation have referred to me over the years is incalculable. Friends of friends. It really depends on your approach and expectations but it helps to have a good dose of marketing.
    My lesson was that referral of friends of friends is virtually useless, particularly in engineering when no one but another engineer knows what is involved.

    What is important is referral by satisfied clients. That and referrals but Municipal Council staff who respect not only the quality of the work but the voracity is where most of our work comes.

    Having said that I decided to semi retire just after my 55 birthday and asked my staff to find other employment, but until recently my inability to say no has still seen me working 6days a week. I'm determined that in 2011 that will become 3 days a week, and in 3 years, when I turn 60 I will be looking to volunteer, with aid agencies with my preferred area of operation being South America. Civil Engineers are most needed in these developing fields.

    I didn't mean that charity work isn't valuable, but its not necessary to the business plan and is certainly not taught as such in business school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    I didn't mean that charity work isn't valuable, but its not necessary to the business plan and is certainly not taught as such in business school.
    Actually it's taught in just about every business school and has been for a decade or more. Certainly at TAFE where I teach and Griffith University. There's a module (one of about eight) called "working with associations" and "political affiliations" that are compulsory with most commerce and financial courses that are right up this alley. There's not a prominent/successful business person around that doesn't practice community relations and/or do pro-bono work as an essential part of their business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redgum
    The only one NOT to have a YES is "legitimate business". The only one that will ever pay you is "legitimate business". The author's been bitten and instead of making money spends all his time making flow charts. Cute!
    Don't forget the flowchart is called "Should I work For Free" not "Should I work at all".

    I wouldn't work for a legitimate business for nothing given the flow chart answers either!
    Last edited by Peuty; 05-02-2011 at 8:42pm.

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    Some of these churches are the biggest and richest 'businesses' on Earth. While I respect one's right to freedom of association, I am not at all religious and would never ever work for free for any of them or give them any cash. My skills and experience are not really sought after by charitable organisations and I really have little to offer other than donations of the $$ kind, so every year we donate substantial amounts of $$ to what we feel are worthy organisations. If one day I could do some photography work for an organisation we donate to I would gladly do that gratis.

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