Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!

Where are the volunteer graphic designers? by sylvng

Charity CHAMPS so far has been run by a group of volunteers, of professionals who believe in the cause and are more than willing to donate some time to make things happen. To build the team we’ve posted for volunteers on several sites, including Charityvillage, Kijiji, Idealist, and Craigslist. What’s interesting is that while we’ve gotten a ton of responses for our business / accounting posts, we have yet to get anything for our graphics design posts. And the posts were all written by me so I can tell you  that they all describe Charity CHAMPS with the same text.

So where are the volunteer graphic designers?? I’ve connected with a few designers through friends and I had a very enlightening conversation with a soon-to-be Sheridan grad yesterday. She had volunteered for a big institution last year, and was forced into such slave labour with them that she’s entirely jaded. But what’s more, she told me that the industry as a whole frowns upon volunteerism – anything done for free is seen as degrading the value of all artists’ work! Apparently instances where the Olympics runs contests to get logos for free is making artists feel ripped-off, especially when a company like IBM would easily pay in the tens of thousands for logo development. So her word of caution, which seems in-line with everything that I’ve experienced so far, is that unless I can dangle some money in front of freelancers, they won’t bite.

This is all news to me, and although I’m very happy to get this context, it’s making me feel a bit depressed. How did the graphics industry become like that, to the point where even the students who haven’t graduated yet are already jaded? What’s so different between that industry and the software development one where there are contests galore and even open-source development? Perhaps it’s just the people I know, but it seems developers have much less aversion to volunteering than graphic artists. Not that there haven’t been very nice designers who have offered their help so far, but in general it’s been harder finding graphics help than help for other things.

I’d welcome any thoughts on this topic. And if you know of any graphic designers who may be interested in volunteering, surprise me and let me know. It will certainly brighten up my day. In the meantime, a contact at Sheridan informs me that it’s possible to get students to work on Charity CHAMPS as a school project. We’ll see if that pans out.

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3 Comments so far
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maybe they mean that no designers are going to work “on spec”, that is “develop a theme and we will pay you if we feel that we like this concept”. this strategy has been so abused, that designers have no other choice but decline such offers, otherwise they will get caught up in such work and will never make money. plus companies that need their identities developed need to understand that this doesn’t can’t come for free, like a ride on a bus.

Comment by Dusik

You must be kidding. Graphic design is looked upon by you and the majority of society as something that requires little time or thought. All artist are solicited by charities to do “something for their portfolio” but in turn are subjected to more criticism and bad taste than they get from a paying client. The end product is more often than not something the designer distances himself from. The horror stories of doing work for charities are numerous.

Comment by cbo

The above article is several months, however, if you are still in need of a designer please contact me.

Comment by Phil

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