As creative professionals, we're often asked to work for free. And because we're creatives, our desire to make art often pushes us to keep creating [working] even if there is no monetary compensation involved. Sometimes the indie films, PSAs, webisodes, etc. that we produce are simply a labor of love, and don't put any food on our table. Nonetheless, we're proud of our work. And we have to keep pushing the envelope by accepting new and intriguing challenges.
Because I am often asked to produce or edit an indie film or video for free, I have decided to set parameters for the type of work that I do pro-bono. I'm a committed conservationist/ecologist/nature-lover/treehugger. So when I choose to volunteer my time and energy, the project must fit in with my worldview and my personal beliefs. That way, I never fall into the trap of feeling like someone is asking me to work outside my parameters. I feel like I am doing the pro-bono work because I'm making the world a better place.
Call it good karma.
Even if I don't receive monetary compensation, I receive a reward that feels good in my heart. And I make valuable connections with like-minded individuals who care about the same causes that inspire me.
Finally, I need to make sure that my work schedule will allow for me to complete the pro-bono project within their timeframe, and that I'm not taking on too heavy a workload.
So that's how I choose my 1 pro-bono project per year.
BTW - this year, my pro-bono project is editing a fundraising video for Golden Bridges School.