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Pro Bono Social Media Consultants for Non-profits

Non-profits and charities have something in common that relates to humanity: their mission revolves around helping people. Collectively, they are, arguably, the sector with the most potential to drive social change from providing care to homeless youth to  funding breast cancer research.

In the face of massive government funding cuts and impending closures, non-profits are struggling to cut costs. Due to all these challenges, non-profits need assistance to continue providing their services to their communities. Law firms already know this. That’s why some offer their services to non-profits free of charge or at highly discounted rates. Similarly, social media consultants can harness their skills and talents for a good cause by offering their services to non-profits.

Alright, that’s clear, but how can social media consultants benefit from helping non-profits?

  • Opportunity to do something worthwhile when experiencing lulls in your work schedule.
  • Feel proud and feeling connected to the world around you.
  • Competitive edge that contributes to your professional growth and opportunities for promotions.
  • Gain valuable experience to fine-tune your existing skill sets, which is especially useful to social media professionals started out in their career.
  • Expand your appreciation for broad issues that effect society.
  • Become well regarded as a good corporate citizen.
  • Get positive testimonials that communicated your competence to prospective clients.

Social media professionals know the difference customized and targeted consulting services can have on businesses. Be that skipping rock that creates ripples of change for an ever increasing interdependent world!

My personal commitment to non-profits and charities is to set aside time in my day to offer affordable social media consulting on a sliding scale, so that they can pay what they can afford. I’m extending my blog review service that normally cost $99 to those in the non-profit sector. The organization can contact me with a brief explanation of why their charity needs help. It’s that simple and that accessible.

I encourage other social media professionals who can benefit from offering affordable social media services to non-profits and charities to step up to the plate and blog about their commitment to improving our global community.

Photo credit: digitalgopher

How do you believe non-profits can benefit from having access to affordable social media services?

23 Responses to this post.

  1. Rachel Ann Poling's Gravatar

    Posted by Rachel Ann Poling on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    This is such a great post! 
    Non profits in everywhere are being crushed out of business by a poor economy and necessary spending cuts by the government. Now, more than ever, it is up to smaller communities to make a difference in giving, not just the federal and state governments. The entire focus of my business is on the music and art community, especially classical music. There are TONS of non-profits in this sector of our economy.  My ideal is to provide smart and affordable social media consulting to many of the arts community who need to re-think and restructure their entire way of life as a non-profit.

    Thanks for your awesome post!

  2. Jonathan's Gravatar

    Posted by Jonathan on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    This is a fantastic idea.  I plan to sit down with my business partner soon and see if we can pull off something like this.

  3. Social Media Marketing Expert's Gravatar

    Posted by Social Media Marketing Expert on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    I have been doing Web Development work for good causes pro-bono ever since I started designing websites. It was a good way to get some experience at first, but now it’s just the easiest way for me to give something back. I don’t have the time to do extensive work, but if everyone contributes a little bit, the organization can use their monetary assets for the purpose the organization was designed for.

  4. Social Media Marketing Expert's Gravatar

    Posted by Social Media Marketing Expert on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Great Post Laura Lee. With any luck it will drive some professionals to participate. I especially recommend professionals who are just starting out to do so.

  5. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for your positive comment!

    You phrased it perfectly concerning the type of fundamental change many non-profits need to make to “re-think and restructure their entire way of life” to be successful.

    Your music and arts community is fortunate to have you! Best wishes.  :)

  6. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Really!?! Oh, that’s wonderful! You made my day. There’s such potential here. I’m getting pretty excited!

    I would love to know how things work out. Good luck and I wish you lots of happiness along the way.  :)

  7. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    From my heart, I really hope so too!

  8. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Wow! That’s so refreshing to hear. Way to chip in! Must feel good.

    I’ve got a certain Beatles song in my head …going start a revolution…  ;)

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. A brilliant idea from Crowley Webb « People like to share's Gravatar

    [...] Pro Bono Social Media Consultants for Non-profits ( Tell your communityStumbleUponDiggEmailTwitterRedditFacebookLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. from → agency, Marketing ← Law suit wonders the value of a Twitter follower No comments yet [...]

  10. Marieke Hensel's Gravatar

    Posted by Marieke Hensel on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hi Laura-Lee, my husbands webhosting company provides free webhosting to selected non-profits. And it has been great to be of help. But I have never thought of doing that within my own company, because most of my services cost time, a lot of time, and I dont have much of that. :-) Still your post gets me thinking, maybe there are smaller things I can do to help non-profits. That would benefit them, and ‘doesnt give away the store.’ :-) I look forward to hearing from you how many non profits you have helped. And what their successes have been! :-)

  11. Dorien Morin-van Dam's Gravatar

    Posted by Dorien Morin-van Dam on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hello Laura Lee, my husband read your post and forwarded it to me (he’s your Tribemate I believe :) )  

    I started my social media consultancy doing Pro Bono work and thus gained the experience needed to start charging clients.  First, I helped out my husband in his business consulting firm and with his social media set up and blogging.  Then I made a local connection with a golf charity, raising funds for the Wounded Warrior project.  I set up and managed their social media leading up to their event in August ’11.  After the tournament, we’ve redesigned and built a new website, I was made a board member of the charity and now I am promoted to marketing consultant on top of being the social media director for the charity.  I’ve also trained the president of the charity to Tweets, Facebook post and maintain the WordPress blog.  He’s slowly taking over some of teh social media management in the slower months.

    This job which has brought me no tangible $$, has brought me the most business, by far!

    Tee Off Fore A Cause recently joined the local Chamber of Commerce and as board member, I get to enjoy all benefits.  I attend member to member events and in the capacity of marketing/social media director, I get introduced allover town!

    I’ve done TV interviews and met the wounded warriors, I have met local celebrities and dine for free with potential sponsors.

    Giving back to the community has so many great rewards, one being able to B2B network while providing a free service.  

    I recommend it to everyone.  I love meeting the soldiers and their families who come to play in our tournament and it makes the 5+ hours I week I ‘donate’ so completely worth it!

  12. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hi! Honored to see you here. Thank you for adding value to this post! :)

    Two great points: not all consultants have the time to offer non-profits affordable services, BUT there are smaller activities that many social media consultants can do to help non-profits.

    Perhaps adding an additional service onto your standard packages or offering a small percentage discount might be a step in the right direction.

  13. James's Gravatar

    Posted by James on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hi Laura-Lee,

    This is great work that you’re doing. It seriously is a win-win situation for everyone and will be a golden opportunity for many of the struggling non-profits out there.

    Dorien (below) did exactly the same thing as me. I got out of the broadcasting world a number of years ago, after deciding to take back the control in my working life.

    My first few clients were charities – with no payment. However, this allowed me to walk onto the field armed with a portfolio, solid testimonials and a bit of experience in running a business.

    Fast-forward to 2012 and business has been strong for six years. I put it all down to the opportunities and faith the non-profits put in me….so, of course – I’d love to now give something back.


    My service is media outreach – helping individuals/companies/organizations reach out to the press for profitable publicity. The cost of the service through our website is $199 a throw – but I’d be delighted to offer it to non-profits either for free, or for whatever they can afford (a small bag of candy is enough for me).

    This service should really be able to help non-profits get media coverage of news/events/funraisers etc. It would also be great to collaborate with social media consultants in order to distribute the press releases through as many social media channels as possible, in addition to our news network distributions.

    I can be reached at – james (at)

    Also, add me to Twitter – @pieceofcakepr

    I’ll be keeping my eyes out also for non-profits to reffer to you social media guys & gals.

    SO PUMPED to be involved! Laura-Lee – you’re a genius.


  14. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Wow! What a story! This is a feel good comment that’s a pleasure to read and incredibly inspiring.

    The saying ‘what goes around comes around’ in a positive way is top-of-mind when I read your comment. In some parts of the world it’s referred to as karma.

    I’ve chatted with many people, within my social network both online and offline, that have a similar story where they performed selfless acts and received a bounty of benefits in the process.

    Switching gears a bit, many people have jobs that don’t satisfy them. There’s a huge opportunity here to do something that makes a difference, something that contributes to our global community. These types of satisfying endeavors can be a source of strength to help you cope with that job you don’t like or expand your professional options.

    It can change your daily life. Giving is that powerful.

    Thank you for sharing!! :)

  15. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Okay, time for a virtual hug and a high five because you sir are a game changer. You are leveling the playing field for the competition from the corporate world for eyeballs.

    I’ve seen your work in action and you’re good, damn good. The more positive press that non-profits receive, the more support they get to serve their clients—those that need protection against human rights violations, access to emergency first-aid, a pump for clean water, a more peaceful nation and a home for abandoned children stand to benefit from your actions.

    Here’s where it gets even more exciting—if a seasoned professional like you can find a win-win situation in going to bat for non-profits—how many others are there like you out there: marketers, rental companies, event listing sites, accountants, travel agencies and publishers who can also benefit from helping charities?

    It starts with you, a few social media consultants, a web programmer and grows and grows. We get more hungry for change and we keep growing!

  16. Andy Mack Jr's Gravatar

    Posted by Andy Mack Jr on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Good morning Laura Lee,
    It made me so happy to find this post through @12Most:twitter I’m between jobs, and as a former broadcaster, promo guy, one of the ways I’ve networked has been to follow my heart and work with non-profits, as well as the local artist community and some small local businesses… for free… I’ve done this partly to build a portfolio, and to find a direction for my energies and possibly a business. Though the need for dollars creates some pressure, the positive energy one feels from being encouraging to others is invaluable. Growing up on a small farm, I know the importance of local. It simply feels right to be doing what I’m doing. On the days that I doubt the direction I’ve taken, and weaken, I look for inspiration. This post is probably the most valuable one I’ve found: for it’s timing, but more for it’s content. Thank you for what you’re doing. 


  17. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hello Andy,

    Thank you for continuing the positive momentum that my readers have created here! I appreciate your personal comments that help me get to know you, and connect on a meaningful level through our shared desire to help others.

    I have been inspired by my readers to possibly create a website that offers free and highly discounted services to non-profits. This could also be a place where non-profits can be quickly be formed at costs that are accessible to a wide network of social innovators.

    …to be continued. :)

    Wishing you health and happiness!

  18. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Aaaw! Monica, that’s so sweet of you. You have been such a positive and inspiring force in my life. I’m the one who’s honoured to know you! :)

    Thank you for spreading the word!

    Lets catch up soon.

    All the best,

    LL <3

  19. Monica Morong's Gravatar

    Posted by Monica Morong on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Laura Lee, you are a beautiful person and I am honoured to know you and call you my friend. Keep it up and God Bless You. I am forwarding your original email that points to this blog post to all my social media contacts.


  20. Srinivas Reddy's Gravatar

    Posted by Srinivas Reddy on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hello Laura-Lee!
    It’s very nice of you to do this. Even better that you’ve taken the initiative to motivate others to do the same. I agree, without non-profits and the countless hours contributed by nameless volunteers, this planet would cease to function.

    The only thing I’d add is this: in addition to reaching out to our favorite non-profits and offering them discounts on services, it would be great if we’d take the time to get to know them a little and get involved if possible.

  21. Anonymous's Gravatar

    Posted by Anonymous on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hello Srinivas,

    Great advice, thank you! There are m

  22. one. kind. thing. – Interesting new volunteer idea – Photographer Volunteer's Gravatar

    Posted by one. kind. thing. - Interesting new volunteer idea – Photographer Volunteer on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    [...] Pro Bono Social Media Consultants for Non-profits ( [...]

  23. Cindy Cieplik's Gravatar

    Posted by Cindy Cieplik on 27.01.12 at 8:23 am

    Hello Lara Lee!

    I came across your great post today, while checking out resources for a non-profit organization.
    I am connected to this org because my favorite teacher of all time (from HS) has been doing this work with middle school kids for many years in Nashville TN.
    Long story short–she is in her late 80′s and has just turned job of CEO over to another! Most staff work 7 days/week. When talking with her administrative assistant yesterday, she was lamenting over the fact that FB had dismantled much of the content on their fund-raising page. They are currently needing to speed up funds procurement for a special project, and need to match a generous donor’s gift.
    Is there any advice you could give regarding locating a consultant to help them with FB (for starters) at pro bono or significantly reduced rates.
    I see as a FB project for starters to support there immediate fund-raising need.
    Thanks for your consideration,
    Cindy Cieplik

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