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I’m a big believer in charitable giving. I think it’s fantastic to give to good causes. I’d highly encourage going out of your way to donate to organizations you believe in.

Where things get a little fuzzy is when someone asks you to work for free “because charity.” Sometimes it’s a non-profit, other times it’s a for-profit business masquerading as a non-profit. While they’re making money and paying their staff, they hope you’ll work for free because they say they give “proceeds” to charity.

Why is it that their accountants, organizers, and managers get paid even when good causes are involved, but art is treated as a hobby? Why are you expected to work for free?

Artists are often exploited because they enjoy what they do. Businesses or organizations often try to “pay” you in exposure and many creative people end up working for free when they should be compensated.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times where it is appropriate and right to work for free. I think it’s fantastic to donate your services and your skills!

It sounds stingy to even talk about not doing free work when charities benefit, but the situation isn’t always so clear and people are often taken advantage of.

We navigate this sensitive issue and discuss when to be altruistic and when to be wary. We answer the question: Should you always work for free if a good cause benefits?

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