Pro Bono work

As well as serving the community on a commercial basis I allocate 10% of my time to work for free or at a discount rate.

I’m passionate about supporting three areas Pro Bono:

  • Political activism – especially around gender and sexuality but also broadly any intersectionality issues;
  • Developing knowledge which is emancipatory or further embeds us relationally;
  • Community development via specific resources, skillsets, resilience webs, gathering-points or grassroots organisations.

Mostly I support organisations or groups, but I also support individuals who are activists or who are a significant community node in themself i.e. they have influence with a lot of people in the community.

If you want to be part of this programme please contact me. I don’t necessarily have space immediately but I can put you on the list if not.

I leave it up to the client what they pay.  This is how it works: each year I allocate 10% of my income to serving the community on a Pro Bono basis. So say my annual Turnover is £40,000, I will allocate £4,000-worth of time to the Pro Bono pool.

Additionally I get a small dribble of people donating to the Pro Bono work. Those donations get added to the pool.

A client approaches me to work Pro Bono, and I say to them how much will they pay.  If they pay nothing that’s totally fine – most of my Pro Bono clients pay nothing.  If they are able to pay anything then that means there’s a bit more availabe in the pool. We agree on the rate, then I work that out as a percentage discount from my standard rate.

If their situation changes I ask that they think about whether they want to adjust their Pro Bono rate. They may have less money and need to pay less. Or they may have more money and so could pay a bit more.  If they pay more then there’s a bit more available for others in the community.

The services I provide under the Pro Bono programme are exactly the same as the rest of my business – the same range of services, delivered in the same way. There’s the same formal engagement to officially be a client, I do the work to the same professional standard, and I invoice on the same basis with the full record from my timesheets of the work I’ve done in the month. But a Pro Bono invoice has an extra line at the bottom with the Pro Bono discount to the agreed billing rate. The only exception is that I pass on the full costs of the filing fees I pay on their behalf.

Why those limits on the programme?

Partly I set the pool at 10% because that’s a culturally-familiar “tithing” rate. But partly I’ve found that 10% is “comfortable” – which means emotionally I feel delighted to be contributing that little bit, and energetically I feel able to continuously offer it. In the long run this is most beneficial because it can be available over a long time and therefore it can have a long-term impact.

I place limits on the areas I support because I’ve realised that the “delight-factor” is energetically massive: if I personally believe passionately in what the client is doing then my love-energy flows and the work is effortless. Hence I don’t offer any rationale for supporting those areas; rather, they just reflect what I’m passionate about.  Again, this is about being able to sustain my contribution to the community so that it has the most impact.