Pro-bono days for good causes

One of the things I was talking to Liz about this week on Unfinished Business—you know, the ‘Net Awards Podcast Of The Year’ nominated podcast— was how at Stuff and Nonsense, we devote twelve days every year to supporting good causes pro-bono.

We always set out to do good work, but sometimes we want to do good deeds too. Our ethical policies are very, very important to us, as is helping worthy causes. We used to simply offer reduced rates to charities, trade unions and workers’ organisations, but now we also make a limited number of days a year available to work on projects pro-bono too.

I’d work on pro-bono projects full-time if I could, but we’re a tiny business and need the money flowing to keep our heating on. So we worked out that twelve was a fair number of days per year to work on projects without being paid. We use those days as needed, depending on the project and when they’re gone, they’re gone. We might not use them all on one project either. To be fair to more than one good cause, we might fund a ten day project to the tune of five days pro-bono with the good cause paying for the rest at our charity rate.

Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation

That’s exactly what we did for our work for the Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation. They’re a charitable foundation that supports young composers and conductors, who live in parts of the world where there’s political strife or economic deprivation.

We spent ten days working with the foundation, designing their branding and a new website. The foundation paid for the first five days, then we completed the project pro-bono. We also donated a copy of Perch and paid for two Dalton Maag fonts too.

You can read about the work we did for the foundation here.

Now to be honest, I really don’t like classical music. I never have done. But when I heard the story about how the National Iraqi Youth Orchestra was formed—despite all the troubles that our war there has caused—and how the Rudi Martinus van Dijk Foundation is supporting them by holding a composition workshop in Sulaymaniyah in Iraq in August 2014, I was keen to support them.

I’ll be going to Iraq too

As well as the time we’ve donated to the foundation, in August this year (2014) I’ve volunteered to be in Sulaymaniyah for a week to document the workshop in words and pictures for their website. I imagine most people think that being excited about going to Iraq is slightly mad, but I can’t wait to go.

The foundation still needs financial contributions to help support the Sulaymaniyah workshop. If you can spare a Pound or two, please make a small contribution. I know they’ll be very grateful and so would I.

I bet there are plenty of people who’d love to send me to a war zone. Well here’s your chance!


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