How Skills-based Volunteering Can Advance Your Design Career

Natalie Schoch
May 19, 2018 · 5 min read
Pro-bono illustration by the venerable Ryan Putnam

“The reward for pro-bono work is not always just in heaven.” — Paul Rand

Why skills-based volunteering?

The proposition is a win-win: bringing together worthy organizations and private-sector professionals opportunities to further their own skills and career via philanthropic outlets.

It’s okay to ask “What’s in it for me?”

Three ways you can leverage skills-based volunteering

1. Add to your portfolio

A portfolio piece I worked on for the Skillify Foundation — a non-profit focusing to provide low-income students with equitable professional opportunities.

2. Broaden your reach

Examples of well-known pro bono work include the FDA nutritional labels, the Shake Shack branding, and San Francisco’s 2012 Olympic Games bid

3. Expand your network

Your skills can make a big impact

The VAD Foundation is a nonprofit organization working in South Sudan to create community-driven development projects. I worked with them in Fall 2016 on a direct mail project which resulted in $250,000 in donations.

Ways to get started:

Screenshot of, a skills-based volunteer matching website

How to get the most out of your volunteering: