3 Tips to Use Your Craft to Give Back to the Community

Halloween Candy Buy-BackI’m a sucker for any company that uses its product or service to give back to the community. But my local dentist (Suwanee Dental) really took the cake this year with their first annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back Program.

This past Friday on November 1, kids from the community could come in and sell the candy they collected the night before for $1/pound. The candy will in turn be shipped to our troops overseas in care packages. How cool is that. In one feel swoop Suwanee Dental is…

  • Getting candy out of the mouth of children (which naturally connects to their brand as a dental office)
  • Helping kids earn some extra spending dough
  • Supporting the men and women fighting for our country

Using Your Craft to Give Back

As visual artists, there are many ways we can do the same. Jeremy Cowart started Help-Portrait. Stillmotion is producing an original documentary about the fight against human slavery. Photographer Carla Lynn helped raise money for a teen dealing with cancer. Here are three tips for using your craft to give back.

  1. Pick a topic near and dear to your heart. No matter what it is, pick something that connects with you. Don’t just pick the “charity of the month.” Just because it’s October, don’t feel you HAVE to do something for breast cancer. If you want to help save the local marshlands, then do something related to that.
  2. Push the envelope. Use this as an opportunity to push your creative boundaries. Try something you’ve never done before. This will help keep you more excited and motivated to do what will most likely be pro bono.
  3. Partner with a cause. Ideally, see if you can find an organization or cause that is already actively working for that cause. Who knows, they may eventually become a paying client. The sex trafficking PSA “NUMBERS” I created a few years ago was a pro bono piece I made for my church on behalf of the non-profit Street GRACE. That video eventually led to paid work and a great client. (It goes without saying this should not be your primary motivation for doing such work, but it is a possible positive fringe benefit.)

What other ideas do you have for using your craft to give back to the community?