Did you have a stellar year? Did all your clients pay on time, you were constantly being given amazingly fun projects, and the work was never hard to come by? Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly the case. Either way, as we near the end of the year, it’s a good time to take a breather and be grateful for what you have. To get into the holiday spirit of generosity, here are a few ways you can give back during the holidays and also some benefits that may be associated:
- Donate some of your time to clients.
If you’re feeling particularly generous, offer an end-of-the-year special where clients can receive and hour or two of your services gratis for every X number of hours of work you put in.
Benefits: Besides it being a nice way of to show your appreciation for working with your clients, it might be able to help you pick up any work if things are slow while not having to lower your rates.
There are a ton of awesome organizations out there doing great work that would really use your known-how. Whether it’s creating a short educational video, doing some copywriting for their website, or designing some of their marketing materials, you’ll be able to flex your creative muscles and feel good about doing it. Hit up a charity whose mission really jives with you, or you can search for one via Idealist or VolunteerMatch.
Benefits: Although you won’t be able to write off your services, you’ll be able to deduct any traveling-related expenses such as gas mileage. And who knows, the charity may consider you for paid work in the future. Just mention that you are available for paid work if they ever have it in their budget, or if they can refer you (which they will most likely do if they like you).
- Donate a percentage of your earnings.
Publicize on your site or through your Behance profile that for the month of December you’ll be donating a percentage of your earnings to a featured charity. It can be one that’s related to your line of work, for instance if you are a freelance writing you can donate to a literary organization such as WriteGirl.
Benefits: You will be able to write off any donations to not-for-profit organizations. Just be sure to keep a proof of payment.
- Teach your skills to newbies.
Tap into your zone of genius (what you do uniquely best) to You can do this by creating an online tutorial and put it up on your website or volunteer at a organization. You might even want to pitch seeing a weekend workshop or series.
Benefits: This will establish credibility and could open the channels of dialogue between you and potential clients. You’ll also be more visible and could attract your intended audience.
Although giving back is rewarding in and of itself, there are some benefits to giving back for solopreneurs. While this may appear as being a bit opportunistic, it also wouldn’t hurt to know that you can save a little beans or maybe get more work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking: What’s in it for me? Because what’s better than giving? Giving and receiving.
(Originally published at Cheapsters.)
— Jackie Lam
Personal finance blogger helping people thrive in the gig economy