pro-bono design work

I am wondering if anyone knows of any reputable charities that regularly employ graphic designers to do pro-bono work. I am a recent graduate and have not found a job yet. Though I would not get paid I would still like to keep my skills sharp and I might as well design for a need rather than just for myself. Any opinions on that? Does anyone know of organizations similar to what I speak of?


I’m in the same boat. I’m actually doing an internship…no pay for a for profit company.

Here is an online database of companies but it looks like they charge to get access. I would drop them an email & see if they can suggest something for you:

Thanks for the info. An internship would be nice too. I just want to design but I would like it to be useful to someone other than myself. I have heard of organizations that conrtact pro-bono design work on a normal basis. I will check out the site. Thanks again.


Are you a member of AIGA? I know lots of member do pro-bono all the time. You might want to contect your local chapter: (left nav bar)

I was a member at one time. In fact I founded the student chapter at my school. Since I graduated the membership fee is way too much right now. I am very interested in getting involved. Not just to get a job but because I… well, you know… love design. I have recieved other suggestions about doing things like $50 logos. Does that cross any design industry ethics? I know AIGA has standards their members are supposed to uphold. Undercutting the industry is one of them. Like I said earlier though. I just want to design. Thanks for the advice. Hey if you get a chance check out my portfolio and let me know what you think. Thanks again.

Nice work. You shouldn’t have a problem. Its just a matter of making contacts and finding an opening. I’m not sure where you’re looking but that’s important. I know here in chicago I see a lot of food packaging work and brochures. Right now I’m adding more projects in these areas to my portfolio. You might want to investigate this.

If you want you can check out my on line portfolio:

Hey guys. If you like pro-bono work, try this website

Just found this posted on one of my other forums:

Dear all,

I am writing to you on behalf of the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Unite For Sight, which empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness. We would very much appreciate web and graphic design expertise. If you are interested in assisting with pro bono web design, graphic design, or flash presentations please send an e-mail to >> .

Unite For Sight’s 2003 Fiscal Year Summary can be read at >

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your consideration,
Jennifer Staple
Founder, President & CEO
Unite For Sight

Pro-bono design work actually has a name, although I need a little help from you all finding it b/c I forgot the guys name and the name of what he called it. It was coined by a Swedish (I believe) gentleman and thus has a Scandanavian sounding term.

Basically his statement/theory is that all designers ought to contribute 10-15%(?) of there work and efforts for free toward the betterment of society. Pretty interesting concept really just wish I could remember and provide a link. If you know who/what I’m talking about please do so.

Victor Papanek mentioned this in “Design for the Real World”. I think the concept is called “kymmenkyset” and is actually a Finnish idea. I don’t know who came up with it originally though; perhaps the best bet is check his sources.