Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, which falls each year in the U.S. on Feb. 17. While everyone might not be a fan of these quasi-holidays, it’s still worth a quick pause to consider how we might better the world around us through individual acts of kindness — a good reason to take on volunteering as web designers or developers.
For most people, today likely means paying for the person behind you in line or bringing Starbucks for everyone at the office. But if you have skill with the internets, it’s a chance to support the success of a deserving individual or organization.
Here’s a cool graphic (brought to you by our partners at Over) and an email template you could use to get the ball rolling. We’ll also look at a few scenarios where volunteering as a web designer or developer could make a huge difference.
Email template: volunteering as web developers & designers
As a random act of kindness, I was wondering if you could use any professional assistance with your website or online presence.
It’s what I do for a living. I’m offering my services to you as an unpaid volunteer.
I think what you do is very cool, so I’m happy to provide free assistance. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to discuss things further.
Random acts of kindness for your clients
An obvious place to start volunteering as a web developer or designer is with existing clients. This could be a great way to reconnect or reestablish the value of your services, but it’s important to properly set expectations.
There’s a slippery slope between a little pro bono side work to a full-blown project. So, let’s talk about a platform that’s not only free, but enables you to get the most from that spare time you’re willing to volunteer.
The Hub from GoDaddy Pro is all about kindness
People who use the Hub report saving an average of three hours each month for every client website they maintain. Much of those savings come thanks to a central dashboard designed to let you speed through admin-type tasks that vacuum up your time.
However, that also makes for easier volunteering as web developers or designers. Once you sign up for GoDaddy Pro (it’s free), you’ll discover quite a few nice little things you could offer clients at no cost:
- Security & maintenance — Add websites to the Hub and quickly see, at a glance, if those sites are healthy or need updates. You could grab a screenshot and send it to clients as a friendly head’s up.
- Shopping carts — Rather than a back-and-forth explaining products and exchanging payment information, send a shopping cart. For example, lend your expertise and suggest a new domain name.
- To-do lists — With the Hub, you can create to-do lists, and then share them with clients. It might be nice to send over detailed directions on how to do that one thing they always ask you about.
Random acts of kindness for nonprofits
If you know how to drive conversions, consider lending that valuable skill to a non-profit organization whose mission you like. If you have a specific project in mind, hunt around their website and see if there’s contact information for the decision-makers (e.g. executive director or development director).
There are also job boards dedicated solely to enlisting professional volunteers. If a nonprofit needs a specific job done — say, a facelift for one of their web pages — they can post details about the job and the volunteer they’re looking for. One of the most popular websites in this arena comes from the Taproot Foundation.
Random acts of kindness in the community
Imagine a local pizzeria struggling for visibility as more and more franchises pop up around it. They have limited funds, so where do you imagine they’d post to look for help?
That’s right, the Gigs section of your local Craigslist.
It’s likely packed with opportunities to help out a local individual or business that ordinarily couldn’t afford your services. It would be a super-cool move finding a worthy recipient of your help, and then show them how your expertise can supercharge their success.
You should also check social media. Many times, you’ll find groups and communities on Facebook dedicated to a cause you’re down to support. Reach out to see if they could use a helping hand.
When you’re hustling, every hour counts. But Random Acts of Kindness Day is an opportunity to step back and think about helping others. Volunteering as a web developer or designer is a way you can offer a gift worth thousands of dollars (c’mon, you’re worth it!) to someone you feel deserves to have a pro in their corner.