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This question is inspired by How should I deal with my first clients who ask for my portfolio?

Is there any established community for non-profit organizations and hobbyists looking for a freelancer that would do a site for free for them?

Fresh webmasters need portfolio to have something to show to potential client. They could do a dummy project that would be published on localhost, but it's much better to do a real-life example. On the other site there are various organisations such as school running clubs, grasshopper-breeders community or some hobbyist who collects material about Svan language. They have ideas to make some simple website, but have no programming skills.

Both sites wins. The freelancer gets experience, portfolio and the satisfaction to do something useful. The hobbyists have the website made for free, which helps them to popularize their activities.

So I'm a potential freelance webmaster. I'd love to involve in such activities. I've tried to find something like that, but without success. Where should I go? Does something like that exist?

  • this question could be translated to: How can i meet other designers,developers, and such to work on ideas and project together to build things to gain experience and something to put in portfolio. – Muhammad Umer Jul 18 '14 at 9:19
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I spent a good amount of time looking into this and there doesn't appear to be any general "community" where non-profits and volunteers interact (no less one specialized in websites). I couldn't even find a general community where volunteers interacted with other volunteers. There are some specialized forums for specific groups.

But, there are a number of resources that bring volunteers and non-profits together.

This information tends to be U.S. centric. That wasn't my intention, it's just what I was able to find. None of these resources are centered around technology, but you can find 100's of listings from non-profits looking for website help.

I searched for "website" and got lots of results, there were fewer results when I searched for "webmaster".

Volunteer Match allows you to search for "Virtual opportunities" which can be done remotely.
This link gives the results for a search with "virtual opportunities" selected and the keyword "website" (877 results): http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?k=website&v=true

Volunteer Solutions
A search on Volunteer Solutions for "website" no location (100's of pertinent results)


Things to consider and how to approach volunteer arrangements, from Jayne Cravens at Coyote Communications. Some of the things discussed:

  • Create a written contract to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Discuss how you want the non-profit to recognize your donated services.
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I think what you are looking for actually is a nexus between communities, namely a nexus between the web development community and the NPO community so I would actually say instead of looking for a shopping list, you should start off accepting that there are better places to go to get your opportunities than such piece of infrastructure (probably too much turnover to call it a "community." There can't really be a "community" of non-profits looking for new web sites because as soon as they fill that, they will be out.

The best option is actually to network with web developers (community 1) and non-profits (community 2).

This goes for meeting just about any specific target market. Network with people in the market demographic and network with people doing the work you want to do.

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I've come across two options for freelancers looking to build their portfolios with nonprofit clients:

  1. The microvolunteer site SkillsforChange/Sparked has some of volunteer opportunities involving writing, data input and print design, but a fair number are also web-based--ranging from tweaks to existing sites, customization of WordPress themes to complete site overhauls. Unfortunately, it looks like they've redone their site so you must create an account to see the available opportunities.
  2. Additionally, there are weekend events that bring together tech folks and nonprofits to work on web sites, mobile apps, etc. In the US, these events are held under the GiveCamp umbrella, but maybe something similar exists in Poland? It's a fun way to meet other tech folks and work together toward a common, worthy goal.

Also, Codewaggle's link has some great points in it. Anytime I've done pro bono web design/development for nonprofits, I've treated it exactly like my paid clients: they sign a contract, we have a timeline and they get an invoice at the end; even though the final invoice sum is for zero dollars, it shows them the hours I've contributed and the market price for what I've delivered. Additionally, if you hope to get referrals from the nonprofit, it pays to give them the full experience so they have a sense of your professionalism.

Powodzenia! :)

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Why do you look for alternatives when you have freelancing websites? If you need experience or portfolio, just apply like other and let the client what you want and why you will do it for free?

The best thing is that you will work on a real project which will help you in the future and also earn good rank on those websites.

The other option is to seek websites who offer cheap (very cheap) freelancers like Fiverr. Such clients are ready to deal with beginners so you don't actually have to work for free literary.

And last, but not least, religious organizations (churches, etc.) are always looking for charity work. If you can offer programming or design skills, then they will accept you with open hands.

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    If someone wants something cheap, he wants something with very bad quality, and usually gets what he have paid for. I don't consider such projects valuable experience. Better to do something for free and choose the tools and technologies yourself :) – Danubian Sailor Aug 31 '13 at 19:26
  • yes i read some place like 5 mins ago to build portfolio go to high profile clients and give them good discount then normal prices Not too cheap and too above your skill. – Muhammad Umer Jul 18 '14 at 9:32

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