Thursday, April 30, 2015

Want Creative Cred? Give A Little

by Rebecca Forster, best selling author

Want to know a secret?  Volunteering can be your ticket to building a creative career platform. 

Other professions have embraced the nonprofit strategy as personally fulfilling and professionally strategic. Lawyers work pro-bono, doctors cross borders to help those less fortunate, retired business people and teachers mentor those who need help getting started or getting over a hump.

But nonprofits need more than counsel, they need the kind of exposure, writers, filmmakers, and artists can provide.  Whether you’re looking for that that first portfolio piece or expanding an already established career, aligning yourself with a nonprofit offers you a wealth of creative opportunities. 

 Profile a volunteer
Interview the administrator
Chronicle the history of the nonprofit
Spotlight the success stories of the clients

Paint a mural
Design a fundraising invitation
Photograph the clients
Hold art/photography classes 
Design a nonprofit’s newsletter

Cook for a fundraiser
Landscape the building
Provide floral arrangements for benefits

There is no limit to the benefits you will receive by volunteering your creative services. You will build your portfolio, be introduced to businesses and clients that are ready to pay for your talent, and, above all, you will have made a difference with your words, your images and your creativity. There is no lack of drama at a nonprofit, all you have to do is seek it out. 

Eric, my son and Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania, writes plays about his experiences. They are produced in Hollywood and the proceeds benefit the village in which he lives. 

Sam, a well-known musician, teaches children stricken with cancer how to play the guitar. The local newspaper did a front-page article on his efforts.

Cheryl, an aspiring filmmaker interviews people in an assisted living facility and runs those interviews on her website calling attention not only to rich histories but also to her talent.

Jackie painted a mural on the wall of a local library. She was credited for her work by the library. 

The next time you’re looking for a way to showcase your talent, look no further than your community. Your portfolio - and your heart - will benefit from your generosity. 

Rebecca Forster
Author of Best Selling legal thrillers
On a crazy dare, I wrote a book and suddenly a lark became a passion. Now, with over 25 books to my name including the Witness Series featuring Josie Bates and the USA Today Best Seller KEEPING COUNSEL. I’m love writing thrillers that combine great plots and intricate character relationships.

I'm long married to a Superior Court judge (we met in high school) and the mother of two sons who write. Alex is in film and Eric who is a playwright. I am also a proud grandma of Tucker-the-dog. I've been fighting for joint custody, but Alex will only allow visitation.

Before I began my creative career, I earned my B.A. and MBA and worked as an adveritising executive. I teach a weekend course at UCLA Writers Program and volunteer with the Young Writers Conference that brings writers into middle schools.

 Rebecca's Amazon Author Page

Visit Rebecca's website for all her books, including the best selling Before Her Eyes, and the Witness Series.

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