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Donating design of basic site- for charity/fundraiser

     
4:03 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Have any of you ever donated your services for a chairty/fundraiser type event?

There is a fundraiser in my area for a woman who was diagnosed with cancer. They're asking for any donations or services that could be raffled off. I'm thinking about donating my services to design a basic site for someone.

Just wondering how it went for you? If you have any tips?

Thanks.

6:45 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a good idea.

I would keep it very simple (one page?) and try to make it as easy as possible for the others involved.

Decided what content you need rather than leaving it up to them. It should move the site along faster that way. Perhaps they have a flyer or brochure you can use as the basis for the site.

Also, make sure you tell them upfront what your deliverable is so there is no confusion later on.

Good luck.

7:40 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Uhh... I sense danger.

I have done sites for charities, and enjoyed doing the work and supporting the charity.

But you are talking about letting the charity auction off a project to some stranger, and you will then complete the project. Presumably the buyer will be some local business.

I see a lot of room for confusion and problems. The buyer will not be able to have a thorough discussion with you about what is and what is not included prior to bidding at the chartiy auction. So he may have very different expectations than you have. He might be expecting another eBay, and you are offering a one page site. After he has already paid is a bad time for the two of you to negotiate on what is being done. How many different ways can this work out well for all concerned?

Assuming you want to proceed this way, I'd change the offer to something like "X hours of web site design".

Good luck - Bill

8:25 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Bill: Thank you for the feedback. I, too, am concerned about it turning bad.

I was thinking of offering something like a basic 5-page site with no extra effects. Just something really simple. A menu, a few pictures, and some text. If they want more then they would have to pay for more.

I also think the hourly thing would be a good idea. I'll have to think on this some more.

11:25 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've given some thought to this as well, since these charity events offer a ton of exposure.

Question - what would the minimum bid value be? If it's $500, that's one kind of project. If you expect a $5000 bid, then you can afford to offer a significant project (time well spent).

I assume that they will get the site for free and then retain you for changes, thus building your client base a little? They could also get the site, and want someone else to maintain it (son in law ...).

I agree that expectations are very hard to manage, and it has potential to go sour.

Maybe a risk free approach is to auction off a service that is better defined and will still introduce you to the client.

"Domain registration and an email account for a year. Includes a one hour consultation on the best domain name to choose, and a 10% discount on a website if you need one."

If you do the search engine optimization service, then that's another one that has lots of value with defined scope. "Website Keyword and Metatag Makeover"

Check w/ your accountant on the tax status of the donation. Might not be tax deductible as a service you perform directly.

Sorry for the long post.

2:52 am on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It is better to define/quantify what you are giving away in such a manner that there is no confusion down the road.

One way to do that is to have the charity raffle off a block of your professional consulation/development-services hours, normally billed at $xx/hr?

This way, you are setting a cap on the hours you will be donating, and also clearly stating the fair market value (hourly rate) of what you are giving away.

If you get additional work from the raffle winner, you could consider giving back a portion of it (10% to 25%?) to their favorite charity. Doing so keeps everyone happy -helping out the charity and protecting you from a potentially never-ending (flat-rate) development cycle involving Mr. Unknown! :)

3:53 pm on Nov 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Don & bose: Thanks for the replies.

I agree that if I decide to do this I would need to be extremely specific so the customer knows exactly what he would be getting.

I don't do hosting or domain registration, so they would have to cover that. Basically all I'm doing is the design/layout/programming of the site. That is what I would offer.

I think I'd stick to something simple like five basic pages with a menu bar, some pictures, etc. No shopping cart, no flash. Great to introduce people to your services, provide directions, contact info.

Something like that. Still mulling the idea over though.