How are you making a difference?

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As web professionals, most of you have probably been quite advantaged in terms of your education and ability to earn a living.

So how are you giving back with your skills?

Please post ways you use your expertise to help others.

For instance, one Sitepoint reader has what seems to me an inspiring cause to address poverty that you might check out on his blog:

http://www.oneafrikan.com/archives/2005/06/23/g8-reboot-help-to-spread-the-word/

His example is a simple one of raising awareness of causes of interest via a blog, as well as email, etc.

In my case, I’ve started up a website that matches people with resources to those who are struggling to meet their basic needs, and it continues to gain traction (http://www.actioncorps.org). This work gets me zero consulting business, and is pure volunteer, but it feels good and right to do.

Please post two types of activities:

- Good things you do in community that gets you more visible as a professional, and thus lets you do well while also marketing your business;

- Good things you do with your Web professional skills that help make things better in the world.

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  • http://boyohazard.net Octal

    1) I am currently helping a local councillor who runs a program for disadvantaged youth.

    2) I am ashamed to say, nothing. Although I will definately join in with the G8 Reboot you linked to.

  • Andy

    I am doing a few things.

    1. I run a web site for Christian Youth Groups in Canada setting up a system to allow them to have their own websites for their youth group at no charge – http://www.youthpoint.ca

    2. I am on the board of a children’s camp who recently ran a golf marathon – I wrote a web based app to manage sponsorships and golfers – http://www.medeba.com/golf

    3. I also do about 40hrs a month of volunteer work that is not web/pc related but still cool :)

  • sallycarson

    I do a lot of free web sites for non-profits and for charity events. For example, I created a web site to support a bike ride I did with two friends from Maine to Miami (1800 miles in 3 weeks – about 90 miles a day) we raised over $10,000 for American Cancer Society and our local chapter of Hospice. The web site served as a forum for all the people that we met along the way, it really became a community site — very inspiring!

  • grafixgirl

    Work with an organisation called ” Animal Rights Foundation – do all their print and web work. I wouldn’t say that I work for free – I don’t get paid with money but the satisfaction and happiness I get when the work I do draws attention and help to their cause – gives me a feeling parallel to none!

  • http://www.developedsitesales.com Cutter

    I feel good just helping others get their business started on the web.

    The majority of the world’s population can live and support their families for a few hundred dollars a month. This is very achievable for any English speaker with internet access. Sometimes they just need a little nudge in the right direction and someone who says, yes, you can do it.

  • http://www.ptpnewmedia.com ptpnewmedia

    1. Donated creative web marketing services to the Houston and Gulf Coast Chapter of Credit Unions to develop the South East Texas Credit Union Golf Classic web site. The web site helped promote the Golf Tournament and assist in the registration of teams and sponsors. The tournament raised over $64,000. Every dollar raised by this event went to different charities including: Texas Children’s Hospital, Tsunami Relief, Sunshine Kids, Junior Achievement, and many more.

    2. Provide creative web marketings services to other area organizations: http://www.ptpnewmedia.com/company/community.asp

    What we have given back to the community has been returned to us multiple times in many different ways: referals, free press, sponsorships, etc.

    Working with the community has been a great area of business development.

  • http://www.eleytech.com beley

    My wife and I give to a few select charities and have other causes we support but I don’t currently do anything with my professional skills that could be considered philanthropic in any way. I guess I work hard all day to put food on the table… I don’t want to do it more than I have to. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do… but there’s a point where you ask yourself if it would be better to work 5-10 extra hours or just write a check. I’d personally rather spend that time with my wife and children.

    I’m all for philanthropy and support several causes. I’d really like to get involved in a more physical way… one day. Right now it’s just not a possibility.

    However, I applaud people who have the time, money and resources to help other people. It’s easy to just write a check; it’s much harder to get out there and do something to help. All of you that are active in community or other philanthorpic projects have my admiration.

  • jimbo_dk

    It’s really good to hear how everyone is doing their part.

    1. Sadly nothing much, except that I do some websites for christian ministries and churches at no charge, and also help out at the multimedia dept in our local church.

    2. I’m in the process of setting up a website where people can share their stories of encouragement with each other, e.g. overcoming cancer, etc.

    http://www.resoundingpraises.com

  • http://www.dannyfoo.com/minifolio/ etsuko

    Hmm..

    1. I’ve donated a layout to TsunamiPenang@Blogger during the tsunami relief and coverage.

    2. I’m looking into doing more favours for some friends and a mobile phone forum which I believe has the potential to outshine those arleady out there.

    3. I’m not sure if this counts, addressing in detail to the client about what he/she should be looking out for when developing a website although the project isn’t given to me.

  • http://norbert.mocsnik.hu/ norbert_m

    1. I am working on multiple Open Source projects–I always believed in the power of these communities and it works exactly as you describe above.. this helps me market my business by getting me visible as a professional.
    2. I’m working with my closest friends to help them achieving their dreams via my international presence. I am totally sure that I completely infected life of two of them. It all started 7+ years ago and they are on the best way to succeed.

    As I’m getting more “stable” and “powerful” in my life, I definitely wish to volunteer on everything that I can afford.

    We all know that it is much much better to give than to receive.

  • http://www.primacognos.com bigduke

    I sit in Yahoo! Programming:1 and help people with web dev problems.
    As for donations, charity etc … sadly I don’t earn enough :(

  • http://design-comp.com ComputerLady

    I donate a variety of services to certain nonprofit organizations in my area. They are expected to pay for any costs involved, such as hosting fees, printing costs, etc. Over the years I’ve learned to be very selective about what nonprofit I choose to work with in this form so someone isn’t taking advantage of me. While not always something I look for, many of these situations also provide publicity for my or my company.