Friday Fun — Charitable Writing

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: Do you ever offer your writing skills for charitable causes? If so, which ones and how?

dll2013_124x186Deborah Lee Luskin: I’d like to think that my written contributions are more valuable to the causes I support than any brownies I might bake. Because I have access to media outlets (my Vermont Public Radio Commentaries and my local newspapers, The Commons and The Brattleboro Reformer), I often write pieces about the work of organizations I support, particularly the Brattleboro Restorative Justice Center, where I also volunteer on a Reparative Board. While I’m paid for these pieces, I’m using my platform to advance causes I believe in and support. I make outright contributions by writing columns for newsletters of organizations I support, like the Windham County Childcare Association. (I won’t, however, write a commentary on demand; those always have to come from me.) And sometimes I just write a letter to the editor about an issue of I think is important to speak out about.
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Susan Nye: Yes! Since I can’t always put my money where my heart is, I’m happy to give my time. I have written for the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust newsletter. I combined my business savvy with my writing skills when I prepared the Women’s Business Center’s strategic plan. I don’t work for free for any and all charities, only those that are particularly important to me. If an organization is not on my list of key causes, I usually offer to work for a reduced rate.

In addition, I frequently pitch stories about non-profit organizations. Today, I’m working on a story about the local Garden Club’s Antique Show for Image Magazine. The Show is the Club’s biggest fundraiser and supports scholarships for local students and town beautification. In the past, I’ve written about many historic and arts organizations. It’s becoming a longer and longer list and includes Hood Museum at Dartmouth, Muster Field Farm, New London Historical Society, Colby-Sawyer College and Northern New England Repertory Theater Company. I really enjoy it. It gets me out and about and meeting lots of new people.

6 thoughts on “Friday Fun — Charitable Writing

  1. I’ve offered several short stories for publication in small anthologies whose proceeds went to charity: Dark Things II: Cat Crimes (http://amzn.to/1faCwmO) is an anthology to benefit cat sanctuaries. The others, (Crossing the River and Scribing Ibis) gave the proceeds to various charities. There’s a new one coming out soon, too. It’s an easy and nice way to flex the ole writing muscles and help out at the same time. 🙂

  2. I agree with Susan. While we can’t always give money, many groups are thrilled to have someone who can help with a bit of writing, improving web content, editing promo/ informational pieces, or marketing information. But you do have to limit the free help.

  3. Although it’s not quite charity, I also “trade” with friends. I’ve taken a look at several people’s resumes or cover letters in exchange for landscaping services, website design help and more.

  4. When friends need a writer’s assistance, they call me. In my workplace, I wrote a nutritional piece for our wellbeing newsletter and I was asked to write and manage a blog for another employer sponsored working women’s network. I also wrote a piece on blood clots for the Stop the Clot/National Blood Clot Alliance. I’d like to offer help to women and children’s causes. I agree with Deborah that my writing talents are more valuable to charitable causes than me trying to bake some brownies, so when asked to pitch in on charitable causes, I gravitate towards the ones that allow me to write.

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