Is it ever okay to work for free? Yes.
However, if you choose to work for free, it needs to be your decision and shouldn’t happen too often.
In 2012, I participated in a cross-country bicycle ride with a non-profit organization to raise money for MS. The ride and organization were absolutely amazing and it was life-changing.
When it came time for them to have a new brochure designed, I volunteered to create it for them at no cost. Yes, I chose to work for free.
If you do decide to work for free, just exactly when it okay to do so? It might be worth it if you doing work for a great cause that you believe in.
“For an (incredibly) good cause
One of the nicest things about freelancing is the opportunity to use those skills to give back to your community. Now, DON’T use this as an excuse to regularly work for free.
Plenty of non-profit organizations can afford to pay freelancers, although you may choose to offer a discounted rate (I generally charged NGOs a bit less than corporate clients, because that just feels right – but that’s just personal preference).
But if you want to volunteer – particularly if you really believe in a cause, or if you’ve got extra time and much-needed skills – there is no more laudable sentiment.
It feels GOOD to use your skills FOR good… and there’s nothing wrong with doing that for free.”
See the entire post at Freelancers Union.