Is it ok for me to make a request of a local charity that I worked for?
August 24, 2019 6:46 PM   Subscribe

Can I ask a local charity if they would write some things about the volunteer work I did for them?

I'm in the process of starting a small business where I'll help other small businesses to maintain old spreadsheets and automate processes. I did a lot of this type of work over the past 2 - 3 years on a volunteer basis for a local charity. I was thinking of asking the people at the charity I worked with if they could write some kind of blurb about what I did and how it helped them for my website, but I don't know if that would be inappropriate to ask. And if it isn't weird or inappropriate to ask, how exactly could I phrase such a request?
posted by NoneOfTheAbove to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is not inappropriate. I would have a blurb ready to offer, because they probably don't mind giving you the acknowledgement, but they might not find time to write one.
posted by so fucking future at 6:50 PM on August 24, 2019 [9 favorites]

Yes, asking them is a very reasonable thing to do, and definitely have a proposed blurb ready to go. That's how these things are done.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:47 PM on August 24, 2019 [6 favorites]

Others have been pretty clear that it's appropriate to do so.

I'll add that many non-profits explicitly think of themselves as paying volunteers with references, resume material, and interview stories. (This is problematic as a system, if you think about who can afford to do volunteer labor, but obviously no good will come of you privately boycotting the system.)

You asked for exact phrasing. My experience is with very small volunteer-run non-profits where things are very informal. So I would say something like,

"Hey, I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I'm starting a business doing this kind of work for people, and I was wondering if you'd be willing to write me a reference. Could I send you some of my promotional material, so you can see if it'd be something that'd be okay for XYZ Nonprofit to support? I'd also be happy to prepare a draft for you to edit, if that would make things easier for you."
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 9:00 AM on August 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

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