by Anonymous Small Firm Principal.
We get this lovely email asking us if we are willing to do the design and documents for an office renovation. Sounds promising. A small job, takes a few months, not too complicated and a few bucks to pay the rent.
Sure, we say, but something seems a little wrong. So we ask about it. Well, you see, this fine charitable organization, which is spread all across the country, and does provide services free of charge, is now asking us to do the same. There’s one difference, they get charitable donations! Do you think we can reach out and ask for donations? “Hey, we just redesigned the offices of this huge international philanthropic organization, please donate to our architecture firm so that we can stay in business and do more work for free.” How’s that for a sales pitch?
Do you think they’ll get the contractors to work for free? Do you think they’ll get all the materials donated? Yeah, right. They’d even pay for a LEED consultant! But pay for an architect? Why bother! They loooove what they do, why would they need money for something they love? Hey, I’m not a self-flagellating monk! Hell, even they get money from the Church, which gets massive donations.
Please, all you people who want to do work on your homes, offices, or private islands, we need to eat too.