Earlier in the Holocene Epoch, when I made my living as a biologist, I didn’t get many opportunities to give back to the community using my vocational skills. I can’t remember a single time I was asked to do a free bird dissection or donate a phylogenetic analysis to charity. As a voice talent it’s a much more common occurrence to get requests for pro bono work.
The last time I was asked, I was happy to agree. A local alum of my alma mater asked if I could narrate a promotional video for Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. I certainly didn’t expect anything in return, except maybe lunch (and when you talk to yourself in a padded cell for a living, getting out to have lunch with a friend is a pretty great incentive). As it turns out, the producer on the JAWM project, who was also working pro bono, kept my contact information and called me for a well-paying job just a couple of months later. It looks like we will have more opportunities to work together as well. Nice.