Advertising Creative Director Don Mulkey is driven by creativity. When he’s not creating marketing solutions, you can find him strumming a guitar or picking his mandolin. When Mulkey wanted to do something even more impactful with his creative side, he decided to donate his years of experience pro bono.
When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I think the idea of helping others and being on the ground floor solving issues and of course my love of animals is what attracted me to it. Although I never worked in a veterinary clinic, my job does have that aspect of helping. Creating solutions and tackling complex challenges is what I find most rewarding about my work in advertising. That problem-solving impulse is something I’ve always had, and it’s part of why I signed up to volunteer through pro bono.
The art of pro bono
I’d been looking for a way to use my creativity while empowering others to do the same. That search led me to Taproot Plus, where I found an opportunity to work alongside the Kids & Art Foundation. The Kids & Art Foundation provides art workshops and events for pediatric cancer patients and their families to improve well-being during treatment, as survivors, and in bereavement. They were looking for someone to create a communications campaign for their season of giving, and after learning about their mission and goals, I jumped in and became a part of the team. Together we created visuals, videos, and more that helped them exceed their funding goals that year.
“Jump in. Not only will you be doing something with a greater purpose, but you’ll be amazed at how wonderful it feels to help others succeed.”
After that experience, I was drawn to put my creativity to good use by doing more pro bono. First I helped a nonprofit flesh out and translate their brand across platforms. My next project, designing the cover for a book that a nonprofit was publishing, stretched my skills in new creative ways. I even went on to help an organization with their annual report, managing a team of marketing and design professionals to get the job done.
Giving thanks where thanks is due
My experience doing pro bono has been immensely satisfying—working with different nonprofits in so many different capacities is incredibly rewarding. The genuine gratitude and cooperation of the people I work with on pro bono projects continues to surprise me in the best way. I’d like to thank all the nonprofits I’ve partnered with for the hard and often overlooked work they do to help others!
Ready to start using your creativity for good?! Check out pro bono opportunities on Taproot Plus.