There are two situations where a discount might come up: in one, you offer it to a client, in the other, the clients for it. The second is the most common.

Buying in bulk

One example of this is where a freelancer is asked to give a discount if a client books them over an extended period, perhaps on a retainer.

For freelancers selling services, there are rarely savings to be made in block bookings. There might be some security if a client pays for the whole period upfront, but the work will take the same amount of time.

As I once heard someone say, “you’re not selling toothpaste!”. Not that there’s anything wrong with selling toothpaste, but the economies of scale apply in a way they do not to a freelancer.


I know of some freelancers who have been asked to work for a significantly discounted rate for charities or non-profits.

This can seem to put the freelance in a uncomfortable position: is it wrong to charge a non-profit? Am I a bad person for saying no? Does saying no mean I don’t support their cause?

Not at all. Non-profit does not mean no money: after all, non-voluntary staff are likely to receive wages.

I would consider working for a reduced fee only in the circumstance that it’s a charity I would choose to support outside of a project. Additionally, there are a couple of ways to do it:

  1. Invoice the full amount with a % discount to demonstrate the value provided
  2. Invoice the full amount and make a donation after
  3. Discount part of the work (i.e. a free workshop or discovery session)

In either situation, I would highly recommend using a contract and spending the time to scope the project thoroughly.

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