Pro Bono work, work you do for free or at a significantly reduced fee, can be rewarding; or not. It can depend on how entitled or grateful the recipient is. I once did a set of quarter boards for a venerable museum ship. The cost was sixty dollars for the mahogany and a ride. I never got the sixty and never got the ride.
On the other hand, I knew a woman who had a lovely relief carved mermaid. She wanted a sign but lacked funds. It was relatively short work to carve some three-inch letters and attach the mermaid to the backing. The lovely thank you note and the small gift were sufficient thanks.
It’s hard to tell in advance how appreciated your application of skill will be. Sometimes a job calls to you because it would be interesting to do. Take plenty of notes and photos, and make sure to sign the work prominently. If you don’t receive your fee or get ghosted, write a letter to the organization’s Board pointing out how much they did not pay for a professional job. And, then ask, where is your paltry Pro Bono?
In case of genuine hardship, smile, consider the good you’ve just done, and move on.
Being a carver is more than just removing wood till you have an eagle.