Working to define the business goals and achieve the needs of a small business owner can be a challenge – as the owner is, more often than not, working 80 hours a week on everything BUT the marketing of their business.
Having an established process – from beginning to end – greatly helps the small business owner to understand how a project will unfold, what to expect and where they will be needed for content development, reviews and approval.
Nonprofit firms must compete for donors (of time and money) in an ever-crowded online space, using the same tactics and resources much larger firms might employ, but on much smaller budgets. Deadlines may stretch and decisions might be ‘hard-to-get’ when working with a large group of passionate volunteers, rather than a single point of contact in a traditional business operation.
In an article about the challenges Professional Advisors face, when making a move from for-profit to nonprofit clients, the author, Betsy Mangone, writes of a difficult mindset that can occur in nonprofits:
“…we are serving society and therefore may not be required to follow accepted business practices”…
Additionally, Ms. Mangone writes of the delicate challenge posed when placing a value on your work…
“Smaller charities and charities with less experience tend to work with professional advisors who are willing to donate their time providing advice and services. While this relationship can transform into a fee for service situation, it is sometimes difficult for the advisor to know how and when to begin to charge for services, and for the charity to adjust expectations to accommodate the new arrangement. If the professional advisor’s goal is to eventually begin a fee for service relationship with the charity, it is wise to negotiate such an arrangement in the beginning.”
We recently had the good fortune to work with the Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center [GECRC], a nonprofit whose mission is to serve children in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. GECRC empowers students, who meet low-income and academic risk guidelines, by providing after-school and summer programs which emphasize literacy and community involvement, using the talents of teachers, volunteer tutors, adult caregivers and a variety of local support services.
We worked closely with the GECRC team of staff and volunteers to produce an entirely new website that has an approachable, friendly design, integrates the legacy volunteer management systems and more effectively showcases the successes of the students in the program and their mission.
The staff and volunteers loved working with our process – fully understanding what was due and when – helping them to manage their busy schedules.
To achieve the best outcomes, you must always strive to provide your BEST work, whatever the fee-for-service or pro-bono arrangement may be. Seeing the end result is always much more gratifying than just the final fee.