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Outsourcing for nonprofits

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Question:

What are three services nonprofits can outsource?

Answer:

* Website design

Nowadays, people often go to nonprofits’ websites to find more about organizations and their causes.

So quite a few nonprofits have wanted to create or upgrade their web presence.  Some need to start from scratch, while others want to make their sites more user-friendly or add the ability to make donations online.

Such web-design companies also have expertise in related areas like search-engine optimization and online marketing, both of which can raise a nonprofit’s online presence.

We’ve found that vendors in that category often are willing to work for a reduced rate for nonprofits, and some will even donate their services.  Recently, a web-design firm donated its services to create websites for Making Precious Strides, a nonprofit that raises money to support research and awareness of Hunter’s syndrome, a serious medical disorder with no known cure.

* Lead generation

In some cases, it makes sense for nonprofits to outsource their fundraising lead-generation efforts.

Many will use a telemarketing company to break the ice.  A call can provide potential donors with information about a nonprofit and its cause, and direct them to the organization’s website to make a donation.

Occasionally, nonprofits use direct-mail companies to design and mail fliers and other communications.  These companies can help develop lists of potential donors, as well as create and mail the materials.

* Inbound constituent support

When nonprofits do a media blitz, they often need outside customer-service people to handle an increased volume of calls from people requesting more information or actually making donations.

That function can be outsourced to a call center for a period of time.

Such outsourcing is typically used for intensive efforts such as campaigns, but some nonprofits outsource their constituent-support function entirely.


Ken Wisnefski is president of Mt. Laurel, N.J.-based VendorSeek.com, an online business-to-business marketplace that connects nonprofit business consumers with a network of about 4,000 vendors.

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