What are three services nonprofits can outsource?
* 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.