While outsourcing in nonprofits is relatively rare compared to most other businesses, I think the idea has become more popular in the struggling economy. As someone who has worked both in-house and as a contracted worker for nonprofits, I can attest to the value of outsourcing. Here’s how it can help your nonprofit:
- Contracting out certain jobs can take some of the work off the desks of busy employees.
- Hiring a freelancer can help save money. By hiring only the person you need, when you need them, your nonprofit won’t spend money on a full-time salary with benefits.
- It’s more efficient. Full-time employees can end up sitting at their desks surfing Facebook because they’re guaranteed a salary whether they have work to do or not. Contractors have to work hard to win jobs and stay on top of their game. If they’re worth their while, (which they are if you’ve vetted them well), they won’t waste time or money.
- If the person you’ve hired on a contract isn’t working out, you can choose not to renew without having to fire someone in the office.
- Contract workers have to constantly compete for jobs and so they’re more likely to be creative, responsible, and keep their knowledge updated. Once you’ve hired that full-time employee, they’re more likely than most freelancers to become complacent.
Are there exceptions to these rules? Absolutely. But if your organization is trying to survive a budget crunch, maybe it’s time to take a hard look at how outsourcing can work for you.
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