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Helping Volunteer Run Organizations

Tech Support and Web Services for Volunteer Run Organizations

I have been working with non-profit and volunteer organizations for over 20 years. I have assisted large non-profits with dozens of staff, administered budgets in the quarter millions.

However, I have worked for tiny, smart organizations as well. I have helped collectives of three artisans get their web store off the ground. I have assisted sports associations and community groups to get their website and newsletter functioning well in ways they could easily maintain.

In my personal life, I co-founded a worker’s coop, and have served on the executive committes of coops, teams and clubs. I understand what small non-profits need, and what limits there are on volunteer time and abilities, budgets and funding.

Based on my experience with non-profits, I have some tailored offerings to solve some of the main challenges I see.

Challenge: Difficulty making decisions involving money in volunteer run groups

Budget might be limited, and multi-person commitees often have difficulty getting on the same page and agreeing to spend money on tooks that could benefit members or reduce work load for key volunteers. Decisions can take a lot of time, and many contractors may lose patience with what they see as endless free consulting with no promise of a project of a scope to make that investment worthwhile.

Solution: An evaluation package for volunteer run organizations

If your volunteer run organization is considering a change, you might need experienced help evaluating options and making a decision. Multi-stakeholder volunteer run organizations tend to require a lot of consulting up front before making a decision, and are more likely than other businesses to choose not to proceed.

While I’m happy to provide an estimate and answer questions for all potential clients,  volunteer-run organizations often require a much more lengthy process in proportion to the size of the resulting work. I’m not able to provide free services to sustain that and keep my prices reasonable. However, I can offer you an evaluation package for $200, which will give you up to 3 hours of my time to produce plans, proposals and budgets, answer questions and meet with committees or AGMS. If you think you’ll need more time, I can sell you 5 hours for $300. This is a discount from my usual hourly rates in recognizing that some of this is sales time, in the event that you go ahead with a service I can provide.

Challenge: Unmet Communication Needs Due to Lack of Volunteer Resources

Your group needs ongoing communication to members via the website and newsletter, but can’t attract volunteers with the skills and time to do the work well and consistently. Members may be in a better place to donate money than time, or have company connections who could donate in exchange for advertising if you had a more developed web, newsletter or social media presence. You want to have knowledgeable decision support, fewer meetings and more fun with  your volunteer activities.

Solution: Easy Peasy Member Communication Packages

  • Full service maintenance package – any and all of your volunteers can pelt me with updates and changes to the website (no added features or major design changes) for a year for $1200 (up to 13 hours). No need for a volunteer to administer or learn anything to keep your website up to date with useful information.
  • Want someone to make sure all your hosting and domain bills get paid on time and your site stays backed up, with software up to date and malware free? Someone to answer a quick question about an email sent by your hosting company? Cost for that is $600/year.
  • Create and send your monthly e-newsletter, and keep it up to date with your latest members? Absolutely. I can do this for $1200/year, with a nice professional template and all the relevant privacy regulations complied with. Sent on a consistent day of the month, just in time for your monthly meeting, fundraising event, or AGM. Want to get a member to sponsor the cost of the newsletter? An acknowledgement with a linked logo at the bottom of each newsletter, might be well worth the cost to a business with a target audience that aligns with your membership.

Free Services? What?

If your organization has a way to share information with members, I can offer a way for your members to help you earn free consulting, design, programming or training time. For every new client who contacts me and purchases services of $400 or more referred by a member of your organization, I will provide one free hour of work to both your organization and the referred client. I will do a great job for the organization or company you refer and you get to help out your non-profit organization at the same time. You can put a standing notice in your newsletter or AGM bulletin, and earn free services. Contact me first to make sure your organization is a fit for this offer and I’ll sign you up.

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

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