When nonprofits squeeze you dry

When nonprofits squeeze you dry

Have you ever been talking with a potential nonprofit client, only to have them not value your hard-won advice, based on your years of experience?

Have you ever offered a lot of advice for free, only to not get the contract in the end?

Have you really given your ALL to a client, only to have them turn around and bite you when you want to be paid?

Let’s say that someone has requested your expert advice. You talk with them on the phone, for free, for 30 minutes.
They come back, 4 months later, and again want your expert advice. You talk with them for 20 minutes, and give them everything you have. You give them potential advisory board member names. You give them a way to scale their impact and maximize their effectiveness. You give them sources of volunteers that will make them money. You give them board strategies. You give them ways to connect with elected officials. You give them ways to follow up with people. You give them a LOT more than they asked for.

And then they ask you to quote a small project, and you name a small price, and they pause, and they laugh, and they balk, and they say, “Well, okay, it’s an investment in the nonprofit, okay”

And then they email you after the conversation and say, “Actually, maybe we’re NOT going with you after all.”

How do you weed out the time-wasters from the people who are actually willing to pay for your services?

Here’s a hint.

If you’re the generous type of person who loves to help others, there’s nothing wrong with that. But you do need to draw the line and draw it early.

You have to say, up front, “The next time we talk on the phone, you will pay me.”

And if they balk, they’re not the client for you.

If they want a quote, give them a one-line email with the quote so you don’t waste any time on them. If they are willing to pay the price, then they are the right client. If not, then move on.

Being a nonprofit consultant is hard, because so many people want our services, but many have this mentality that they have to get the lowest possible price for the highest return. And that is not conducive to trust, consultant empowerment, or you doing your best job. Which is what you want to do. Which is what you WILL do, when you are paid what you are worth.

Don’t let nonprofits make you feel bad about what you charge. Don’t let them nickel and dime you. You are worth it. If they don’t want to pay what you charge the first time, then double your price.

Seriously. Double your price. They need to learn to value you.

If they can’t afford a personal session or phonecall with you, if they want advice, they can buy an ebook from you. If they don’t want an ebook, then they can take a webinar. Or join your group coaching program. Or get one of your scribd resources for $5.00.

Generosity is a two-edged sword. Tons of people want you to be generous. A fraction of those will return the generosity.

Don’t give your gold away, or throw your effort down the hole of nonprofit need. It will never end.

You want to do your best job, and keep your honor. Don’t fall for dishonorable tactics.

Got questions about being a nonprofit consultant? Oh yes you do. Write info@wildwomanfundraising dot com and let’s get you some answers!