Jitasa Nonprofit Blog

4 Questions to Determine if Outsourcing is Right for Your Nonprofit

You know better than most that charitable organizations are often stretched to their limit. That time is precious, and there never seems to be enough of it.

Outsourcing can be a real solution for your time deficiencies. By outsourcing some of your specialized operations you can free up some of your time, allowing you to devote more to your mission. It’s a simple solution, but also one that involves a great deal of research. In this blog we’ll discuss how to determine if outsourcing is right for you, by providing some simple questions to ask of yourself and your organization.

1. Is the function you’re outsourcing exceeding your expertise?

This is where outsourcing makes the biggest impact and the most sense. If you lack the expertise to properly complete a task you could be harming your organization. Outsourcing a specialized function allows you to ensure it is done correctly by professionals that know how to positively impact your organization.

2. Do you need more skill or knowledge?

Similar to the above question, if the function has outgrown the knowledge that you, your employees, or your volunteers possess, it’s time to get assistance. For example, when you started your organization managing the bookkeeping was manageable…but then you added grants and special events, and now you feel overwhelmed. If you’re questioning your knowledge, getting assistance is a good idea.

3. Is the function requiring too much time?

Are you devoting an adequate amount of time to the function? Are you meeting deadlines on time? Do you have the time to train your employees on this specified subject? If the answer is no, outsourcing is worth researching.

4. Are you disciplined?

Outsourcing won’t get rid of your responsibilities completely. You’ll still have to devote time to communicating and aiding your outsourcer, so before you begin the process ensure that you have enough time to devote to managing your account.

What you need to know before you outsource

If you’ve answered yes to the above questions, you’re a good candidate for outsourcing. Before you start shopping around for outsourcing solutions, sit down and answer the questions below. Doing so will allow you to really access your needs, while ensuring you get the best fit that meets your expectations adequately.

Your budget

  • How much can you afford?
  • Is your board required to approve your outsourcing option?

Assess your organization

  • What do you need outsourced from your daily activities?
  • How will it outsourcing improve your operations? What are your expectations?
  • What level of involvement do you require? Do you want assistance with the function? Do you want the entire function taken care of?
  • Do you want your outsourcer to interact with your board?
  • How much communication do you need? 
  • How much time do you have to devote to the outsourcer?

Next Steps

After you’ve addressed the above, begin your research. Find several companies you like and be willing to interview them. While the process may take several days, or even weeks, it will save you a great deal of time in the long run.

Renata Poe Massie, Content Creator for Jitasa

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