Your nonprofit acknowledges that you can’t do it all as a comms team of one. Yay!
But they don’t want to hire staff right now, and would rather contract out the work.
So what should you outsource? Here are the five places I would consider first.
1. Media Relations / PR
Here’s why: If you are serious about getting regular, ongoing media coverage or you want to break into major or even national news markets, it’s a lot of work. Pitching stories and positioning staff as expert sources take a lot of time. That work is more likely to be successful when the person doing the pitching really understands who covers what and who is actually making the day to day decisions about what goes into print or on the air. That level of detailed insider knowledge and personal relationships are very hard for most nonprofits to maintain (unless you are talking about small-town newspapers — in that case, you are probably running into reporters and editors at the grocery store).
2. Video Production
Here’s why: It’s very technical work with a lot of steps. Yes, you can learn them, but unfortunately, if you don’t use those skills constantly, it’s very easy to get rusty. Then it’s like starting from scratch in your learning curve every time you need to shoot and edit a video. If you only need videos produced every now and then, it’s much more efficient and effective to farm it out to people with the right equipment who use all the video production software every day. Now, I’m not talking about quick takes on your phone that you might use on a social media story, for instance. That’s easier.
3. Graphic Design
Here’s why: Just like video production, it can get technical. But it can also get repetitive, which means it can eat up a lot of time and brain power that you personally don’t need to expend. If you have to create a lot of different things like flyers and brochures and event invitations, and you want them to look unique but also stay on brand, it’s best to have a professional take care of all of that for you. Again, it will be both more efficient and more effective that way.
Here’s why: Advertising on both Google and Facebook has become so complicated with all the different formats and bidding that it’s nearly impossible to take a casual approach to it and still be successful. You really need to know what you are doing to optimize the spend, even if that is coming in the form of a Google grant (actually, especially if it is a Google grant given all their rules).
5. Web Development
Here’s why: Again, the complexity. If you are trying to optimize your website for both desktop and mobile while also trying to integrate various applications like your CRM or fundraising pages, it can get very complicated very quickly. While it all looks simple enough, troubleshooting plugin conflicts, site speed issues, etc. can quickly devolve into a nightmare where fixing one thing breaks another.
How about you? If you could outsource, where would you spend the money?