If you ask me, contractors get a bad rep. While utilizing these non-traditional hires is relatively common, they’re sometimes treated as an afterthought instead of a team member like standard employees.
That’s usually the first mistake, but I’ll save that rant for another post…
Because contractors aren’t full-time employees, likely work fewer hours weekly, and work with multiple organizations, it’s easy to see them as less loyal or even as a risk to your nonprofit. However, doing so is looking at them through the wrong lens.
In this post, I’ll explain why your organization needs contractors. Of course, take this advice as you’d like, but with over twenty years in this sector and working with more than a few contractors myself, I think I have something to offer.
Contractors are perfect for filling in the gaps, especially if your nonprofit is just getting off the ground.
While it’s great to think you’ll start working with a full staff, that’s not likely to be the case. Finding the right people with the desired skill set, personality and cultural fit for the long term can take time, something that’s precious when your bottom line is community-focused. This is where contractors come in handy.
The right contractor will not only temporarily fill in the role, they’ll flesh it out, and provide you a better understanding of what the job entails. When you start the hiring process for an employee, the contractor can give insight into the day-to-day tasks and how their work synchronizes with other departments. Engaging them in the hiring process wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
On to my next point!
Not all jobs require a full-time or part-time employee.
If there is a particular need in your organization that takes less than thirty hours a week, a contractor is a great option. Your organization gets the support it needs, and your staff don’t have to manage spillover work, aka tasks that aren’t exactly a part of their jobs but are necessary for their roles to function.
Sure, the contractor may have a wonky schedule (something that can always be discussed) or manage more than one organization. In exchange, you save money on payroll and avoid a drawn-out hiring process for someone who’d mostly be sitting around.
Lastly, contractors are great for seasonal work.
It’s no secret that the nonprofit sector’s busiest time of year coincides with the holiday season. November and December are the equivalent of a rapid dash to the finish line as organizations aim to meet their end-of-year goals. Describing this time as stressful is putting it lightly to be honest. Burnout is already rampant in the sector, and the end-of-year is no exception. However, with the right contractors in place, your staff will avoid that typical burnout as they won’t be carrying the load alone.
Not to mention, there are contractors who specialize in end-of-year support. Often these contractors focus on fundraising, but you can hire a contractor to manage your campaign’s social media, handle the increased customer service requirements or take over several administrative tasks, freeing your staff’s time up for the year’s last campaign.
With the end-of-year fast approaching, this is a great time to start thinking about how your organization can utilize contractors this giving-season, and in the new year.
If you’re interested in learning more about fundraising, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me to see what we can get done. You’re not in this alone!