We have previously blogged about charities working with contracted fundraisers (July 23, July 30). Heather Carpenter writes for Philanthropy Journal that there are some steps charities can take when hiring outside consultants or vendors, ensuring the partnership is beneficial and the charity’s nonprofit status isn’t threatened.
Below are some of Heather’s hints. (Click here for the full article.)
· When researching vendors, get multiple quotes to make a comparison of prices and services. Many organizations put together a request for services proposal also known as a Request for Proposals (RFP). Contents of an RFP vary depending on the project, however an RFP should always include information about the organizational needs and the timeline for the project.
· It is good to verify that prospective vendors have many nonprofit clients and that those clients are happy with their work.
· Carefully review all invoices received from vendors and verify that the information is correct. If a vendor overcharges you, dispute the charges and don’t give up until they are resolved. Being persistent and following up with the vendor on a consistent basis works.
· Nonprofits must not operate for anyone’s private benefit. They risk their exempt status if they hire a friend or relative to do a service for the organization without following their conflict-of-interest policy. Check with your attorney for more information about conflict-of-interest policies.