Successfully running a nonprofit or membership organization requires a very broad set of diverse talents. Based on this, it’s certainly possible that nobody at your organization can accurately be described as a database expert.
Neglecting your database isn’t an option for any organization with a goal of sustainability. If you don’t have time or expertise to manage the important tasks tied to your database, then you may want to consider outsourcing.
Before you can identify the right partner for outsourcing your database management, here are some very important points to consider:
One thing that you can’t control is staff turnover. There are so many reasons why a team member may choose to leave your organization including an attractive job offer from another organization or an opportunity to return to school full time.
Other factors may even be out of an employee’s control like the relocation of a spouse’s job, or a sick family member that needs a full time caretaker. Outsourcing gives you the peace of mind that during your busiest times of year, you will not fall victim to your key database team member’s permanent departure.
Even if your internal database manager is not leaving permanently, your organization could be put in a difficult spot due to an unplanned absence at an inopportune time. This could be the result of sickness or an accident, but regardless of the cause, it makes your organization vulnerable.
Do you have peaks and troughs in volume with your database needs? When working with a consultant, you only have to pay for services when you need them. With a full time staff member, you’ve got to pay their salary regardless of your needs. Of course, in addition to salary, you most likely have to offer benefits such as healthcare, workers comp, 401K and paid time off. None of these costs apply when working with a consultant.
How can you accurately evaluate if a new hire is competent to manage your database? In a best case scenario, if you hire someone with an adequate level of competency, how long will it take for them to get up to speed?
Even if a new hire has used your platform before, each organization is unique and there will be a learning curve. Since consultants typically work with multiple clients, there’s a much higher likelihood that they’ve been exposed to some of the unique features associated with your database. They will also almost certainly be familiar with the newest features available in your platform. You’ll be able to leverage best practices that they’ve developed while working with other clients.
A growing organization is a healthy organization; however, year over year growth can eventually lead to an overwhelmed database manager. Instead of hiring additional resources to assist with your database, you can look at just outsourcing specific tasks to help out your in-house database manager. This would also give you some insurance if your database expert left, or if you want to promote them.
We’re here to help!
Would you consider working with us for your organization’s database management needs? Our team has 13 years of database management experience with hands-on expertise in management of:
- print campaigns
- email communication
- annual renewal communication & processing
- archiving non-renewing members
- tracking donations
- management of sub-groups
- exporting data & generating reports
Our team uses the Wild Apricot platform to manage databases for nonprofit organizations and membership organizations. We would be happy to offer professional references from existing database management clients.
Simply contact us if you’d like to have a conversation about our database management services.
What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of outsourcing? Please share your experience below.