At RooSites we have been working with non profit organizations for over 25 years. We make a point of discounting all web design and development services for nonprofits. That may not be the smartest business decision in the world, but there’s something to be said about helping other people.
This is not just a tagline from our nonprofit page. We always say we like to help those who help others. Why you ask? In truth, it just feels good to do something nice for people. I always have loved this quote from Einstein, and really take it to heart. As someone who works seven days a week, I don’t always have the time to volunteer or help charities in the way I would like to. But being a web designer, I have the ability to help those entities.
“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”
Unfortunately, there are companies out there who take advantage of nonprofits. I recently had one of the worst experiences I’ve had in a long time. I had a client years ago that we built their initial nonprofit website. As the nonprofit is helping people based outside of the US, they decided to move the website to that specific country.
They recently decided to bring the website back to us. The way we do things, migrating a wordpress website can be very simple. But in this case, the company had taken such advantage of these poor people and not kept anything up-to-date. There were 15+ updates which had been ignored for years! Amazingly the site hadn’t been hacked yet, but it was only a matter of time. We discounted our work 50%, as I felt so bad for these people. They are trying to do a nice thing in the world, yet there are unscrupulous companies who don’t really care.
As I said in my opening, I find working with non-profits its own reward. I feel like I am making a difference in the world when I help those who truly are making an impact!
I have been very fortunate over the years to work with some great nonprofits. All are typically staffed by people who truly care about the cause and not about the money. They really rub off on you, and make you want to do more. I recently had a client who is putting on an event and needed a quick website built. We donated the entire cost of the development, so that every dime they raised in this event goes right to the people who need it most.
Sadly, just like there are unscrupulous companies taking advantage of nonprofits, there are also some fake nonprofits out there. Before we do work for a nonprofit we do our due diligence and make sure they are legitimate. This article gives you methods for determining the legitimacy of nonprofits. As an example, we recently had a call with a company, and when I asked for their credentials, they said they would get back to me. I had looked up their company name and found that they were not listed as a legitimate nonprofit in the eyes of the law. I passed on the project, as the worst thing you can do is help somebody steal money meant to help others.
Helping those who help others is extremely rewarding. You get back far more than you put in. If you know of a non-profit in need of help, please have them contact us.
I am super fortunate in that I have one of the best client retention rates in the industry, well into the 90% range. I very rarely lose a client, unless someone goes out a business or a new executive takes over in a company and wants to bring in their own vendors.
But like other businesses I do on occasion have a client go elsewhere. Fortunately, most of the time they return (when I will accept them). Usually, people find out that the grass is not in fact greener on the other side of the fence! Every company has its strengths and weaknesses. For RooSites our strength has always been our responsiveness to our clients. We answer every request the same day. This is unheard of in our industry, with some companies taking as much as two weeks just to make small text changes to your website. The funny thing about offering such world-class support is that people come to expect it. Then when they move onto a new provider, they are dumbfounded as to how their service level has gone down such a great deal!
As a professional web development firm, we do not work on anything without a service contract. This spells out all terms of a client’s relationship with us. This protects both us and our clients and they typically appreciate it! Now most of my clients are quite professional and review the contract and have their legal counsel review as well. So there are no surprises if we break up. Sadly you do once in a while run into someone who doesn’t read contracts and then act surprised at the end. It is utterly amazing to me that in 2021 that you have people who sign documents without reading or having a professional review. But after 20+ years in this business, nothing shocks me.
Here are some suggestions how you can avoid troublesome ends to your business relationships.
Breaking up isn’t easy, especially when you’ve had a good relationship with a company. So think about it from your provider’s standpoint. If they done a good job they’re usually going to be surprised when you leave. So handle things in a classy manner, pay your final invoice and fulfill all the terms of your contract. If you can’t afford to make that final payment, then negotiate in good faith. Most companies will be willing to settle with you as no one wants conflict.