Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hire Photographers - Don't Ask Them for Freebies

True scenario. A professional photographer friend of mine was approached by a non-profit to take pictures of a 3-hour event. He was asked to donate his services. He normally gets $1,000/day for an on-site shoot. This particular event would have run around $400.

During the discussion, the exec dir of the non-profit said his organization had paid more than $10,000 in decorations and room rental and $28,000 in food. He said there was no way he could authorize to pay a photographer for his services - and the photographer needed to be on-site throughout the event. So you factor his time during the event - plus the time it takes him to run the images through Photoshop.

This is wrong, absolutely wrong. Non-profit organizations have financial resources in order to exist. Granted, some don't and therefore have very little impact on anything they try to achieve. But most non-profits have a budget, have donors, have financial resources and have an active checkbook. One really good way for a non-profit to dampen its community impact is to ask for in-kind services - when it is clear that the organization is paying pretty good money for others. If you are truly a non-profit, you can ask if a vendor or contractor has a non-profit rate. But you better be paying a discounted rate to everyone else ...

MARKETING TIP: If you are a non-profit organization, act like a business and budget for services. Be consistent in how you spend your money. By doing so, you build credibility in your community and develop a strong reputation. If you ask for freebies, while paying significant dollars for other services, your organization will be labeled as "cheap" and professional people will run in the opposite direction. You will not get the quality of services you really need.

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