Feb. 28, 2006
By Abny Santicola, associate editor, FundRaising Success
While it might seem like more of a hassle, eschewing contracts and working with different consultants for a variety of tasks such as creative, copy and direct-mail production has its positives and can be freeing, according to Elizabeth Morrow, manager of direct marketing with the Washington, D.C.-based Children's Defense Fund.
"If I know of a designer who I like, it allows me the flexibility to get to select them," she adds.
Having the flexibility to use any production house enables mailers to get the best cost, as well. This is more beneficial for smaller-volume mailers who aren't relying on high-volume discounts from printers. Contracts are a positive for high-volume mailers in that, while they lock an organization in to using that printer, nonprofits then are eligible for printer discounts, which, for mailers, is really the main benefit of a contract, Morrow says.
For smaller-volume mailers, Morrow recommends working with different consultants, as it affords more flexibility and a lot of different creative viewpoints. The only challenge to changing up consultants, she cautions, can be keeping the voice and look of your mailings consistent. To avoid this quandary, Morrow advises that if, say, you switch to a new copywriter, you recognize the learning curve and take the time to bring him or her up to speed.
Elizabeth Morrow can be reached by visiting http://www.childrensdefense.org