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The RFP: Make it a Win-Win

The RFP (Request for Proposal) signals opportunity for a creative firm! They’ve made it to your list of qualified firms. You’ll have multiple options from which to choose, pouring over creative samples and price ranges. Sounds like a win-win for both parties?

Not really.

For every creative firm that sees opportunity, another sees a cost to avoid. For every client that sees opportunity, another sees it as an onerous task that derails their real work, and is confused about the process.

The process might seem to favor the creator of the RFP. But there are hidden costs. Even the best-run RFP process has built-in flaws. You can get the most out of the process if you recognize the built-in flaws and costs, and then use workarounds. Read more

The Tree of So-So? Or the Forest of Effective.

A better path for your next communication problem

(Download the white paper for The Tree of So-So? Or the Forest of Effective.)

creative commons license / flickr user: Today is a good day

Few businesses these days can afford to throw dollars at any communications unless they see some value—value being the relationship between cost paid and results achieved. Nonprofits especially can’t afford to, with budgets and staff strained as they are. Why then do so many organizations approach projects in ways that hinder their ability to be as effective as they could be?

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Farmer’s Markets: Nourishing Enterprises

This week ends National Farmers Market Week. Even with access to one of the consistently rated-top farmers markets in the country—Portland Farmers Market— I’m still surprised there is such a week. In spite of the gloomy picture of the health of the average American and the crushing power of the industrial food complex, we have something to celebrate. There are now about 6100 markets across the country, a 16 percent increase over last year. Go here to find a farmers market near you.

Following is a tribute to the impact of farmer’s markets, with a focus on the Portland Farmer’s Market and highlighting one of their sustainability efforts. Their clearly defined mission and success at executing goals is an inspiration for any business or nonprofit.

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Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick Two

(Download thisWhite paper: Good, Fast, Cheap as a PDF.)

Google the phrase “Good Fast Cheap Pick Two” and you get over 78 million search results. There are only 1.7 million for “Fountain of Youth.” Apparently people desire good, fast and cheap more than they do the secret to staying young. I see requests like this posted in online venues like LinkedIn. Is it the economy? Is there a growing sense of entitlement? Or is it more benign than that—businesses don’t realize that asking for good, fast and cheap will hinder their ability to be effective? Read more