Maintaining a full-time staff, office space and support services can be expensive and may be difficult for many not for profit organizations. Outsourcing specific departments or indeed the whole areas of administration can provide the advantage of sharing a range of equipment and expertise, giving significant cost savings, whilst at the same time supplying an excellent standard of service.
Which functions can be shared?
- Database management
- Event management
- Mailing fulfillment
- Meeting administration
- Membership services
Why do it?
- “It’s about raising standards as well as cutting costs.”
- Sharing support services can improve organizations effectiveness by increasing their efficiency and making better use of resources. Time, skills and money can then be redirected to core activities.
- Improved or wider range of service.
- Access to a higher level of expertise and to the latest technology, having greater specialism’s available at a fraction of the cost of employing direct.
- Keeping up to date with developments in specialist fields.
- Greater confidence in quality of service as the responsibilities of providers are formally specified, for instance in a Service Level Agreement.
- Potential savings through economies of scale.
- Greater bargaining power with suppliers when buying in bulk.
- Leaner workforce.
- Staff who used to multi-task on areas where they felt they lacked suitable skills can concentrate on more specialist work.
- More productive use of management time.
- Time and resources can be drained from existing work, particularly when setting up then running a new organization.
- Possible redundancies when staff are no longer needed.
- Smaller partner organizations may fear that priority will be given to larger clients.
- Fear of losing out in this way may be particularly common where support services are provided by staff who are already working for a larger client.
- Change can be worrying for staff and volunteers, particularly when it involves a loss of control.
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