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  • Ashley Tilley

Permanent Marketing Employee vs. Freelancer: What’s Best for Your Non-Profit?

Updated: Mar 28

You know how crucial marketing is for your non-profit: it’s what helps you communicate your message, build a strong brand and, most importantly, attract funders, advocates, and volunteers.

But even though you view marketing with importance, you also know that you don’t have the budget to hire permanent marketing staff. Here’s why hiring a freelancer is the better option for your non-profit organization.

You Save on Employee-Related Costs

Using a freelancer – even one who charges a higher hourly rate than you would pay an in-house employee – can present you with substantial cost savings.

Competitive employee benefits, such as health and dental insurance, vacation time, sick days, RRSP and pension plan contributions and educational opportunities, typically add 15-30 per cent on top of a salary. In addition, costly legislated benefits such as Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) must be paid to all employees, but not freelancers.

Additionally, since most freelancers work remotely, there’s no need to pay for large office space and high utility bills. Freelancers are responsible for using their own equipment for their work, so you also experience savings on computers, telephones, office furniture, and office supplies.

Finally, because freelancers aren’t employees, there’s limited employer risk for your non-profit organization. Unlike a permanent staff member, freelancers are easier to terminate and replace and generally can’t file for harassment or discrimination claims.

You Use Them Only When Needed

Maybe your organization has several marketing projects you need help with, or perhaps you need guidance on an annual project like a communications plan. Unlike an in-house marketing manager, you have the option of hiring a freelancer on a project basis. As a result, you only pay them when there’s actual work to do. This is especially helpful for non-profits that have busy and slow periods.

If your non-profit has ongoing marketing requirements, freelancers offer monthly retainer options.

You Won’t Need to Train Them

Hiring a freelancer means you’re working with someone who can hit the ground running. Experienced freelancers arrive with the expert skills that your organization is currently lacking. They already know how to do the job well, which saves your organization the considerable expense of training. And since most freelancers work remotely, you’re no longer limited to a talent pool that’s within proximity to your office.

To maintain a relationship with your non-profit, freelancers work hard to produce high-quality work. Keeping current clients is easier than finding new ones, so their work performance may remain more consistent than a staff member.

The Bottom Line

Marketing is one of the most important tasks for your non-profit, but it doesn’t mean you need to hire a permanent staff member to fulfill the role. Freelancers provide a great solution for non-profits looking to reduce expenses without sacrificing the quality of their marketing.

Ready to see for yourself the benefits of hiring a freelancer for your non-profit’s marketing? Schedule a free consultation to learn more about our services.


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