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Steps to Managing Vendors

By Heather Brown
August 07, 2015

Nonprofit organizations often schedule fundraising events to help support their efforts to do what is they were formed to do. Having vendors at these events can help bring in more money for the cause. Managing the vendors can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow a few simple steps.

When selecting vendors, it is very important to understand exactly what they offer. Does this business align with your nonprofit goals? It can save you a lot of trouble to choose a vendor that have references saying that they have worked fund raisers in the past and were easy to manage.

Communicate clearly what you are planning and the expectations of how the event will play out. Good communication goes a long way with vendor management. If they have questions, really look to answer them completely. Being specific and clear helps a vendor know exactly what you want from them.

Require a minimum standard of customer service for a vendor. It’s your nonprofit’s name that is hosting the event. You don’t want that name tarnished by something that could have been avoided. One way to measure your standard is to offer feedback with a scorecard for each vendor. Focus on their delivery of goods and services. This can help you when choosing a vendor for future events. Picking a vendor with high scores from a previous event will help keep a high level of quality at your events.

Know the terms of your vendor contract. Knowing the contract will keep you focused and will show each vendor that you are informed. The last thing you want to do is pull out the contract when having a passionate discussion about what needs to be done. That doesn’t help to persuade a vendor to see things your way.

A vendor really appreciates a manager that is organized and communicates well. They will want to work with you again. These steps will help to manage the vendors at your fundraising event and build for long term relationships. A fundraising event that is successful can be duplicated and even improved by working with the best vendors again at future events.

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