There are many reasons your organization might benefit (or already have) from a strategic retainer with Charity Dynamics. At Charity Dynamics, we structure our retained service relationships to ensure on-demand resources of project management, design, consulting, web development and implementation to aid your organization’s staff. Retained services agreements consist of planned, hours based and ongoing engagements, where project teams collaborate on the short and long term needs of the client over course of the year (or years). We not only provide resources with targeted expertise for your changing needs, but also strategic guidance and new ideas that help further your mission and goals.

Project budgets for retainers are typically set annually with an average target number of hours to be used each month. Whether your goal is to save valuable staff time so your staff can focus on other priorities or to leverage our expertise to maximize fundraising, making the most of those monthly hours ensures that you get the greatest value for your retainer.

Here are three ways you can help ensure you are using your hours most effectively:

Talk about goals
Every week brings another important deadline. Your organization is tackling big challenges and your next web or email project needs to be in place to support your efforts. While these day to day tasks have to get done to keep your project on track, don’t forget that all your work is actually building toward larger goals led by you on behalf of your organization.

Help your project team plan for future success and efficiency by communicating those long term goals and by placing your current requests in context of those goals. Our team can then provide additional insights or potential alternatives that you may not even have thought of yet.

One advantage of a retainer is that teams work together on various initiatives over time. We can be setting you up for greater success in the future if we know your goals and priorities over the rest of the year.

Always communicate items in a priority. Time and budget are always a consideration in every project – how quickly can tasks be done and how much do each of those items cost. When operating under those contraints, items with the highest impact on your goals should always be the first to be completed. Knowing how you prioritize your project work and project goals allows your project manager to plan better and minimize risks on your most important work.

Group similar projects
Technology projects don’t exist in a vacuum. There are many interdependecies in technology that require a holistic approach to managing and maintaining online systems. Thinking about similar activies collectively allows for more accurate estimates and more reliable timelines than thinking about each individual task alone.

Even tasks that might not sound inter-related often are and grouping these together can save time and money. Your project team can help you make sense of how your needs relate to one another and how they can be grouped together to make the most out of your retainer.

Let’s Start Talking
If you already have a retainer with Charity Dynamics, let’s keep the conversation going. Make sure to talk to your project manager today about your goals and priorities.