Affordability of Our Agency’s Services

We strive to make our services within reach to nonprofits of all sizes.

While other agencies that provide similar services to nonprofits have entry points in the tens of thousands, we are committed to making our services affordable and can scale projects to fit within a nonprofit’s specific budget. Our entry points are much lower. We work with clients with budgets ranging from $3,000 to over $500,000. We work on one-time projects or are contracted longer term for more comprehensive work. Our agency also does not require (or believe in) retainers of any kind.

How are we able to do this?

We were created to serve nonprofits.
Because we only work with nonprofits, we are used to (and not scared of) limited budgets. As a result, we often get referrals from traditional agencies approached by charities (who cannot afford them). It takes experience (and creativity) to know how to get things done with less funds. We can also help organizations prioritize their marketing wish lists, making sure they tackle what is needed most first.

We have been doing this work before it was cool.
We were an agency for good causes before there was such a thing. Our work spans more nearly 20 years, so we have a lot of projects under our belts. We have worked on projects for hundreds of nonprofits. This “hindsight ahead of time” (as we call it) is a huge benefit to the causes we work with. This experience allows us to be far more efficient than agencies that don’t typically work with nonprofits or have less direct experience.

We understand nonprofits.
We understand the unique challenges of working with a board of directors, additional stakeholders and sensitive subjects. Our team is comprised of members who have prior nonprofit leadership experience. Without an experienced team, these things can quickly add up to going way over budget. We will work with you to make your budget work.

We have a different agency model.
Our structure is such that we can be affordable and flexible, without layers of expensive account executives or other staff racking up billable hours. It also helps that we don’t have the same overhead as agencies with New York City, Chicago or San Francisco headquarters. (Our clients don’t subsidize hip office space or pay for creative directors to go on retreats.) But don’t think you are getting less just because we strive to be affordable on shoestring budgets. Unlike agencies that offer the same scope of services, no one with less than 10 years of experience does any billable work for our clients. No unexpected hand-offs to interns or entry-level folks, we promise—no strings attached.

We don’t do pro bono work. Since all of our clients are nonprofit organizations, our agency does not serve any clients on a pro bono basis. If we were to do so, that would raise the rates for everyone. Instead, we strive to keep our rates as low as possible.

No big mark-ups.
Many agencies subsidize their billable hours by marking up everything from printing to online advertising.

We work within your budget. From the very beginning, every project has a specific budget and agency team members are assigned a specific number of billable hours they are authorized to work on a project. We have total transparency with our clients and bill in quarter-hour increments. No scary invoices with overages you weren’t expecting.

We have a different bottom line.
And the bottom line is, it is our mission to make great services affordable to nonprofits of all sizes.   Contact us to learn more about how our agency has a different bottom line.
Name and logo is a registered trademark.
The Shoestring Agency (the nonprofit's agency)