There’s an old adage (cliche’?) that “you get what you pay for.”
Try telling that to nonprofit organizations.
Several years back I worked with a small nonprofit agency with an annual budget of approximately half a million dollars. Early on in my role as development director – and throughout my two year tenure – I was admonished by the executive director to “weed out” the donor database.
You see we were using eTapestry, a web-based fundraising and donor management system. At that time eTapestry was free for users – as long as your database contained less than 500 names.
I’m serious. True story.
Web hosting costs all of, what? – $9 to $15 a month?
Yet nonprofit organizations will do everything in their power, including spending considerable time and effort (uh, last time I checked, time was money), to locate free web hosting.
Same with email marketing providers, graphic designers, writers … the mindset is “we’re a nonprofit – what kind of deal can you give us?”
When you go with the “free” service or the cheaper service, there’s also the (usually) warranted perception that “you get what you pay for.”