Should You Discount Your Prices for Nonprofits?

One of the great things about running your own business is having the freedom to offer lower prices to a “good cause” organization when the spirit moves you.

But even so, there’s a limit to the amount of work you can do for free or at a discount.

So where do you draw the line?

Ask yourself the following questions as a gut check when you’re tempted to work for free or ramp down your rates:

1. How do you feel about the work?

Is the work interesting? Are you learning something new or developing new skills?

If not, the work will only become more of a slog over time.

2. How do you feel about the client?

Do you feel appreciated by the client? Are they easy to work with?

If not, you may become resentful.

3. Are there any intangibles to consider?

Does the work add to your credibility with other clients? Are you building good connections? Does it bring you joy?

If it just feels like one more thing on your already-packed to-do list, then you may want to reconsider.

4. Would you willingly donate the value of your work, in cash, to their cause?

Make a rough calculation of the value of your discount or free work. How much are you giving up?

Do you feel strongly enough about the cause that you’d happily donate that amount in cash to the group (assuming you had the cash)?

If the answer is no, then perhaps you should be looking for another cause to support.

Choose Your Causes Carefully

I’m NOT trying to persuade you to stop discounting (or donating) your work to worthy causes.

But your time is limited. You can only discount, or work for free, for so long before you put yourself out of business!

So when you DO decide to do it, choose carefully.


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