Due to advancements in gig-economy technologies, it’s now more affordable for faith based organizations (FBOs) to develop and use clearinghouses of skilled volunteers and contractors for outsourcing of work.

Leading indicators

  • FBOs depend on technology to attract and retain contributors, donors, and members.
  • Demand for technology-related products and services requires specific skills.
  • Volunteers are not able to keep up with the actual need. Clearinghouses should be better able to find and manage freelancers to fill the gaps.
  • Governments are offering FBOs training and technical assistance to better develop their service capacities. (see, Virginiaservice)
  • Organizations are offering FBO clearinghouses for research, training and technical assistance. (see, Techsoup)

Trends

FBOs have limited time and resources to fulfill their missions while living within their budgets. To maximize their effectiveness, many have traditionally relied on volunteers but now find it harder to recruit that help than in the past.  Many people are now on entrepreneur paths. They are offering their skills to the market, via services such as Freelancer and Upwork

Expect clearinghouses to funnel requests for help and advice. They can manage and scale the process of parceling out and paying for pieces of work more effectively than each organization handles their own individual processes, overwhelming their volunteers in the process.

Recommendations

FBOs should focus on using clearinghouses to outsource tasks in four key areas:

    • Financial management. This is critical from both a regulatory and transparency perspective which makes third party accountability a necessity.
    • Fundraising. Often becomes stale. Consultancies will be expected to intervene in or restart campaigns on an intermittent basis.
    • Graphic Design. This is needed to develop designs, illustrations and logos.
    • Social Media Engagement.  Focuses on analytics and engagement roles to personalize opportunities and requests and sharpen outreach.