Like charity, good telco begins at home

Over the course of my time working as a telecommunications consultant, I have audited the phone accounts of a fairly large number of not-for-profit organisations.

By cleaning up their accounts, and by negotiating more appropriate services and call rates, we frequently save these types of organisations tens of thousands of dollars annually, sometimes much more. This is money that can then be redirected to more targeted services, to assist those people that these organisations are aiming to help. This is a serious problem, for in some cases there are sizable black holes of public and donated funds.

However, the good news is that this is a problem with a solution. By getting their own house in order, and comprehensively rationalising their telecommunications accounts and infrastructure, we find that charities are far better equipped to get exactly what they want from their telco providers, rather than the other way around. We have seen a number of organisations take this important task on, and really reap the benefits. Their telecommunications infrastructure is now streamlined and efficient, which stood them in very good stead when it came time negotiate contracts with their providers. They're now spending less, and getting more out of the systems they have in place.

While we realise that these matters can be difficult to come to terms with, expertise is readily available, and we believe NFPs can only benefit from seeking it out. Ultimately, whether inefficiencies in telcoare dealt with in-house or via outside assistance is largely immaterial, so long as they are dealt with.