The Nonprofit Builder uses two billing methods, depending on the project or service provided: billable hours method or fixed-rate billing.
- In a fixed-rate contract, the client pays a predetermined price to complete the project within the time constraints. This is our preferred and most often used method.
- For the billable hours model, we bill the client on an hourly rate, or the client has to pay for the billable hours. Generally, within this model, we charge our clients at the end of every month or after achieving a particular milestone.
Our policy and approach is to focus on high quality results rather than logging in hours. We consider it is to be more honest towards the clients to invest in delivering on the project's objective and not just to bill for the time spent on the project related tasks. At the same time, we remain centred and keep a healthy balance between quality performance and efficiency, and we avoid project scope creep (i.e. changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project's scope, at any point after the project begins) or gold plating (i.e. a resource-consuming process of development of unnecessary enhancements).
Our time management policy is flexible and we work both within and outside of standard office hours, and if need be - well beyond the 8 hours per day limit, and over weekends or public holidays.
We strive for excellence and we acknowledge the need for continuous research, reaching out to new consultants and partners, self-education and professional development, teamwork, etc. and we willingly invest our time and efforts in such activities, which may not necessary be measured in billable hours, however are crucial to the overall quality of services we provide.
Other activities that are non-billable within the standard “billable hours” model include:
- Building nonprofit community: organising and conducting webinars and peer learning events, relationship building, networking.
- Creating and disseminating knowledge in the field of nonprofit organizational development (OD): writing papers on crucial aspects of OD, disseminating knowledge, presenting ideas on the OD on the grantmakers’ forums and platforms, writing newsletters and blogs, etc.
- Expanding the client database and bringing new projects and activities: doing bids, writing proposals and budgets, pitching to prospective clients, internal marketing tasks, etc.
- Enhancing the digital platform: developing new software features and functions further to the needs and requests of the clients, optimizing the workflows and communication tools within the platform, responding to the software-related requests from the users, etc.
- Administration: financial management, invoicing, payments, time tracking, policy development, etc.
For the sake of business cost-effectiveness analysis, we do estimate the actual (both billable and non-billable) working hours spent on the project, which allows us to:
- Comprehend how long it is taking to complete a project and why,
- Identify major barriers to efficient performance,
- Improve the quality of workload distribution decisions,
- Get a greater sense of control over current progress,
- Determine the real cost of projects, and how much we should charge our clients to remain profitable,
- Run a tighter operation and comply with budgets and timelines.
Billable hours/time are the number of hours spent on tasks directly related to a project, and are tracked through a Monthly Timesheet, which is the key time tracking tool we use.