Newport’s John Pannell: “Ask for a Test Package, Not a Proposal”
In the November/December 2005 issue of NEDMA News, John Pannell, Founder and President of Newport Creative Communications (which, in the spirit of full disclosure, is the agency for which I work), questions the traditional client-agency RFP process.
Founder and President of Newport Creative Communications
“Personally, I don’t think nonprofit organizations should be making any big decisions about the future of their fundraising programs based on proposals received from a short list of direct response fundraising agencies,” writes John.
“Don’t send out that RFP and trust that the best proposal necessarily represents the best agency for you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your suitors’ references aren’t carefully selected to provide only the most flattering recommendations. Don’t mistake charisma for capability or promises for results.”
“Clearly, there are many good agencies out there. But instead of asking for a proposal, why not ask for a test package? It’s quick, easy and objective. And the best part is you can use the results as a basis for your decision.”
Adds John: “The bottom line is that proposals have their shortcomings, while testing provides objective, conclusive evidence of an agency’s capabilities. After testing has been completed, you may discover that your current agency is doing a fantastic job for you. You may find a way to improve your direct mail fundraising program. Or you may find that it really is time for a change.”
To read John Pannell’s article, “I Would Like to Propose a Test,” in its entirety, click here.
“I Would Like to Propose a Test,” by John Pannell, Founder and President of Newport Creative Communications, originally appeared in the September 2005 issue of FundRaising Success magazine.Google+