Charity as a price objection

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Kirk Tuck
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Re: Charity as a price objection
In reply to newsshooterjim, Mar 25, 2013

We gently ask the requestor if they are donating their time to the charity. Usually you are being contacted by an event coordinator or marketing communications person. They are generally salaried employees. I explain to them that the business of photography has changed and we are no longer making as much money as we did before the recession. In order to stay in business I can't work for free. I would like to bid on the job and see if we can come to a price that's reasonable for both parties.

I always remember, while I'm talking to the charity person, that the hotel, the caterer, the security and most of the other suppliers are charging their full fees. It's standard bread and butter for hotels.

If your work is better than your competitors they may decide to use you even if you don't budge from your price. It's their job to ask and negotiate. It's your job to get them to pay you what  you are worth.

If you can't negotiate a fee that works for your business then part of your job is to say, "Thank you for asking. I wish we could work with you on this but we can't stay in business at the rates you can afford to pay. I hope the event goes well. Please think of me in the future (when you get a budget that supports photography)."

Also, be aware that "non-profit" and "not for profit" organizations are not necessarily charities. I belong to a private fitness club that is set up as a non-profit for the benefit of the member/owners. We have tons of cash in the bank, the club is on some prime central Austin real estate and our staff is well compensated. Our non-profit status means we return profits to the membership on a year over year basis. It would be disengenuous of our club to ask for freebies. But that doesn't mean that many organizations don't take advantage of people's lack of accounting knowledge.

It's good business to get paid.

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Austin based advertising and portrait photographer, and author of the book series, Minimalist Lighting, and the books: Commercial Photographers Handbook, Photographic Lighting Equipment, and, LED Lighting for Digital Photographers. www.kirktuck.com

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