From the beginning, Good Cause Creative clients often asked me for services that were not my specialty. Within a month of being in business, I began subcontracting with web developers, grant writers, graphic designers, strategic planners and other professionals whose skills complemented my writing, editing and communications services. Sometimes it worked out. Sometimes it didn’t.
Over the years, I developed an extended network of “go to” colleagues and independent contractors whose work ethic and values match my own. Together, we have done over $650,000 in business for the Greater Cleveland nonprofit sector, serving clients in the areas of education, social justice, literacy, dementia awareness, health care, government, community development, and more.
Nonprofits are known for making miracles happen with small teams and tight budgets. And working with them has its own set of joys and challenges. Our clients are busy, and they don’t always know the best way to ask for what they need. Things operate differently in the nonprofit sector than they do in the business world. Good Cause Creative has always shaped our services to fill in the gap — part consultant, part educator, part cheerleader and coach.
One challenge that we met early on was a level of distrust within the nonprofit community from past bad experiences. Sometimes expectations, skills and client needs just don’t match up in the end. But over the years, we’ve learned a few lessons that improve our chance of success. We’ve worked hard to overcome these challenges with our nonprofit clients, and I always hoped for a way to extend the reach of our work to serve more people and organizations.
Then came Trialogue, Inc. launched by Tom Sarago in late summer of 2020. From the moment I read about Tom’s new venture in Freshwater Cleveland, described as a “job board for freelancers and nonprofits,” I thought to myself, “this is amazing! Cleveland needs this,” and I reached out to congratulate him, asking how I could support his work.
It didn’t take long to recognize the synergy between Trialogue’s mission and Good Cause Creative’s longtime commitment to serving nonprofits. Like many small business owners, Tom and I had both been re-thinking our positioning and vitality in the wake of the pandemic. With decreased revenue, I had scaled back my staff and made the decision to sell WISH Cleveland. After a late summer launch, Trialogue had a lot of independent contractor interest but needed increased capacity to expand its reach in the nonprofit sector. Tom was looking for an established partner that could help. It was a perfect match — Trialogue’s first, really — for Good Cause Creative.
In January 2021, Good Cause Creative acquired the Trialogue program and the ongoing partnership of Tom Sarago, to expand on our longtime mission of supporting people and organizations that make the world a better place. Going forward, we’ll continue to serve a small group of clients for communications and web development support, but our growth strategy will focus on connecting other talented independent contractors with the same kind of meaningful work and trusted relationships that we’ve developed over the past five years.
If you’re an independent contractor who would like to be considered for Trialogue projects, please read our FAQ and register here. If you’re a nonprofit professional who needs guidance or help for a one-time or ongoing project, please fill out this form to tell us more about your needs.