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Thread poster: Stacey Booth
Finder's fees? What is the industry standard?
Stacey Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:00
Spanish to English
Sep 30, 2006

I will be volunteering with a non-profit organization in a capacity other than translating. In addition, they have offered to recommend me to their clients who are often in need of translation services.

Before we proceed, we want to work out the details so that they are mutually beneficial and fair. We are considering a finder's fee arrangement - where I would pay the non-profit a percentage of the income I get from their clients. All contact with the client regarding the translation would be through me. This seems fair to me - I am still getting established as a freelance translator and could use more work and references and the non-profit could use the additional revenue to help run the organization.

I just want to make sure that the finder's fee amount that we agree on is in line with the industry average. Right now, 10-20% is the range I'm considering. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated!


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Local time: 14:00
volunteer work for free contacts Sep 30, 2006

I don't see why the non-profit org. should expect you to pay them any kind of "finder's fee"...?? You'll be working for them free of any charge and in counterpart YOU should pay THEM for future contacts??? that doesn't make much sense, neither business nor fair sense...
Your volunteer work should be regarded as full and sufficient compensation for any clients you may find via their contacts.
PS: there is no such thing as an "industry average" on this. It just isn't done!

[Edited at 2006-09-30 17:21]

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
You scratch... Sep 30, 2006

You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. You're scratching theirs, so I see no reason why they should not pass along those clients as a courtesy.

Besides, any kind of a payment arrangement like that could conceivably violate their non-profit status.

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Local time: 08:00
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

not so not-for-profit Sep 30, 2006

I agree, this sounds very strange.

Unless your non-profit is a translation agency (!), why would they broker the translations? They can just give their partners your phone number and step back, it's called referral or word-of-mouth.


[Edited at 2006-09-30 18:02]

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No finder's fee, but how about donations? Sep 30, 2006

Stacey Booth wrote:
Right now, 10-20% is the range I'm considering.

I have no objection to the concept of a finder's fee, but if this is a non-profit organisation, and you want to help them, it may be better if you simply agree orally to donate 10% of the income from "their" clients to them -- and presumably it will be tax deductable, too.


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Alexandre Coutu
Local time: 07:00
English to French
Find your own clients Oct 1, 2006

I agree with all that's been said so far.

Usually organisations are more than happy to give a translator's name for free, but I see your point of view. If they get, in donations,10% of the revenue from the contracts they generate, you presume that this would encourage them to find ways to get you contracts. But at the same time, if they are not-for-profit and most workers are volunteer, who would care enough about your donations to actively search for contracts?

Frankly, you should invest your time and energy in finding clients of your own. Think about it: if that took 10% of your time, you'd be no worse off!

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Finder's fees? What is the industry standard?

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