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We offer the expertise, resources and personalized attention to help your nonprofit organization realize its full potential. Our team also works with philanthropies to help build strong partnerships.
FUNDRAISING STRATEGIES | BOARD DEVELOPMENT | COLLABORATION | TRANSITION
Frequently Asked Questions
USING A NONPROFIT CONSULTANT:
What is a fundraising consultant?
A fundraising consultant is a professional who can bring experience with a wide variety of fundraising issues to your organization. A consultant will bring an objective perspective to your initiative. Through coaching and unbiased assessment, your consultant will help with processes and systems to impart a sustainable fund development program and/or successful campaign.
Why should our organization hire a consultant?
A consultant can:
- Bring objectivity and an external perspective to your organization.
- Make an unbiased assessment of your current fund development program and your potential to raise funds.
- Help to create a plan and budget for your fund development initiative.
- Identify new constituencies of donors.
- Motivate your staff/board and introduce a level of confidence.
- Keep your organization focused on the task at hand.
- Introduce a level of professionalism that will have a positive impact on a specific initiative as well as your organization as a whole.
What are the most common ways to use a consultant?
A consultant can:
- Hire development staff; create job descriptions.
- Mentor your Development Director. (This is particularly effective with enthusiastic, but inexperienced staff.)
- Help your staff create a development program.
- Recruit/train board members.
- Communicate “challenging issues” to your board. (Such as: Their responsibility to make a financial commitment to your organization.)
- Respond to special situations with guidance and coaching.
- Research donors/ write proposals.
- Work with you for a few hours a week, a few days a month, or a number of months.
What is the role of a consultant in a
A consultant can:
- Conduct a feasibility study/campaign assessment.
- Create job descriptions and help identify candidates (professional and volunteer) to lead a campaign.
- Help you create a vision and design effective campaign materials.
- Help your board understand their responsibilities during a campaign.
- Train volunteer solicitors.
Consultant Do’s and Don’ts:
To ensure success you should:
- Start with an assessment interview: This may be a phone call or meeting. There may or may not be a charge for this service depending on the scope of the initial assessment and the time involved.
- Engage the consultant to give guidance – not to carry out day-to-day fundraising.
- Be sure the consultant’s proposal is specific to your organization.
- Always do a Reference Check.
- Ascertain his/her track record/experience with similar issues and organizations.
- Determine whether consultant is a personality match for you, your staff and your board.
- Not expect a consultant to bring donors with him/her; he/she should help you with ways to approach your own donors.
- Be sure your consultant is certified by an accrediting organization: AFP, CFRE
- Be honest and open with your consultant about your challenges.
How are fundraising consultants paid?
- A consultant should never work on a contingency or percentage basis. (Code of Ethics of the Association of Fundraising Professionals)
- Most charge by the day or the hour; some charge by the job.
- Expenses (hotels, meals, phone, travel, postage, photocopying) are usually reimbursed.
Be sure you have a clearly written contract/ agreement clarifying the consultant’s role, fees and expenses as well as the client’s responsibilities. Use built in evaluation points, if desired.
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