When to Hire a Fundraising/Development Consultant – Part II

Sections of this topic

    Last week I ended with the thought that a good reason to work with a consultant is to help you avoid disaster. Considering that, here are a few more reasons you might want to talk with a development/fundraising consultant.

    When you want/need to dramatically increase your fundraising goals.
    Too many nonprofits, wanting to expand their services, arbitrarily
    increase their fundraising goals … without first determining if the
    new goal is attainable.

    A fundraising goal is determined by a number of factors, and a
    development consultant can help you identify and evaluate all those
    elements – so that you don’t adopt a goal that’s unattainable. Not
    reaching fundraising goals “tells” your constituency that you don’t
    have the support of the community, and/or that you are poor planners
    … and shouldn’t be running a nonprofit.

    No one wants to support an organization that’s perceived as a loser!

    When you’re in need of, but don’t have effective volunteer fundraising leaders.
    Too often nonprofit board members decide that they don’t/shouldn’t have
    a role in the fundraising process … except to tell staff how much money
    they have to raise.

    A consultant might be able to help you identify/cultivate/train a cadre of
    (non-board) volunteers who would care enough about your organization
    and its mission, and would recognize how they could benefit, to want to
    help you obtain the funding you need.

    Have you heard about The Fundraising Series of ebooks?

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive.

    When you have the finances to pay the consultant.
    An organization cannot even consider engaging a consultant if it doesn’t
    have sufficient funding to cover a long enough period of time to allow the
    consultant to determine what actions/activities will support the nonprofit
    in pursuing/attaining its goals, and to work with organizational leaders to
    implement those actions/activities.

    When you have and will take the time to work with the consultant.
    Too many NPOs hire a consultant, get the consultant’s report, then put the
    report on a shelf – with the intention of implementing its recommendations
    “when they get the money.” What a waste !!

    If board members and/or staff can’t or won’t take the time to work with an
    objective outsider, then don’t waste your time and your organization’s money.

    When you need a mentor, someone who can help you grow in your leadership/development position.

    When you want to make a point with your board members and/or executive director and need to have them hear it from an outsider.
    It’s weird that, so often, a board (or executive director) will “listen” to the
    same recommendations from a consultant that staff has been suggesting
    for years !!

    Need some other reasons?

    Consultants are (should be) the folks who have been there and done that. So, when you aren’t sure, talk to a number of consultants … to find the one with whom you are the most comfortable, and who matches your needs and those of your organization.

    And, remember, an ethical consultant will first chat with you about your situation and suggest whether s/he can help; and, if s/he can, will only work with you on a fee basis – never a commission or percentage.

    Next Week is Part III of the Use of Checklists
    to increase your likelihood of success in the
    Combined Federal Campaign.


    Have a comment or a question about starting, evaluating
    or expanding your fundraising program?

    Have you heard about
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks?

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99-$4.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on the above piece, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subject of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this page.