- You need expertise you don’t have
- An outside perspective would be very helpful
- You really don’t know what to do next!
All of these are sound reasons to enlist the help of a consultant. But are you ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make the client/consultant relationship as successful as it can be for your organization? Are you ready for change in order to be successful?
When you determine you are ready to hire a fundraising consultant, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Are you willing and able to commit the time and the resources necessary for the relationship to be successful?
- Be prepared to involve key staff early in the client/consultant relationship in order to ensure success
- Do your homework; be prepared to share your organization’s history and background of the project at hand.
- Be prepared to do a thorough assessment of your development program and an assessment of your organization. Is your program relevant to the needs in the community?
- What are the challenges for the project? What efforts have already gone into the project, and, what activities do you think will be critical to the success of the project? Be prepared to share what has worked – and what hasn’t.
- Does your staff need training in order to successfully proceed with the campaign/project at hand? Discuss the skills that will be needed and do an honest inventory of the skills available. Be open to staff training; it can be an important tool for success.
- What are the desired goals for the project, and what are your desired results?
- Be open to suggestions – and embrace change in order to reach the outcome(s) you desire.
WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT HIRE A FUNDRAISING CONSULTANT:
- You’re looking for a quick solution to your funding needs. There are no quick fixes. Fundraising takes a commitment of time, resources and hard work to be successful.
- When no one else wants to raise money. A consultant should not ask for money. Your donors – and even your prospective donors – want to hear from you, not a consultant. A good consultant will teach you how to build a list of potential donors who may be interested in your cause and, a good consultant will teach you and your board how to solicit gifts.
- You expect the consultant to do all the work. This never works. The organization and the consultant develop a work plan together. It’s important the organization takes ownership of the plan and commits time and resources to its success.
- You are not really open to change. Embracing change – or having the aptitude for change – may be the single most important attitude your organization can possess prior to bringing on a development consultant.
So – you’ve answered the questions above with all the right responses, and you’re ready to enlist the services of a consultant. Be open, be honest, be prepared to work hard and you’ll succeed!
Call me and let’s talk; I’m here to help.