Consultant - Tips
The choice of a fundraising consultant appropriate
for your organization can be a challenge, especially if you've
experience in working with one.
Here are 10 things to look for:
Code of Ethics of the Association of Fundraising Professionals
says fundraising consultants should never work on a percentage
tempting to think that basing work on a percentage of funds raised
would be a good deal. But what if there's a $2 million
gift out their just waiting to be collected? Do you really want
good consultant won't require that you work with him/her. The
feasibility study process is a good time to get to know your consultant
and decide whether s/he is the right person to guide you through
the campaign. There's no need to make that commitment up front.
Counsel can translate fundraising principles between similar campaigns
and organizations. A consultant experienced at the $ 1
- 2 million range will also be comfortable at the $3 - 5 million
range, and perhaps at the $6 - 10 million range.
interviewed more than one person you've learned about their different
strengths in presenting to a group. Much of your consultant's
work will be in front of groups, so it's important you see several
in action before making your choice.
can't bring donors with them. Donors come to causes
and organizations. They don't come because of a prior relationship
with a consultant. Never count on your consultant to get donors
you. A good consultant will show you how to approach your own
Always do a reference check. Whether
a consultant has a long or short list of accomplishments, be
sure to talk with someone s/he worked with in the past. Expect
that reference to be strong to glowing and ask some hard questions
like "What do you wish the consultant had done differently?"
Because fundraising is friend-raising,
it is a people business. You need good chemistry. There
will likely be two or three consultant professionals who could
do the job for you, but one will be a better fit. You can only
by meeting the person before you hire the firm.
are in business and they have expenses; but don't feel bad about
asking them to take time to visit with you. Yes, you'll
learn from your initial visit with a consultant, but unless the
of consequence, even travel expenses should not be billable at
sure that the proposal reflects that the consultant has taken
time to find out about your organization. Did s/he call?
Was there information to be learned from your web site or informational
materials. The poposal will include generic material, but it
should also be specific to your situation making assumptions
about you only if they couldn't be checked out.
can be certified by an accrediting organization or by life experience
or both. There are three levels of professional accreditation
within the general practice of fundraising.
- Basic membership in a professional organization such as the
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
- Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).
- Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive (ACFRE).
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