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Fundraising Consultants: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Fundraising Consultants: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

E. A. Scanlan

ISBN: 978-0-470-46752-7

Mar 2009

240 pages



Fundraising Consultants

Lowering net costs, realizing more money, and securing larger donations are just a few of the advantages to hiring a professional fundraising consultant. But how can you know you're picking the right consultant for your organization?

Filled with invaluable information to help you identify, select, retain, and work with development/fundraising consultants, Fundraising Consultants includes practical advice, tips, guidelines, possible outcomes of consulting, exemplary stories, and other useful information for nonprofit organizations of any size considering the use of development/fundraising consultants.

Author Eugene Scanlan—a leading fundraising consultant—offers step-by-step guidance and resources to help you in your decision to use consultants, and then shows you how to go about getting the right one for the job. Its numerous case studies and practical tools—including sample invitation letters to consultants, sample requests for proposal, sample consulting budgets, samples of reports, and recommendations—equip you to implement the concepts introduced in the book.

Part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series, this guide covers everything you need to know to make critical decisions for selecting and working with fundraising consultants and explores:

  • The request for proposal
  • Where to find the best consultant
  • Using the Internet and other sources in your search
  • The proposal for services
  • Pre- and post-proposal interviews
  • Selecting the right consultant
  • Drawing up a contract
  • Working with your consultant

Brimming with ideas, concepts, and information that will help you and your organization through the consultant selection and working process, Fund-raising Consultants reveals what your nonprofit should look for when considering hiring a consultant or firm.

Intended as a guide for any nonprofit organization considering hiring a consultant—to help the organization see if it is ready to raise money, to assist it in raising money, and/or accomplish the goals a good fundraising consultant can help the organization achieve— Fundraising Consultants is your insider guide to using fundraising consultants effectively.


About the Author.


Chapter 1. No, We Don't Need A Consultant!


Chapter 2. Yes, We Really Need A Consultant!


Chapter 3. What Should We Do First?

Step One. Know Your Organization.

Step Two. Identify Your Organization’s Real Needs.

The Next Internal Steps.

Some Possible Alternative Arrangements.


Chapter 4. The Request for Proposal – A Short Introduction.

RFPs: The Written External RFP.

RFPs: The Written Internal RFP.

RFPs: The Unwritten Consensus RFP.

RFPs: Advantages of The Internal RFP and RFP Contents.


Chapter 5. Finding Consultants – Where Are They?

They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere!

Using Your Own Organization as a Source.

Asking Other Organizations.

Using Workshops, Seminars and Conferences as Sources.

Professional Organizations as Sources.

Professional Organizations of Consultants as Sources.

Using The Internet.


Chapter 6. Information, Please!

Three Ways to Find Consultants: A Quick Review.

Using The Consultant's Web Site or Printed Materials.

Using Examples of the Consultant's Work.

Reference Checks As Critical Sources.

Using Informal Contacts With Colleagues.

Using Colleagues Active in Professional Associations.

Using An Online Search Engine.


Chapter 7. The Proposal For Services.

Overview of Proposals.

Objectives of Proposals.

A Sample Proposal Outline.

Analyzing the Proposal's Content.

Who Does What.


Fee and Expense Structures in Proposals.


Who Will Deliver The Services.

Reviewing and Editing Materials.

Registration and Contract Filing Issues.

Legal or Ethical Disclosure.

Solicitor Registration.

Product/Outcome Definition.

Seeking a Revised Proposal and Negotiating.


Chapter 8. The Interview.

Overview of Interviews.

Focus of Pre-Proposal Interviews.

Focus of Post-Proposal Interviews.

Alternate Interview Methods.


Chapter 9. Selection and The Contract.

Importance of Group Process.

Contract Preparation Alternatives.

Contents of Consultant-Prepared Contracts.

Review of Contracts by Attorneys.


Chapter 10. Working With Your Consultant.

Keeping Focused on the Project.

Consulting Partnerships.

The Staff Trap.

The First Day and First Steps.

Materials for Review.

Sharing Unwritten Information.

Working Arrangements.

Timelines and Meeting Review.

Procedures Defined.

Defining a Process for Written Materials Review.

The Case.

Letter of Invitation to Prospective Interviewees.

Interview Questionnaire.

Campaign Materials.

Policies and Procedures.

Meeting Materials.

Training Materials.

Prospecting Materials.

Other Written Materials.

Consultants As Creative Resources.


General Advice and Counsel

Some General Considerations.

Keeping The Consultant Informed.

Planning and Scheduling.

Meetings and Conference Calls.

Your Consultant's Other Skills.

Dealing With Issues.

Payment Issues.

Some Background Points.


Chapter 11. Wrap Up and After.

The Consultant Always Leaves.

Delivering the Report and Recommendations.

What's Next?

When Nothing Happens.

Ensuring Follow Through.

End of Campaign Debriefings.


Chapter 12. Conclusions.

Some Final Thoughts.

Who Gets the Credit?

The Best Fundraising Consultants.

Additional Selected Readings.

AFP Code of Ethics for Professional Philanthropic Fundraisers.

Donor Bill of Rights.