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Fundraising Consultants: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

Fundraising Consultants: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations

E. A. Scanlan

ISBN: 978-1-118-38685-9 March 2012 240 Pages

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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.

Acknowledgments xv

About the Author xvii

Introduction xix

CHAPTER 1 No, We Don’t Need a Consultant! 1

Summary 24

CHAPTER 2 Yes, We Really Need a Consultant! 25

Summary 54

CHAPTER 3 What Should We Do First? 55

Step One: Know Your Organization 55

Step Two: Identify Your Organization’s Real Needs 57

The Next Internal Steps 59

Some Possible Alternative Arrangements 61

Summary 69

CHAPTER 4 The Request for Proposal—A Short Introduction 71

The Written External RFP 71

The Written Internal RFP 72

The Unwritten Consensus RFP 72

Advantages of the Internal RFP and

RFP Contents 73

Summary 76

CHAPTER 5 Finding Consultants—Where Are They? 77

They’re Everywhere, They’re Everywhere! 77

Using Your Own Organization as a Source 79

Asking Other Organizations 81

Using Workshops, Seminars, and Conferences as Sources 81

Professional Organizations as Sources 84

Professional Organizations of Consultants as Sources 85

Using the Internet 87

Summary 87

CHAPTER 6 Information, Please! 89

Three Ways to Find Consultants: A Quick Review 89

Using the Consultant’s Web Site or Printed Materials 91

Using Examples of the Consultant’s Work 99

Reference Checks as Critical Sources 100

Using Informal Contacts with Colleagues 103

Using Colleagues Active in Professional Associations 103

Using an Online Search Engine 104

Summary 104

CHAPTER 7 The Proposal for Services 107

Overview of Proposals 107

Objectives of Proposals 108

A Sample Proposal Outline 109

Analyzing the Proposal’s Content 112

Who Does What 114

Confidentiality 115

Fee and Expense Structures in Proposals 116

Timelines 120

Who Will Deliver the Services 121

Reviewing and Editing Materials 121

Registration and Contract Filing Issues 123

Legal or Ethical Disclosure 123

Solicitor Registration 124

Product/Outcome Definition 124

Seeking a Revised Proposal and Negotiating 125

Summary 126

CHAPTER 8 The Interview 127

Overview of Interviews 127

Focus of Preproposal Interviews 127

Focus of Postproposal Interviews 135

Alternative Interview Methods 137

Summary 138

CHAPTER 9 Selection and the Contract 139

Importance of Group Process 139

Contract Preparation Alternatives 140

Contents of Consultant-Prepared Contracts 142

Review of Contracts by Attorneys 143

Summary 144

CHAPTER 10 Working with Your Consultant 145

Keeping Focused on the Project 145

Consulting Partnerships 146

The Staff Trap 148

The First Day and First Steps 150

Materials for Review 151

Sharing Unwritten Information 154

Working Arrangements 155

Timelines and Meeting Review 155

Procedures Defined 157

Defining a Process for Written Materials Review 158

The Case 159

Letter of Invitation to Prospective Interviewees 160

Interview Questionnaire 161

Campaign Materials 162

Policies and Procedures 163

Meeting Materials 164

Training Materials 165

Prospecting Materials 165

Other Written Materials 166

Consultants as Creative Resources 166

Events 167

General Advice and Counsel 168

Some General Considerations 169

Keeping the Consultant Informed 171

Planning and Scheduling 172

Meetings and Conference Calls 173

Your Consultant’s Other Skills 174

Dealing with Issues 176

Payment Issues 179

Some Background Points 180

Summary 182

CHAPTER 11 Wrap-up and After 183

The Consultant Always Leaves 183

Delivering the Report and Recommendations 183

What’s Next? 184

When Nothing Happens 185

Ensuring Follow-through 185

End-of-Campaign Debriefings 186

Summary 189

CHAPTER 12 Conclusions 191

Some Final Thoughts 191

Who Gets the Credit? 192

The Best Fundraising Consultant 193

Additional Selected Readings 197

AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards 203

A Donor Bill of Rights 204

Index 205