The Process to choosing a fundraising consultant
The important steps to choosing and engaging a fundraising consultant are:
- Prepare your brief. Be clear about what you want the consultant to do
- Identify the consultant, or make a list to approach, and request details
- Conduct an initial exploratory meeting with each one
- Invite the selected consultant/s to submit a proposal or tender. It helps if you prepare an RFP (Request for Proposal)
- Interview the shortlisted consultant/s and make a decision.
What essential information should the RFP include?
- Scope of work
- Organisation background information
- Major directions and strategic plan
- Outline of fundraising program
- Organisational challenges
- Perceptions of organisations (positives and negatives)
- Description of Board and their role in fundraising
- Deadline for proposal and contact details
Information required in the proposal from the fundraising consultant:
- Process they will use to conduct the work
- Similar experience and organisations, with results
- Preliminary schedule for conducting the work
- Timetable for deliverables and reporting process
- Fees and related expenses
- Invoicing timetable
- Who will conduct the work, with bio and experience
What criteria will you use to choose the right fundraising consultant?
- The appropriateness of their response to your brief or RFP
- Qualifications, experience and track record of the fundraising consultants
- Is there a good chemistry, compatibility and fit with your organisation and team?
- Are you confident these fundraising consultants understand and will represent you well?
Some questions you could ask the fundraising consultant at interview :
- What do you see as the key challenges our organisation faces?
- What unique opportunities do you see for our organisation?
- How will you engage with and complement our staff, volunteers, and leaders?
- What is most important about your company that we should consider in relation to this contract?
- Who else in your company will be involved?
It is okay to be subjective.
You need a fundraising consultant you trust, who will always work in your best interests.