Tips on selecting the right consultant
Your consultant should provide critical support and guidance on managing a campaign successfully! Campaigns require a high level of attention and support over and above the fund development necessary for annual operations.
Adding a capital campaign consultant provides your organization with the strategy and know-how to accomplish goals and hands-on assistance throughout the entire campaign. Below are some tips to find the consultant who is right for your organization:
TIP #1: DETERMINE WHAT SERVICES YOU NEED
What level of involvement do I want the consultant to have? A consultant can help you with your entire campaign (from start to finish!), or they can simply provide an advisory role.
Do you lack any resources for your capital campaign? If you don’t have experience performing a feasibility study, for instance, then that should be high on your priority list.
Performing a feasibility study
Creating and/or revising your case for support
Researching prospective donors
Training your leadership and board members
And so much more!
TIP #2: FIND SOMEONE WITH CAPITAL CAMPAIGN EXPERIENCE
TIP #3: CHOOSE A CONSULTANT THAT’S THE PERFECT MATCH
Passionate about your cause. If your consultant feels strongly about the work you do, they’ll be more invested in making your campaign successful.
Open to your feedback. Of course, not every suggestion a consultant makes will be the right choice for your organization. You should work with someone that takes your feedback and makes the necessary changes.
Happy to work in your office. Your consultant should want to come to your office to meet and work with your staff.
Your relationship with a consultant doesn’t end after the campaign is over. A partnership with a capital campaign consultant can be valuable if you ever need help with other fundraising efforts.
TIP #4: FACTOR THE COST INTO YOUR FINAL DECISION
When you’re searching for a consultant, you should consider how much it’s going to cost. How much a consultant charges is important because it will factor into your capital campaign budget.
Consultants follow different guidelines for how they charge for their services. It’s up to you to understand what a consultant charges before you hire them.
Typically, consultants will either charge an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a retainer fee (an upfront cost for large projects) depending on the scope of your project. However, the price of a consultant might include more than just their services. For example, you may be charged for the consultant’s hotel, food, and travel expenses.
As you compare the costs for different consultants, here are a few things to consider:
- Level of experience: If a consultant has years of experience launching successful campaigns, they will likely charge more for their services.
- Capital campaign budget: Your budget will play a huge part in what consultant you choose.
- Location: The location of the consulting firm may affect how much they charge.
When you total the cost, ensure all fees associated with hiring a consultant are included. This way, you have a better idea of how much it will affect your capital campaign budget.
What should you take away? There are no set guidelines when it comes to how much a consultant will charge. Be sure to get all that information ahead of time and be mindful of your capital campaign budget.
TIP #5: ASK YOUR TOP CHOICES TO INTERVIEW
Did they provide solutions for the problems you mentioned? Was the consultant addressing the concerns that you needed help with? Or did they just suggest general strategies?
Was the information vague or detailed? Of course, they don’t want to give all their secrets away before you hire them, but did they provide you with information that is helpful to your nonprofit?
Did the consultant sound confident when presenting their ideas? It’s important to hire a consultant that is confident in what they’re suggesting.
Another tip to keep in mind is that everyone who is a part of the decision-making process should be available for every presentation or have access to the documents so that everyone can make an informed choice.