Working with Consultants

About this collection: There are almost as many reasons to hire a consultant as there are consultants. These resources will help you take the right steps to find, hire, and manage a consultant who will deliver what you need whether it be for strategy, evaluation, communications, or providing fundraising advice and support for your grantee partners.

Hiring and Engaging a Consultant: Guides from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Does your foundation need skills or capacity that you might not have on staff or your board? Aligning the right consultant with an organization’s need, budget, and work style can generate significant benefits. But no single consultant can do everything, and client organizations often have a lot at stake when they engage an outside service provider. Learn from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s guidance and lessons learned in this NCFP Content Collection.

Steps for Success: Engaging a Consultant

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This guide can help nonprofits and grantmakers take the necessary steps to find, hire, and manage a consultant who delivers what you need through a process that makes good use of your resources. It features nine steps that can help frame your approach and includes links to helpful tools and …

Hiring a Strategic Planning Consultant

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Looking across your organization and its work to find and describe the most effective path forward can be exhilarating. This guide can help you identify the strategy approach most suited to your needs, and the qualities to look for when engaging a strategy consultant. Engaging a strategy consultant is per …

Hiring a Communications Consultant

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Communication involves the purposeful delivery of information to create awareness, understanding, or action. It’s a big topic, with application to virtually everything an organization does, inside and out. This brief tutorial can help people working in foundations and nonprofits effectively prepare for and conduct engagements with communication consultants. This …

Hiring an External Evaluator

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Many organizations are reluctant to engage evaluation consultants. This guide can help demystify the process of hiring and partnering with an evaluator – so you can measure what matters.

Understanding Fundraising Fundamentals

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Fundraising success involves a combination of knowledge, skills, systems, and consistent practices. This brief guide provides an introduction to fundraising fundamentals and eight key activities for your grantees to consider in their fundraising efforts.

Additional Resources from the NCFP Knowledge Center

Family foundations come with a unique set of dynamics, like their dedication to preserving a legacy and to sharing decision-making among family members. These dynamics are often a significant influence on a foundation’s governance and operations, and they can also extend to how family foundations’ experiences with consultants differ from those of other foundations or nonprofits. The following additional resources explore common experiences that lead family foundations to seek external help and recommendations for managing successful consulting engagements.

How to Effectively Hire a Consultant: 5 Tips for a Win-win Relationship

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Nonprofit and foundation leaders are held accountable to their stakeholders to make sure they are using their budgets to garner the best results. A strong relationship with quality consultants can help limited budgets go a long way, so it is imperative that you find a consultant who can become valuable …

Family Foundations Consultants Guide

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Adapting existing research on the organizational life-cycle framework and working from a sample of foundations provided by the National Center for Family Philanthropy, GMA Foundations teamed with Brandeis University’s Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy to conduct a pilot study to understand how planning ahead at each stage …

Don’t Need a Consultant? 5 Good Reasons You Might Be Wrong

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Consultants can take some of the burden off of staff while providing a new perspective and expertise. They may also increase your organization’s credibility. Here are the five main reasons most foundations and nonprofits enlist the help of outside consultants.

NNCG Code of Ethical Conduct for Philanthropy Consultants

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The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) is a learning community, a forum for discussion among thoughtful peers and professionals in the consulting field. Its mission is to increase the quality, effectiveness, and capacity of grantmakers by mobilizing and strengthening the work of knowledgeable, ethical, and experienced consultants.
January 20, 2016

The family foundation life cycle and the role of consultants

Family foundations come with a unique set of dynamics, like their dedication to preserving a legacy and to sharing decision-making among family members. These dynamics are often a significant influence on a foundation's governance and operations, and they can also extend to how family foundations' experiences with consultants differ from …
July 8, 2010

Managing Relationships with Your Legal, Financial, and Investment Advisors

Having the right advisors and working well with them makes it possible to successfully manage your philanthropic assets, comply with the law, and be an effective grantmaker. This webinar shares a variety of helpful tips for how to choose and evaluate advisors, how to maintain a good working relationship and …