Working with Consultants and Philanthropic Advisors

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

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

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

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 guide…

Hiring an External Evaluator

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

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.

Working with Philanthropic Advisors and Consultants

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Know Your Family Foundation Life Cycle

Blog Post
Editor’s note: This content is authored by Mary Phillips at GMA, where she leads GMA Foundations’ consulting practice. GMA is a content partner of NCFP and the piece appears with permission. By nature, family philanthropy is a deeply meaningful and evolving endeavor. Families are notoriously unique in their approaches to…

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

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

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 could…

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

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.

Working with Additional Types 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 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.

Choosing Your Estate Attorney

This article provides a roadmap for choosing an estate planning attorney, asking the right questions and making the right choices.

Interview Questions for Anti-Racist Consultants

Blog Post
A collection of questions created by the Surdna Foundation and Andrus Family Fund to help interview and screen candidates to serve as anti-racist consultants for a foundation’s management, governance, and grantmaking practices. Also included is a rubric of characteristics and experiences to look for in potential candidates.

Additional Resources from the NCFP Knowledge Center

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…

NNCG Code of Ethical Conduct for Philanthropy Consultants

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.