It is suggested that several people from your organization work together (generally including both board and staff members) to oversee the consultancy process. This is important for board and staff involvement and commitment to the organizational development effort. This small committee should outline your organizational needs to the best of your knowledge, although other needs or approaches may be identified later by the consultant. Determine exactly the issue or problem that you want the consultant to help solve or address. If you are unsure about what your organization’s challenges are, a consultant can also help you objectively assess what needs to be addressed, although fees may be charged for an in-depth analysis.
Develop objectives for the consultancy that identify:
Identify at least two potential consultants (more than one is important for comparison purposes), based on your organizational needs. As a starting point, resources include the WNC Consultant Directory (located on-line at www.nonprofitpathways.org), referral from organizations in your area who have used consultants or training, or other resources that you identify through your professional associations and networks.
Contact each consultant through a letter and request written information describing their services and fees. This very simple letter format should include:
Review the consultant’s materials and interview (by phone or in person) the one or more who best match your needs, asking them to describe their experience and types of services they offer.
Suggested questions to ask the prospective consultant:
Always check references. Review their recent client list for organizations similar to yours with comparable need. Call the person who has supervised the consultant’s work directly. Ask them how the project worked out, if they would recommend the consultant to a colleague, and if they would use the consultant again. If you have any concerns or questions about the consultant’s methods or style, you may ask some additional questions. Ask if the consultant was timely in delivery and if the organization was satisfied with the outcome.
Western North Carolina Nonprofit Pathways
P.O. Box 7667
Asheville, NC 28802
Have a question? Use the form below to email us directly.