Working with a Consultant
Making the decision to use a consultant to strengthen your organization is a difficult one. Community Foundation can help.
Helping people do the most good in our community is what Community Foundation of the Lowcountry does best. It begins with understanding community needs, the nonprofit resources available to address these needs and the areas in which additional resources are needed. While using a consultant offers many attractive benefits, it can be intimidating to open your organization to an individual or group of individuals who may not be familiar with your work. Consultants can often offer expertise not available in your own organization. They can also serve as a mentor, facilitate meetings or retreats, provide training, or partner with you in other ways to address organizational challenges. Manyfactors determine if hiring a consultant is right for your organization. Below, and throughout this page, we have offered resources on not only determining if you need a consultant but also how to select the appropriate consultant for your group – which is just as important.
On our Nonprofits Consulting Page, we have listed consultants [PDF] who have worked or would like to work with area nonprofits. Please note: This is not a complete listing, nor is it a recommendation of the consultants listed. One of the most important aspects of choosing a consultant to work with your nonprofit is completing due diligence. Have in-depth conversations with potential consultants. Understand their methodologies, pricing and time commitments (and get it in writing). Check references. Make certain they understand not only the nonprofit sector, but also your organization’s mission and goals. Are they comfortable working with both management and your board? Will they tell you the hard truths? Do they have expertise in the area you are looking to improve? Please also be certain to check out Denise Spencer’s blog article on the ethics of hiring a consultant to work with your nonprofit.