It might seem self-serving when a consultant gives advice on how to work with consultants, but getting this right can lead to a much more financially healthy organization.
The Fundraising Authority has some suggestions, at 3 Tips for Successfully Working with Fundraising Consultants:
- Figure out What You Want
- Be Open and Honest with Your Consultant
- Find a Great Consultant – and Then Trust Him or Her
I'll add one more:
Expect more, and you'll get more. Make your consultant a partner. Make sure they own your success or failure as much as you do. You want them thinking ahead of the current assignment. You want them dreaming of new ideas. You want them looking for strengths to leverage and weaknesses to shore up. If your consultant is only a one-trick vendor, they can't do that.
Every consultant in our business can tell horror stories of clients that carefully and deliberately drove their fundraising train right off a cliff because they weren't interested in what the consultant had to say.
If you have consultants that don't want to or aren't able to own your success, get rid of them!