Frequently Asked Questions
When does my organization need to hire a fundraising consultant?
When you need outside perspective on improving your fundraising program or some aspect of it.
When you need an objective analysis of your readiness to launch a campaign.
When you need someone one day each week or month to design a work plan, provide guidance and answer staff questions.
When your staff doesn’t have the time or expertise to contact your major donors and develop a relationship with them.
When your board needs to be trained in fundraising.
Do I really need to hire a consultant to direct our capital campaign?
Yes because capital campaigns require a tremendous amount of planning and focus. Most development staff members have more than full-time jobs. They simply cannot take the time away from regular fundraising duties to put in the hours that it takes to successfully direct a campaign.
How do I choose a consultant?
Track Record – Ask about experience, with which organizations, and with what success.
References – Ask for at least three and check them.
Compatibility – Is this the person who can work with our organization? This may take a face –to –face meeting to determine. This first meeting should be free.
Confidence – Is this person believable? Does he or she convey confidence, enthusiasm and good will?
Belief – This person should be able to articulate the mission of your organization and care about what you stand for. This person should want to help you out of conviction as well as needing to earn a fee.
How much should we pay a consultant?
This depends partly upon the service or services being provided. There are no standards or guidelines for how much to pay a consultant. A high price does not mean a better performance or more accountability, but a price that is too good to be true probably is.
Consultants charge by the hour, day, month or by the job. Also, consultants normally charge for all expenses including hotels, meals, telephone, photocopy, and travel.
A good rule of thumb for capital campaigns is that fundraising costs including the consultant’s fee should be no more than 5% - 10% of the campaign goal.