Next week, I’m giving a special webinar with my friend and colleague, Ken Jones, on how to select a campaign consultant. Ken is Co-Founder of Above Goal, an online capital campaign management software designed for fundraising consultants and nonprofits.
On it’s face, selecting a campaign consultant is simple.
You want someone honest, experienced, hard-working. You want someone credible and appealing. You need someone your board members and donors will have confidence in.
All those are obvious and good. But the more I spoke with Ken, the more he nudged me to realize that the “right” consultant for one organization won’t be the “right” consultant for another.
Why? Because organizations need different things from consultants.
Your Capital Campaign Consulting Needs
Here’s a list of questions Ken and I put together to help you get a sense of your consulting needs. How you answer them will give you a clearer indication of what kind of consultant you should look for.
Your answers to these questions will give you a sense of what kind of consultant you should be looking for.
- Have your board, executive director and development staff been through a successful capital campaign?
- Do you have a high-functioning major gift program?
- Do you have an organized system for building strong relationships with your top 25 donors?
- Do you send gift acknowledgements within 48 hours of receiving a gift?
- Are your development reports accurate, timely and easy to understand?
- Do you have the capacity to research prospective donors?
- Is your executive director a willing, effective fundraiser?
- Is your board chair willing and able to solicit gifts in person?
- Do you spend at least 25% of your time engaging personally with your top donors?
- Do feel comfortable soliciting your top donors face-to-face?
- Are you confident in your organization’s ability to conduct a capital campaign?
If you answered no to lots of these questions, you may need a consultant that can provide more hands-on help.
But if many of your answers are yes, you might be looking for an expert adviser instead.
What Capital Campaign Consultants Provide
Some consultants include development office assessments in their scope of work. Others don’t.
Some consultants are hands-on. Others are hands off. Some are excellent, experienced trainers. Others have little training experience.
Some consultants actually manage campaigns. Others provide expert advice and leave the management to you.
Some consultants will help you search for and find additional staff members for your campaign. Others don’t do searches.
Some consultants work on-site with you through the campaign. Others just come every now and again.
An Important Step in Your Campaign Planning
Having the right campaign consultant for your campaign will make a huge difference. Here are some simple tips:
- Be sure to do your homework before you make a decision.
- Evaluate your needs carefully.
- Speak with a wide range of consultants.
- Check references carefully. and
- Involve your organization’s leadership in the selection process.
The key is to understand your needs — THEN choose your capital campaign consultant.
Join Ken Jones and me on Wednesday December 13, 2017 at 3:00 ET for a FREE webinar on How to Choose the Right Capital Campaign Consultant for your campaign.