How to Introduce the Idea of Using a Consultant

As much as we might like to, we can’t do it all. The right consultant can help you overcome roadblocks between you and your goals. A consultant that specializes in nonprofit organizations provides insight, ideas and services when you lack skills or time. The right person offers you a fresh perspective on how other nonprofit organizations handle the issues you face. A consultant also can facilitate your meetings so your stakeholders can engage fully in the process. With the flexibility to fill in during peak workloads, a consultant can cost less than hiring a full-time staff member Sometimes, when the budget is tight, organizations can call in a consultant when a staff member has left and funds are less restricted to help them reach the next level.

Here are several steps to help you identify your needs and move toward fulfilling them:

  • Think about your goals. Identify the challenges you wish to work on with the consultant.
  • Jot down your answer to these questions. When has your organization benefited from outside help? What did the organization learn about such investments?What part of that experience bears repeating? What are the key results you would like to achieve? What benefits do you anticipate from this relationship?
  • Create two lists. In one column, write the tasks for which you have the time and the skills to undertake. In the second column, list the opportunities your organization will miss without outside help and areas where your organization isn’t making progress toward its goals. Jot down available resources to respond to these needs.
  • Share these lists and your thinking with your nonprofit organization’s leaders. Seek their feedback, ideas and help to identify the priority items on your opportunities list.
  • With their input, name the first steps and your timeline to obtain the resources you need to accomplish more of your organization’s mission and goal.

Taking a well thought-out approach can clarify your nonprofit organization’s priorities and inspire a plan to secure tools and resources for new accomplishments. With the right consultant, you can begin to achieve your most critical objectives now. Begin thinking but leave out final decisions about your objectives, measures and values until you talk with a consultant. You will want to take advantage of their outside frame of reference so you get the most bang for you buck.

For more about how a nonprofit consultant can help, link here.

For more about Karen’s background, read this.