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  FundCons Pros

Fundraising Professionals:
Many organizations hire fundraising consultants to out source their fundraising work, as well as to train personnel and formulate fundraising strategy.  If you don’t have a good recommendation for a good professional fundraiser, you can request a free list.  For a free fundraising consultant directory and other useful fundraising information, findit.org suggest that you call or write to the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel at 25 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.  Or call:  (212) 354-5799  Fax: (212) 768-1795.

The first meeting is generally free of charge, but you should confirm this when you set up the interview.  That first meeting is much like an interview for a staff position.  However, you want to make sure that the interview team is made up of the executive director, senior staff, a board member and/or others who would be maintaining a working relationship with consultant or have a direct impact on their success. 

It is generally a good idea to interview more than one consultant.  Try to improve your understanding of their different approaches or techniques and assess their individual merits.  It is helpful to write down the results of your fundraising strategy questionnaire and compile questions based upon it.  Be sure to pose the same questions to each candidate to give yourself a basis of comparison.  In addition to questions you formulate based upon the questionnaire, the following questions are also useful:

  • Have you worked with similar organizations as ours?  What is your experience?
  • What are your strengths which are particularly helpful to our organization?
  • Based upon your understanding of our mission and organizational style, what particular challenges do we face in achieving our fundraising goals?
  • What is your time frame from acquisition of our goals?
  • Will you be working alone, or with a consulting team? Who is on your team?  How do you divide up responsibilities?  Can we also interview your team?
  • What are the responsibilities
  • Do you anticipate any problems with our working together?
  • Is there anything else we should be asking about you, your firm, your experience or your qualifications?

Be a good listener during the interview.  Consider how well a candidate will perform based on her ability to listen to your questionnaire results as well.    Her interest and familiarity with your mission, organizational style is also an excellent indicator.  Lastly, it is absolutely essential to check out a candidates references.  Ask for complete and recent client list.  From that list, select three similar organizations and then pick up the phone.  Call the person who directly supervised the fundraising consultant and pose the following open-ended question:  “We are considering Mary Joe as a our fundraising consultant.  I understand that she did work for you in the past.  Please tell me, how did that work out?”  End the conversation with an additional open-ended question:  “Is there anything else you can tell me about Mary Joe?” 



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