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:
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?”
Org: The NonProfit Online Resource