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Understanding Philanthropy Consulting: A Tool to Identify the Roles and Capabilities Needed From External Support

Brian Leslie M.B.A., SwitchPoint LLC; Kelsey Noonan B.A., SwitchPoint LLC; Clint Nohavec M.B.A., SwitchPoint LLC This article categorizes the distinct roles played by philanthropy consultants and presents a tool and framework for charitable foundations to identify and evaluate the roles and capabilities they need from those consultants. The article categorizes seven capability areas, from strategy setting to talent development, that are core to all foundations. Then, it identifies trigger points within these capability areas that lead foundations to undertake projects that may require outside support. Third, the article maps the capabilities that foundations consider in determining whether and how to engage philanthropy Read more





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Don’t Need a Consultant? 5 Good Reasons You Might Be Wrong

Foundation and nonprofit staff are spread thin enough. There is a lot to do with a limited number of people and a limited number of hours in the day. And there are times when expecting hardworking staff to strategize and carry through an entirely new project, on top of handling their ongoing responsibilities, is asking too much. Consultants can take some of the burden off of staff while providing a new perspective and expertise. They may also increase your organization’s credibility. Here are the five main reasons most foundations and nonprofits enlist the help of outside consultants.





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How to Effectively Hire a Consultant – 5 Tips for a Win-Win Relationship

Nonprofit and foundation leaders are held accountable to their stakeholders to make sure they are using their budgets to garner the best results. A strong relationship with quality consultants can help limited budgets go a long way, so it is imperative that you find a consultant who can become valuable member of your team. Simply choosing to hire a consultant isn’t enough to guarantee a successful engagement. You need to clearly communicate your goals and work together to ensure they are met. Here are few guidelines to help you succeed when working with consultants.





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Why RFPs Waste Time – Choose a Better Approach to Finding a Great Consultant

This article discusses how expectations of RFP’s are often unrealistic or undefined, consultants rarely have an opportunity to discuss the project goals with decision makers, and have no idea who or how many consultants they are competing against. Because of this, consultants find RFPs to be, on the whole, not a good use of time and a considerable impediment to their ability to improve clients’ conditions.





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20 Ways a Consultant Can Make Your Life Easier – A Little Outside Help Goes a Long Way Download PDF (128 KB)

It might be time to hire a consultant. You only have so much time, and sometimes you need a new perspective and a helping hand from someone with an unbiased view and different expertise. If you are wondering just how much help consultants can be, here are 20 ways they can make your life easier.







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Working With Consultants: What You Should Know for A Productive Relationship

This brief provides tried and true advice to grantmakers who are considering or seeking outside expertise. Topics include: Reasons grantmakers turn to consultants Components of a successful consultant/grantmaker relationship Ways to use a consultant How to identify possible consultants How to choose and retain a consultants