When To Hire a Consultant: A Quick Guide to Nonprofit Decision Making
It is not always easy for an organization with limited resources to decide when to hire a consultant or whether issues could be handled by the already overloaded staff. Here is a quick guide to decision making:
It is time to consider hiring a consultant when you want or need to:
- Plan, initiate or execute special projects.
- Undertake major new initiatives.
- Evaluate or refresh current programs.
- Transition from short-term to long-term planning.
- Initiate strategic assessment and/or strategic planning.
- Need nonprofit experience to handle staff responsibilities on an interim basis during leadership or other major staffing transitions.
Generally Consultants will:
- Increase Organizational Productivity
Consultants increase productivity and efficiency by allowing organizations to address important internal or external issues to which staff cannot effectively devote adequate time.
- Provide Objective Evaluation and Assessment
Outside consultants will recognize and voice matters that internal staff do not recognize or are reluctant to discuss.
- Offer Specialized Expertise
In highly-developed specialty areas such as marketing, technology, fund raising and board development, consultants can provide guidance and complete critical projects.
- Add Invaluable Experience
Consultants work with many programs and institutions. They can broaden the range of options to consider, provide seasoned perspective, and suggest which avenues might be most promising to explore.
- Reduce Staffing and Benefit Costs
Experienced, cost-effective and with a high success rate consultants provide an attractive alternative to expanding the fixed costs of staffing. With well structured contracts, they are also easy to fire, should they not work out.
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