Hiring a fundraising consultant is an investment. The return on the investment can be significant. To date, the fundraising strategies I’ve created for all of my clients have paid for my work in addition to generating thousands of additional dollars.

Many non-profit organizations do not implement a major donor fund development program even though 75% of all fundraising dollars come from individuals. Typically 80-90% of dollars from individuals come from a few major gifts. Without a major donor program, organizations are missing out on the vast majority of resources they could be raising. Hiring a consultant to plan a major donor program and coach the organization on how to make those larger asks will expand an organization’s fundraising capacity. It ends up being a small investment for a much larger opportunity.

There are three key aspects of successfully hiring a consultant:

1. Choose the right consultant. Make sure the person or firm you hire is able to tailor a strategy to fit your organization’s unique needs. You should feel comfortable with that person as you will be working closely with them. Ask other people in the non-profit world and learn about their experiences with fund development consultants.

2. Prioritize the fund development work. As non-profit leaders we all are working a million hours every week and have little time for “extra” work. However, the consultant can’t do her/his job to the best of her/his ability without your time and attention. The time and dollars invested in the fund development work will pay off.

3. Get the Board on board! Having at least 1-2 Board members engaged is important for getting the rest of the Board to support the implementation of the strategy that’s developed. A good consultant will educate the Board on the importance of the Board’s leadership and role in fund development.