Choosing Your Consultant
Questions to ask before hiring a consultant
- Why do we need a consultant? Skills? Time? Capacity? Specialization? Objectivity?
- Can I describe the desired outcome of an assignment? What are the deliverables?
- What specific skills or experience must our consultant have for this project?
- To what extent must I rely on the consultant to identify the required activities, skills and deliverables?
- Who among us will be the primary contact for the consultant? What are the lines of accountability?
- Who internally will be part of any consultation? Senior staff, board members, a range of staff, volunteers?
- Do I or my colleagues have the time it takes to get started and have a productive collaboration?
Questions to ask your prospective consultant
- Beyond the details of the proposal, ask about the additional factors that affect a successful consultation. Who will deliver the proposed services and what are their specific qualifications?
- How do you deal with unexpected tasks that arise during a project?
- How do you help keep a project on the timetable?
- What specifically do you expect of us?
- How does your work benefit us (in addition to the requirements of the project)?
- What developments or factors might lead to extra costs?
Three judgments to make about a prospective consultant
- Do they have the skills and experience we need?
- Do they inspire trust?
- Are they a good fit for our organization’s people and culture?
Seven factors that make KMA clients happy
We frequently are invited back to a former client for further work – a source of tremendous satisfaction for us. Here’s our assessment of why that happens.
1. Personal, hands-on involvement
One of our greatest strengths is our size. We are a small company with a large capacity. KMA is driven by knowledgeable, experienced people who are committed to working directly with client organizations. At its root, fundraising is intensely personal and built on trust. So is consulting, when done well.
2. Customized solutions
We focus on you, and on meeting your particular needs. KMA offers no off-the-shelf programs. We strive to obtain an in-depth knowledge of your mission, vision, background, needs and special circumstances.
Teamwork adds value to the services provided to a client. Each of the Principals of KMA is involved with each client. You benefit from the variety of skills and experience of the Principals, as well as the synergy that occurs when knowledgeable, experienced professionals collaborate with visionary clients.
4. An orientation towards results
Results matter and obtaining the results you need is our first priority. Results can be as measurable as reaching a financial goal in a capital campaign, or increasing annual fund revenues. There are additional and sometimes equally important outcomes - such as better constituency communications, enhanced relationships with volunteers, or heightening the capacity of a department or an entire organization.
5. Recognition of the intangibles
We're sensitive to the non-financial goals while maintaining a rigorous focus on the financial goals. We endeavor to create a positive experience for everyone involved in the project - from volunteers and staff to donors. We aim to enhance your image and reputation while creating lasting benefits for your organization.
6. Highly professional services
KMA is committed to high levels of personal involvement in clients' projects and to maintaining our focus on fundraising planning and implementation. To offer a full array of ancillary services, we have forged ties with other professionals accomplished in their fields. These are people in graphic design, research data tabulation, branding and image management, charitable governance, and other specialties, with whom we regularly collaborate as client needs dictate.
7. Professional Conduct
As a matter of conviction, we operate from a foundation of respect, courtesy and integrity. We are committed to the fundamentals of professional conduct, such as maintaining confidentiality and fulfilling our obligations. Further, we strive to ensure that every contact we have with your staff, volunteers or donors adds to the goodwill and reputation enjoyed by your organization.