Why Hire a Campaign Consultant?
Consultants bring a depth and breadth of expertise and experience in campaign management. Having served as fundraising professionals in a variety not-for-profit organizations, they understand both the needs of the campaign and the development staff. Organizations who hire consultants can save time and money, by reducing the need to reinvent the wheel, and by relying on someone knowledgeable to help navigate the inevitable pitfalls of a campaign. Consultants help an institution get it right the first time. It is very difficult to recover from a false start in a campaign. Without strong, knowledgeable guidance, a campaign can drag on and/or sputter out.
Consultants bring perspective, objectivity and independent thinking that complement the insight and history of those affiliated with the organization. Additionally, counsel can see the situation through fresh eyes. This third party approach allows consultants to view challenges and opportunities in broad, strategic ways.
Consultants can offer new and creative approaches. They ask the right questions to engage the organization in evaluation and inquiry, leading to creative problem solving and capitalizing on opportunities.
Consultants provide the structure and discipline needed among staff, volunteers and key leaders to keep the campaign moving forward. When other day-to-day priorities compete for time and resources, consultants help staff focus on the campaign. During campaigns, staff have many other responsibilities and demands on their time; consultants have one – the campaign.
Consultants add credibility to the campaign, inspiring confidence in staff, volunteers and donors. They can often communicate and suggest strategies in ways that staff cannot because of actual or perceived power issues, hierarchical context, political challenges, or other internal situations.
Consultants introduce approaches and strategies that build the institution’s long term capacity, broaden its volunteer base and deepen its annual programs as the campaign is implemented. They can also help organizations strengthen the infrastructure and systems needed to continue and enhance the success of ongoing philanthropic efforts after the campaign is completed.
A campaign is a major and lengthy undertaking in the life of any not-for-profit. It takes hard work day-in and day-out along with the ability to see the big picture over the multi-year span of time a campaign will require. Consultants keep the long term view of the campaign in mind.
Consultants bring very specific skills and knowledge to campaigns, including campaign design and management, staff and volunteer training, prospect research, case development, grant writing, and knowledge management, among others. Consulting from experienced professionals can also add value to other operational areas such as financial management; marketing and public relations, program planning, evaluation, etc. This practice recognizes that special initiatives demand special, focused attention for success.
Consultants have the experience, savvy and confidence to lead an institution to campaign success. They will tailor a campaign plan and design the tools to meet the specific needs of the campaign and the institution. They will provide training and coaching that will motivate staff and volunteers to reach beyond their comfort zone and achieve more than they thought possible.
Investing in campaign staffing, infrastructure and counsel represent a long term investment in the future of the institution. While it takes money to raise money, conducting a campaign is one of the most cost-effective fundraising strategies available to not-for-profit organizations. If well-managed, campaign expenses, including campaign counsel, generally run between 5% and 15% of the total campaign goal, resulting in a return on investment of between 85% and 95%.