If You Could Tell Consultants One Thing . . .

What one thing would you tell nonprofit consultants

If you could tell consultants, freelance writers, graphic designers, and other people your nonprofits hires Just One Thing about working for nonprofit clients, what would it be?

What do they not understand about nonprofits?

What would make your working relationship soooo much better?

Please share your advice in the comments. Lots of consultants read this blog so you are doing a public service. 🙂



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  • Marjorie Williams

    Whatever project I’m working with you on is one of the 100’s of things I’ve got going. You and the work you’re doing is important, but I really need you to stay on top of the project and remind me of deadlines. Don’t make me remind you that this is due, or that’s coming up. Having someone else to help deal with those details is why I hired you.

  • Lyndal Cairns

    You need to be able to scope projects by yourself. Nonprofits have constrained budgets that are frequently micromanaged by executive-level staff. They need to know how much money and time it will cost them and will usually have to approve it upfront. RoI is /more/ important, not less, and you need to be able to show how you came to the options you suggest.

  • LindaSchell

    Budgets are strict, vetted and set in stone. Please stay within an agreed upon budget.

  • Sara f Peralta

    Flexibility is critical. Proposals get modified, timelines get adjusted, grant funding waxes and wanes. If you’re serious about freelancing with a nonprofit, you have to accept unpredictability. The best freelancers stay focused on the project goal and don’t let their feathers get ruffled in all other matters.

  • Michelle Henry

    I would recommend that consultants really understand who is on the Board of Directors and develop a working relationship with them. If you continue to create proposals that are (for example) too risky or progressive for a conservative board, you won’t progress from proposal to implementation. In order to be a marketable consultant your strategies must be implemented and successful. Read the names of the board members, find their profiles on LinkedIn, sit down have coffee with them individually. Non-profits are built because of relationships, you must grasp this concept or your ideas remain ideas.