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Pros and Cons of Hiring a Fundraising Consultant

For nonprofits, fundraising is key to secure financial stability. While fundraisers are all about creating fun experiences to support a good cause - there is a lot of organisation that needs to be done first!


From creating concepts to canvassing donors - it can be easy to get swept up in planning the perfect event. As a result, many vital aspects can fall by the wayside.


Because of this, many turn to a fundraising consultant for support. In this blog, we’ll define this specialist role, and cover both the pros and cons of hiring them for future fundraising efforts.


What is a Fundraising Consultant?

Fundraising consultants are nonprofit professionals who know how to execute campaigns with donors in mind. They offer extensive skills, knowledge and experience to help the likes of charities meet their fundraising goals.


Many nonprofits hire them to:

  • Safeguard the success of their fundraising efforts

  • Gain valuable advice

  • Map out innovative strategies

  • Save money throughout the process


But with everything, there are always both pros and cons to consider. Let’s take a closer look at the positives of hiring a fundraising consultant.


fundraising consultant
A fundraising consultant can bring a lot of benefits to nonprofits. Image credit: Kobu Agency

The Pros

Fundraising consultants are responsible for guiding nonprofits across all pivotal stages of the fundraising process. From ideation to promotion - they can spot opportunities that other non-specialists wouldn’t notice. Here are some of the top benefits you can expect when you hire a consultant:


Provide Expert Insights

If your past fundraising efforts haven’t gotten you far, expert insights from a consultant can give you the fresh perspective you need.


With their experience and skills, a consultant can help you refocus and take your fundraising to the next level. They will have worked with many different nonprofits before, meaning they can offer first-class insights into what ideas work and don’t work. Especially where donors are concerned.


As an outsider, a consultant can consider both the needs of your nonprofit, as well as your donors. Not only does this help you meet your goals, it also improves the fundraising experience and event as a whole.


Research Potential Supporters

Before you organise any fundraising event, you must first understand who you’re appealing to. Your donors’ giving behaviours can only be determined by carrying out intricate research. To make this less daunting and complicated, a fundraising consultant can do this effectively on your behalf.


Through their own tried and tested techniques, they can gain valuable insights into your existing and potential supporters. From this, they can collect data and create donor profiles that mean you can be fully informed before reaching out to these prospects.


Conduct Feasibility Studies

A fundraising consultant can conduct a feasibility study which is vital to project future success. Feasibility studies are used by nonprofits to determine if campaign goals are within reach and whether or not the project is compelling to major stakeholders.


By doing this, a fundraising consultant can help you:

  • Estimate how much funds your event will raise

  • Gauge donor interest

  • Assess what funding sources are available to you

  • Plan a fundraising development plan

At S3 Solutions, we have perfected our approach to test project ideas and identify development options, meaning you can trust us to help you.


Create Fail-Safe Strategies

Every fundraising event or overarching campaign needs to have a strong strategy in place. While fundraising is not new to nonprofits, you may need help creating a structured, more effective plan.


Cementing a strategy can be hard as it has to account for the nonprofit as a whole. This includes staff, volunteers, donors and beneficiaries. Therefore you must keep a clear head to ensure it is easy to understand. A consultant can help you achieve this, all while making sure your goals, budget and resources are at the fore.


A fundraising consultant can help you create a strategy that:

  • Follows your mission statement

  • Meets your goals and objectives (long and short-term)

  • Empowers your team

From here, a consultant can also help you implement such practices and oversee these to ensure you’re always on track.


handshake with fundraising consultant
Fundraising consultants can provide direction to nonprofits to ensure success. Image credit: Chris Liverani

The Cons

While there are many positives to come from hiring a fundraising consultant - there’s also a number of negatives to be aware of.


Unproductive Onboarding Time

As can be expected, every consultant has to invest time in learning about the nonprofit’s history, culture and management working style. While this time is crucial, this can result in the nonprofit carrying the expense of this less than fruitful time period.


Yet, if this time is spent well, with meetings booked and documents completed swiftly, the partnership can get off to a strong start.


Less Cost-Effective

As consultants are highly experienced, their expertise comes at a cost. Because of this, you need to decide whether you want to allocate a portion of your nonprofit’s budget to this service. Many nonprofits can curb this by training up their internal teams, yet this will still require help from an outsourced professional.


Overall, there’s no denying that fundraising consultants bring significant peace of mind. On top of this, they also mitigate any chances of errors occuring in the strategy. This is hugely beneficial, especially when budgets are such an important factor to nonprofits.


For many nonprofits, these reasons are enough to forfeit the upfront cost of hiring a consultant, as they believe it will be worth it in the long-run.


At S3 Solutions, we are a team of experienced fundraising consultants, bid writers, researchers, impact analysts and business consultants. Across all of our projects, we seek purpose in our work and want to make a real difference. If you are interested in hiring a fundraising consultant to give direction to your next campaign, please get in touch with us today.