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20 July 2021    |    Blog

How to find and hire a charity consultant: an insider’s guide

It isn’t always easy to find and commission a consultant, someone who’s the right fit for your organisation, so here’s an insider’s guide from CforG member Emma Insley

Most third sector organisations need the support of people like Consultants for Good members at some point or other. Hiring a skilled consultant, facilitator or trainer is an effective and efficient way to overcome a difficult or persistent organisational problem, build capacity, or capitalise on an opportunity that your organisation may be facing.

It isn’t always easy to find and commission a consultant, someone who’s the right fit for your organisation, so here’s an insider’s guide from Emma Insley

STEP 1: WRITE A BRIEF

Your brief should include:

STEP 2: INVITE PROPOSALS

Use the Consultants for Good directory of consultants to identify one of our highly experienced consultants, facilitators and trainers, all of whom offer specialist services for the charity and voluntary sector. You can filter consultants by location, sector experience and speciality.  Review the profiles of consultants who fit your criteria and send them the brief.

Alternatively, you can submit your brief to the whole consultancy network here, and invite those who are interested to submit a proposal.

STEP 3: REVIEW & SELECT

It is a good idea to invite shortlisted consultants to an interview or informal chat, to ask questions and explore their approach in further detail. Ask for references so you can assess the quality of their previous work.

 STEP 4: SET UP FOR SUCCESS

Once you have identified the consultant who is best for your job, set up a system which ensures success and value for money:

  1. Prepare an agreement that outlines the scope, expectations on both parties, criteria for success, confidentiality, employment status and fee. This can be drawn up by you, the consultant or jointly.
  2. Be available throughout the project. Consultants cannot work effectively in isolation. Collate reading materials, support the delivery of the project and schedule in regular
  3. Review and implement the consultant’s recommendations – nothing will change unless you makes sure it changes
  4. Evaluate the success of the project against agreed deliverables and outcomes.

Hiring a consultant can be an extremely effective way to bring in expertise, resolve a crisis and get the job done. If you take time to follow these steps, you’re much more likely to ensure that your organisation benefits from a truly transformational process.