We considered many free mentoring options, but it proved difficult to find someone with experience in similar organizations and willing to put in the hours we needed for free.
- We first went through all the fundraising writing we have liked best and checked whether the authors offered consulting services.
- We then went through a list of top fundraisers (as chosen by another fundraiser) and filtered for people who seemed to match what we were looking for.
- We made a shortlist of six people which we then brought down to four for interviews.
- We asked all of the consultants the same general questions and found that one clearly fit best with our organization and was able to answer our questions in clear and specific ways. Many of the other consultants we talked to gave vague advice and were less authoritative.
What we need from a consultant
- A guide in planning and executing a strong donor acquisition strategy, ideally with the goal of raising between $50,000 and $100,000 in our first year.
- Experience with start-up nonprofits, international nonprofits, and ideally foundations and other organizations that re-grant money.
- Able to answer a wide range of questions related to long- and short-term fundraising.
- Able to make help us execute a plan to make both Joey and Xio strong lifetime fundraisers.
- Affordable, so we can have an hour or two a week of consulting time, and ideally for under $5,000 a year.
The traits we were looking for have been gathered into a summary chart (green is good compared to other consultants, yellow is average, red is bad). We had a more detailed sub-chart for each of these elements.