Hiring the Best Consulting Firm for Your Non-Profit

Determining how to find a consultant for your non-profit

Not-for-profit consulting companies and non-profit consulting firms exist to serve those selflessly serving others. For simplicity, the term “non-profit consulting” will include both ‘not-for-profit’ and ‘non-profit’ consulting services.

These services range based on the needs of the client, but can include grant writing, strategic planning, executive coaching, financial planning, board development, human resources, information technology, and program management. Let’s explore the following:

  1. How you know you need a non-profit consultant
  2. When you should hire a non-profit consultant

How You Know You Need a Consultant

The first time you may need a consultant is before your non-profit organization is even launched. Oftentimes, non-profit leaders have big, bold dreams that could change the world, but they don’t know what steps to take to bring those dream to fruition. It’s very common for non-profit leaders to be highly in-tune with the population they want to serve, but perhaps they need support with the business end of things. A non-profit consultant could serve as a great resource starting with how to establish a 501(c)(3), board requirements, filing requirements, securing a PO Box, starting a bank account, etc. A non-profit consultant can walk you through the initial steps it takes to start your new amazing non-profit organization.

You may also recognize that you need a non-profit consultant after your non-profit organization has been established, but is not gaining traction. If you are having difficulty writing effective grants, building a high-functioning board, creating partnerships with other organizations, or understanding how to market your new non-profit, then you may need a non-profit consultant.

When You Should Hire a Non-Profit Consultant

 An extraordinary non-profit consultant is available during all stages of your organization from start-up phases to succession planning. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine if the time is right to hire a consultant:

  • Do you have an awesome idea for a new non-profit, but don’t know where to start?
  • Do you feel “stuck” or not able to gain momentum in your organization?
  • Do you wish you were having a bigger impact on your community?
  • Are there aspects of social media, websites, and other marketing trends that leave you feeling overwhelmed?
  • Are you having a difficult time securing grants? Understanding financials?
  • Do you want to grow your programs, but unsure of how to scale your organization?

If any of those questions resonated with you, then it sounds like a great time for you to start working with a non-profit consultant. These are great examples of challenges that a consultant can help you overcome. However, there are some tasks a consultant might not be the best fit for. For example, tasks around data entry, cold calling, scheduling, or booking travel are not aligned with the areas of expertise that most consultants can bring to the table. Even if a consultant would accept this work, they may charge a significantly higher rate for these tasks than a virtual assistant would charge.


Non-profit consultants are an incredible resource for helping you achieve your business goals while serving the community. They oftentimes times come with significant amounts of experience in both the business and the non-profit worlds. They will be able to help you navigate the complexities of being a public organization while setting challenging, yet achievable goals.

If you would like to explore consulting options for your organization, please feel free to reach out to AprilWillisConsulting.com.

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