Monthly Archives: June 2012


Play Nicely With Other Consultants

A nonprofit consultant is rarely a charity’s only source of advice. Usually other consultants—lawyers, accountants, vendors, etc.—are working for the same client. Occasionally, one of those advisers will say something unprofessional about another or withhold information that would be helpful to that person’s work. This is both a practical and an ethical problem.

Let me share something a nonprofit executive told me about just such a situation. The client said that in her experience, consultants o…

10 Traits of a Great Consultant

“You need chutzpah, audacity.” That’s how Tom Wilson, a vice president at the consulting firm Campbell & Company, answered the question of what it takes to be a great consultant. Tom was one of a number of consultants we interviewed at the recent conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here’s how others answered that question. Consultants must:

  1. Have self-confidence and be as adept at delivering bad news as goodThere’s nothing worse than co…

How Nonprofit Consulting Differs Outside the United States

When I was in Bologna, Italy, in May, making a presentation at the Festival of Fundraising, I was reminded of two things: First, consulting is less accepted in other parts of the world than it is in the United States. My Italian colleagues told me they were not easily accepted as an important tool for organizational progress. And, second,  for the most part consultants in Italy must have management backgrounds, in contrast to the United States, where it is not necessary for those who restrict t…