Nonprofit organizations are working with consultants with increasing regularity, often at the request of their supporters. That’s a good thing, since consultants have a lot of offer to the average nonprofit group. They can help in plenty of different ways, but a few stand out as especially potent options.
A consultant is a great way to get new ideas about how to manage your organization’s affairs. They come from outside your organization’s culture, so they are likely to have ideas that would never occur to someone who is already part of it. Even if some of their ideas turn out to be poor fits for your organization, you can still use them as inspiration to find new methods that will work for you.
Learning New Skills
Consultants can also introduce your workers to new skills. Their job involves keeping up to date on the latest technology and techniques, which is usually impossible for workers who have other demands on their time. A consultant can identify which skills will be useful for your organization’s staff and pass them on as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Consultants are temporary workers, so you can easily hire them to perform a single task without worrying about the long-term cost of employment. Since they are temporary, you can also spend less time worry about whether they will get along with your current workers and organizational culture or not. This makes them very and efficient hires, which is perfect for dealing with temporary problems.
The average consultant costs less than hiring a conventional worker. That’s important for nonprofit groups, since they usually have very tight budgets. Even those with plenty of funding can benefit from saving money, since it allows the group to direct more funds to worthy causes.
Never underestimate the value of an editor. Checking a plan for flaws is very difficult for people who were involved in making it, but that checking is vital for success. A fresh consultant can offer an unbiased perspective that will find potential problems before they can become disasters.
Consultants need to network to find jobs, while most nonprofit managers lack strong connections with industry. A consultant can provide introductions to valuable contacts, and even make sure that the meetings go well.
A consultant with management experience can easily take over an entire project for your group. That’s highly valuable because it allows the normal management to focus on expansion and other important tasks. In general, it’s best to use consultants as managers for relatively routine projects until they get used to your organization and its needs, but that can change if the consultant has special skills that can support a specific project.
Those skills are relatively common among consultants. There are many times when it is easy to find a consultant with a specific skill and hard to find a long-term employee with that skill. In that case, hiring the consultant can be the only way to get access to a rare skill that your organization needs.