We all face this scenario: too many ideas and not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Should you utilize a consultant or contractor? Here are the top ten questions to be answered before you begin working with them.
1. What is the individual’s experience in this area?
2. Can they provide references from other clients?
3. Do they understand and have a passion for the mission of the organization?
4. If a professional fundraiser, are they licensed with the Attorney General and are the people that work for them registered as professional solicitors? You can view the list of licensed professional fundraisers at www.michigan.gov/ag
5. Are they able to complete the work on your schedule?
6. What services will they provide and how? If possible, ask for a written proposal
7. Are there any conflicts of interest in working with your organization? It is good practice for nonprofits to have a conflict of interest policy for board members, staff, volunteers and contractors. The IRS has developed a sample conflict of interest statement available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1023.pdf
8. If fundraising, how will they handle the flow of the money?
9. If fundraising, how will they protect the privacy of donors? Check out the American Association of Fundraising Professionals Donor Bill of Rights: http://www.afpnet.org/Ethics/EnforcementDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3359
10. How will they maintain confidentiality and are they willing to sign a confidentiality agreement?
Want more? We have developed a quick reference called the Do’s and Don’ts of Working with Independent Contractors, Consultants, and Fundraisers. It’s packed with helpful information including warning signs, tips for written contracts and breaking down the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.
Did you know that MNA has an online Consultant and Resource Directory that you can use to connect with our consultant and business members? Need help with strategic planning? A new auditor? A grant writer? You can find them all here. Select a category of services and a region and we’ll match you up!