6 Ideas to Improve Nonprofit Consulting

Rebecca Petzel of Groupaya reflects on a collective exploration into how the field of nonprofit consulting is currently delivering impact in the sector.

In many circles, “consultant” seems to be a dirty word. Perhaps only lawyers have a worse reputation as cash cows. I’m guessing House of Lies hasn’t helped that reputation, but at the heart of the stigma, as I see it, is a frustration at how much money consultants cost versus the impact they deliver. We can’t seem to live without them (it’s nearly impossible for any organization to sustain every capacity it could possibly need internally), but this doesn’t warm the general feeling about having to actually use them.

Despite the fact that I myself am a consultant, I’ll admit I’ve carried this secret stigma. I am proud of the work that I do, am obsessed with making an impact, but am also secretly afraid of what the label connotes: large invoices, minimal contact with the client, a shiny glossy report on the shelf, and me on to the next big score.

This is why I welcomed the opportunity to work with Eugene Eric Kim helping Shiree Teng run a collective exploration into how the field of nonprofit consulting is currently delivering impact in the sector, and to find opportunities to increase our impact.

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