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The Consultant Advantage

posted Sep 4, 2012, 7:22 AM by Rebecca Baumann

Consultants can bring skilled hands to that extra task that just is not getting done; trained ears to help hear and consider the real issues within your organization; and a tactful voice that can be honest and objective because the past organization, personal ties and future relationships are not a consideration.

With a long history serving as executive director, having worked with some very skilled consultants, and now putting that experience into practice through Consulting for Nonprofits, the benefits of hiring a consultant become very clear.

A consultant can bring work relief for the jobs that just don’t get done or don’t get done well because the executive director or staff is just too busy with other priorities or don’t have the skills needed to do the job well.  For example, having a consultant search for grants and write a grant can mean a temporary expenditure in the present that enables growth and permanent staff in the future.

Some jobs, even if skilled staff or board members are available, are better implemented by a consultant.  Board training and strategic planning would be two perfect examples.  If a consultant is leading the event, then all staff and board members can participate.  Most importantly, in the temporary role of consultant, often organizational dynamics can be identified that either seem invisible or are strategically ignored by the insiders.  As a consultant, I can privately or publicly identify some of the “sticky” issues that may be holding an organization back or which need to be addressed for the organization to move forward.  With no organizational or personal attachment, as a consultant my role is to deliver. the truth as I see it in a professional and helpful manner.

Be certain, however, when considering hiring a consultant that you understand the distinction made by law between staff and a consultant.  More to follow on understanding the differences.