Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Engaging the Right Externals

JoAuthor: Jo Garner

It is distressing to hear tales in the nonprofit sector of charities paying exorbitant sums of money and not being delivered what they were promised by the supplier. Of course, it is up to the supplier to get the full story to be sure that the proposed deliverables are achievable. Here is a basic checklist of questions for you to consider when engaging an external supplier:

  • Has the agency asked for a full and detailed brief of your organisation, including its background in the area for which you are seeking support? 

    They should come to the meeting having done all this background research first! If they haven’t, proceed with caution.

  • Have they taken into account all the possible contingencies in their proposal, in the event things don’t go exactly according to plan?

  • Is their service something that could / should be also building the internal capacity of your organisation to continue the project into the future? Ensure that mentoring and up-skilling of internal staff is part of the process.

  • What is their track record in delivering what you are asking for?

  • Do they have referees you can speak to? Ring them!

  • Who will be managing the project? Are they are a good fit with the internal project leaders? Strong and effective communication is essential to a successful partnership.

There are so many great organisations with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the nonprofit sector. Select wisely and you are sure not only to learn a lot, but to be on the road to fundraising success.