The Benefits of Hiring Outside Fundraising Counsel

Convergent Note: The following is a brief excerpt from the article “Counterpoint: Feasibility Studies and Other Reasons Outside Counsel Can Help Small Nonprofits,” recently published by NonProfit PRO and written by Principal Mark Bergethon. To read the full article, follow the link at the bottom of the excerpt.

In the recent article “9 Fundraising Myths Shattered,” published here on NonProfit PRO, one of the myths that the author sought to debunk was that you need an outside consultant for your capital campaign. It’s true that not every nonprofit needs to have an outside consultant in order to conduct a successful capital campaign. But many clearly do – and even those who don’t might have good reason to consider using outside counsel.

Some Nonprofits Have No Choice
Nonprofits that clearly need outside counsel are those that simply do not have the internal resources, experience, expertise, or manpower to pull it off on their own. Capital campaigns are a massive undertaking. Many nonprofits don’t even know where to start, and once they do, they can quickly become overwhelmed. Any organization in this situation should, obviously, seek outside counsel.

Benefits to Hiring Counsel Even If Not Absolutely Necessary
However, many other nonprofits have the luxury of assessing and choosing whether or not to retain outside counsel for their capital campaigns. For these nonprofits, there are pros and cons to be weighed in deciding how to proceed. Here are some of the benefits to be aware of when deciding whether to bring in outside counsel:

  1. Maximizing results. Good capital campaign consultants can bring to the table best practices, national perspective, extensive experience and expertise…
  2. Minimizing burden. Even with outside counsel, a major capital campaign requires a lot of staff and volunteer time and focus…
  3. Opportunity costs. Nonprofits should also consider the opportunity costs of taking on a big campaign in-house. If senior executive staff for a nonprofit divert a substantial portion of their time and attention to fundraising for the better part of a year or longer…

Read the full article